Friday, June 5, 2020

Understanding Your Team Members

Most businesses have tools, equipment, materials, and processing that serve to move the business forward toward success. A lot of these businesses also claim that their greatest resource is their employees, but that claim doesn't always show through. The people in the organization are often replaced with someone new when their performance falters. Just like a piece of equipment, business leaders simply throw out a person that isn't performing up to snuff and believe that replacing them with another, newer model, might solve the issue.

If You Don't Work, You Don't Eat
I am not trying to say that you should hold onto an employee who isn't performing after every effort has been made to train them and find out why their knowledge, skills, and talents are not serving them in their current position. By all means, send them down the road if they are not doing their job. Florida is an at-will state meaning you can fire an employee based on hair color, (please don't do that though--always document an employee's lack of performance and keep an accurate record before you terminate their employment), and stand firm in the stance that if your employees don't work, they don't eat. That means that if they don't work out, do them and yourself a favor and fire them.

But if you've conducted due diligence and vetted your employees, you should already know that you want to try to salvage them whenever possible. If an employee isn't performing up to snuff, take the time to assess why performance may be dwindling. Stay in constant communication with your team members and find out all you can about them--why they are working at your business, what their dreams are, what their family is like, what really gets their creative juices flowing at work--all important factors to understand so you can provide the kind of training and counseling they may need to improve performance.

It's Cheaper to Keep Them
Since business leaders look at the bottom line, understand the costs involved with replacing an employee. The current stats show that it will cost you on average six to nine months salary to replace an employee. So if you have an employee making $40,000 per year, it will cost you $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses. That's pretty expensive! If you're curious, it's not that difficult to figure it out. Based on your attracting, interviewing, screening, hiring, training, and orientation costs, you can rack up a pretty hefty sum. If you want to play with the numbers, use this calculator to determine your costs for replacing an employee.

Begin Today
Beginning this week, make an effort to spend extra time with each employee and find out what makes them tick. You can do this without violating any employment laws simply by taking them for coffee and talking with them. And by the way, this little exercise of being human and paying attention to your team members has an added benefit: the employees begin to notice you are paying closer attention to them and you will gradually notice employee engagement increase.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

3 Reasons Why Employee Handbooks Suck

Employee handbooks are often seen as the be-all, do-all, save-all for small businesses. There are so many misconceptions about employee handbooks that it is no wonder more businesses and the people that run them aren't in trouble with the KGB..

I was working to revise a client's employee handbook when it dawned on me that employee handbooks should be eliminated because they become a scape goat for both employers and employees and end up being used wrongly.

That is why I believe that these handbooks suck. Here are three of those reasons:

1.) Employee handbooks suck because they require a lot of time and effort and nobody reads them. They are mainly created to appease attorneys if and when something goes to court. If a company hands out handbooks to employees, they typically end up in the trash. Oh, we have the employees sign an Acknowledgement Form, but they almost never read any of the handbook.

2.) Employee handbooks suck because employers try to cram all they can into them thinking that the handbook will save them if an employee tries to sue the employer. The handbook eventually becomes 10 inches thick, ensuring that no employee will ever read it.

3.) Employee handbooks suck because most employers write them to read as, "Thou shout do this and don't do that or get fired," instead of explaining to employees how the company got started, what the path is to success in the company, and what to watch out for in order to protect them and the business.

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