Many businesses that have reached a decent and stable size have managed to get the recruitment process well organised. But they’re often surprisingly stuck on what happens next. Things don’t always continue as well as they’ve started. It could be a case of ‘Phew, I’m so thrilled that I finally have someone that I can delegate all of this stuff to!’ This article is going to cover the first part of how to go about managing employees once you’ve got them on board. In this article, we’ll specifically address some aspects of induction as well as performance management.
There are a lot of tasks could be included in induction, depending on your organisation, and they fall into a few different categories. I’m going to list them in bullet form to make them easier to digest.
- Make sure that the employee understands the work that they will be performing, as well as who they are reporting to and working with.
- If you are providing company property to the employee, such as keys, a mobile phone, laptop and/or uniform, make sure that you keep a record of all items.
- Provide the employee with information about who the payroll officer is, when payday is and how to record and submit timesheets (if required), and provide a tour of the facilities.
- Perform a workplace health and safety induction. If you have company policies for health and safety, these should be provided at this time. The employee should be advised of any other relevant information, such as who the first aid officers are, how to report hazards and where the fire exits are.
- Store all paperwork returned by the employee. See our previous article here on what you need to provide. This may include additional documents relevant to the position, such as copies of visas and licences. Remember to set reminders in your system for any that have expiry dates or potentially require certain actions to be taken on specific dates, such as before probationary periods have elapsed.
It’s a really good idea to have a checklist that you follow for every new employee. It can take a bit of time to set up initially, but it will make your life easier next time. Alternatively, you can subscribe to cloud HR software that will present all of these checklists to you on a silver platter, and also help you produce template-driven policies and procedures. It’s a really cost-effective way for growing businesses to access best practice processes and documents.
Structured annual reviews can be quite intimidating and nerve-wracking for some employees as well as employers! It’s generally the time that employees feel is most appropriate to ask for a pay rise – after a discussion about how they have performed. It is useful to provide the employee with a position description and even some KPIs when they commence employment, so that your expectations are clear from the outset.
If you’ve set KPIs for the employee, giving them access to relevant data helps them see how they have performed progressively during the year. If they’re proactive about meeting your expectations, they can self-adjust their performance along the way. You may need to organise yourself well ahead of time to make sure that your employees have access to their performance against KPIs. It’s useful to think about this before you even hire your employees. KPIs could be individual targets, such as the employee’s ratio of billable to non-billable hours, or their sales in dollars, or it could be a company-wide metric such as profits achieved.
To keep your employees engaged you need to set both realistic and achievable targets. If you set them too high, your employees may not even try. You may need to adjust your KPIs as you go if you find that you’ve set them too high or too low. Sometimes you just need to guess when taking on your first employee for a particular position.
There are different views on how to conduct performance reviews, depending on which philosophy you subscribe to. Some say that they should be conducted on a regular basis, such as annually, but others suggest that feedback should occur much more spontaneously, such as when an event triggers an opportunity for feedback. It’s a good idea to consider your personal management style and the culture in your business when making this decision.
Developing & Training Your Employees
Another factor to consider in relation to keeping employees engaged is their ongoing training and development. Too often employees leave their place of employment because their opportunity to stretch and grow seems to have dried up. Boredom and complacency can creep in, and then your employee isn’t performing anywhere near their capabilities. Opportunities for both employee and employer are lost.
It’s a really good idea to dig deep to find out what your employees want. For example, you may have a technical specialist who’s actually really people orientated who would make a sensational sales person for your business. Don’t cringe at the thought of re-training this individual, but consider instead the magic that their technical expertise and company knowledge could bring to the sales process.
Explore options and even make suggestions based on what you think your employee would be good at. It could be more in depth training and a chance to advance their skills in an existing area in a slightly different role, or it could be a complete career change. However, be careful not to push them into an area that is convenient for the business if it’s really not what the employee wants.
If yours is a larger organisation, you may wish to invest in a specialist to handle some of these aspects so that you manage this well. You don’t want to unwittingly invite your employees to leave. Employees are the most valuable asset that most companies have, and your investment in their training was most likely substantial. In addition, their corporate memory is more valuable than most business owners recognise.
In our next article, we’ll look at the more challenging aspects of managing employees, which includes performing investigations and handling poor performance.