Reality is that most entrepreneurs are not that interested in managing people. They start businesses primarily because they have a good business idea, and that’s where they want to spend their time. Regrettably it is unlikely a business will survive long term if its people are not well managed, that’s reality too! However the good news for Managers, business owners and entrepreneurs alike is that they can drastically reduce the time they spend managing employees by implementing a few simple solutions:
Systemise the routine – Humanise the exception
Generally, 80% of what goes on in your business can be fitted into some sort of structure, leaving 20% that actually needs your management, and you need to understand that when you’re dealing with staff as emotion is always involved.
This is why systemising staff procedures has two major benefits: it saves you time and it means that when routine situations crop up, all you (and your team) need do is follow the procedures you’ve put in place and this means that you can keep emotion out of it. To use a simple example, if you have a staff annual leave policy and procedure you don’t have to individually examine each leave request.
In the odd instance that doesn’t fit into the system you’ve created, you will need to get involved. In these cases (e.g. family bereavement) invest time and energy in managing the situation compassionately and with tact as required.
Document each position and the requirements for the role
Hiring and firing can be a complex and costly process so it’s important for business owners to tackle staff appointments smartly. Create a job description for each position in your company that includes the job responsibilities. Ensure you incorporate specific details so that should a new person need to fill the role, he or she will be able to do so with minimum hassle (It’s not a bad idea to check that the existing person in the role is also completely aware of what is expected of them too!).
For example, if you require your receptionist to answer the phone, include how they should do so (possibly by using scripts), and depending on the enquiry whom the call should be forwarded to. This not only makes it easier for the new employee to settle in quickly, but cuts out the number of questions he or she will have, enables you to understand exactly what the position entails when hiring someone new, and empowers your employee to make decisions. If your receptionist is sick for the day, one of your other employees or a temp will also be able to cope more easily by referencing the job spec, without you or key staff members having to get too involved.
Implement the systems you develop
It’s easy to develop a system, but it won’t start saving you time and money unless it’s properly implemented and also fully understood and bought into by your staff. You may decide on a weekly staff meeting but if it hasn’t been held for the last three weeks you don’t have a system. If this happens ascertain why, were the meetings taking too long or did you forget to announce it? Then combat the reasons, be stricter on meeting times and end when you say you will, put a reminder on your phone to call the meeting and perhaps send out a meeting request.
Of course there are many, many systems required to ensure the smooth running of a business but all of them will only start to pay off when you are committed, your team are on-board and everyone is adhering to them.