Being in business is about more than simply managing yourself. As your business grows, the reality is, you might be managing other people as well.
We spoke to HR specialist, Jessica Arkles, from Employee Assist, to find out her HR tips for small business, on ways to be a boss your employees will want to work for.
The greatest complaint from employees these days is not about pay, or working hours, but about lack of communication from their superiors. Employees want to know what is expected of them, and to have clear and obtainable goals. One of the biggest frustrations of an employee is a boss that is never seen nor heard. As a boss you should have an ‘open door policy,’ be clear in what you want achieved and by when, and, most of all, be relatable. You should be seen putting in the hard yards too, and not just be behind a closed door or forever taking ‘extended lunch meetings’.
Employees want to feel valued, and so positive reinforcement is just as important as constructive feedback. It’s been proven in many studies over the years that commissions, bonuses, etc, do not motivate an employee to the same extent that intrinsic motivation does. As a boss, you should want your employees to have that positive experience in the workplace, as it will not only lower staff turnover, but instil a more productive environment.
A great boss communicates well, is reasonable and is also relatable. A great boss also knows the power of recognition and values their employees.
This is an HR essential for small business and one of the reasons that communication is so important; it’s a two-way street. If a boss communicates well, and is seen and respected by their employees, then employees are far more likely to reciprocate, and be communicative with their boss. This way issues can be dealt with internally rather than the need to bring in more formal third parties.
As a business owner, it pays to be proactive. Most business owners want to do what is right by their employees, and only find themselves in strife with the Fair Work Commission or Fair Work Ombudsman simply because of a lack of knowledge. You should be familiar with the legislation relevant to your business, and keep up-to- date with recent decisions in the Commission. Seek advice from a professional in areas you are unfamiliar with.
There is a very strong correlation between positive employer/employee relationships and staff retention. In times where the average length of employment in the same job is 18 months, this becomes more important than ever. Employee loyalty to employers is fading, and this can only be improved by maintaining positive workplace relationships.
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