Small business owners are routinely required to juggle multiple responsibilities. It’s no wonder that human resources issues can be a particular challenge. On top of running the many facets of the business, it is also the small business owner’s responsibility to keep the workforce together and productive. Below are three employment tips to help small businesses keep their workforces running smoothly.
- Divide and Conquer While Short-Staffed
While it makes sense to cross-train staff to help with the workload while an employee is absent due to a short illness or vacation, sometimes there is too much reliance on one employee to handle two jobs. Inevitably, projects will get done, but some items will fall by the wayside. Overloading one person also leads to job stress, which may negatively affect retention. Dividing projects equally among staff will help ensure that all projects are completed and no single employee is overloaded.
- Hire Support Staff During Temporary Busy Cycles
Small business operators are often hesitant to hire seasonal employees because they don’t want to deal with reducing staffing levels when the busy cycle ends. But, relying on existing staff to work harder and for longer hours to meet the seasonal demand can result in costly overtime pay, as well as increased stress, increased risk of fatigue and injury as well as a decline in morale. Instead, consider bringing in temporary workers whose numbers can be easily increased and reduced to meet the workload. Using temporary workers may also cost less than overtime pay while reducing staff stress and turnover.
- Take Time to Find the Right Employee
Small businesses are more significantly impacted when an employee leaves as that person is a big percentage of that businesses’ workforce. This can cause management to make hiring decisions out of desperation. So, first, take a deep breath, and then allow enough time to find the right candidate. Have a hiring process in place to prevent hiring quickly just to get a body in the door. Unfortunately, the hastily hired new employee doesn’t always end up being a good fit. Instead, invest adequate time to carefully screen candidates to find the best fit. If needed, bridge the interim service gap with a temporary employee.
Though trying to keep on top of all aspects of a small business may feel like trying to keep a dozen ping-pong balls under water at the same time, all of them are important. Keeping a smooth running workforce is the best answer to keeping these aspects under control. Chances are, if the small business owner focuses on his or her workforce, he or she will gain a valuable leg up in the ease of management and success of the business. IBI