Staff development and education

All staff need to be developed as the business grows and changes. There is nothing worse that a staff member who has worked for a business for many years and only has one month’s experience, just repeated 12 times each year over and over again. People like to grow and learn new things. Constant growth allows the business as a whole to grow and thus makes those larger changes easier to manage.

Staff are individual and thus require individual development programmes. We have a staff ‘red book’ that allows each member to plan their year ahead in the form of goals, dreams and hopes. We then work with then at monthly coaching sessions to help them realise their plans for the year. We assist in recommending online or classroom-based courses, hold them accountable for actions and support them through times of hardship that may come up. Theses coaching sessions are held in confidence and have nothing to do with work base assessments or salary increases.

There are so many online training programmes, journals and resources that allow for different facets of personal and skill based development. Many ebooks and audio books can be downloaded and distributed to staff for reading.  I personally commit to three online university courses per year and allocate myself a strict reading programme of one business book per month. Other companies have a reading club for their senior management that they then share the key points of their assignments to the others at a weekly or monthly session.

Learning and development are habits that need to be instilled into every job level in your business. But it does not stop there, people need to be held accountable for things they are assigned, more on this in our next post. What are you doing with your staff?

By |2017-03-06T14:06:07+02:00March 8th, 2017|Business Resources, General|0 Comments

Inducting staff into your business

New staff are just that new. They may have looked and sounded great at the interview but they still remain new and know nothing about what you do or how it is done. You can never just leave a new staff member to ‘find their way’ and hope that everything will turn out right.

Develop some form of induction programme, this does not need to be a whole week of training and signed contracts, but at least a checklist of things that are important to the functioning and compliance of your business. Here are some ideas for your list:

  • Employment contract read and signed
  • Access control, cards, ID, fingerprints etc
  • Tax forms, UIF, copy of ID and payroll forms completed
  • Read and signed Companies Vision, Mission and Values document
  • Introductions to other staff members, individually or at a staff meeting
  • Office orientation of where everything is, desk, toilets, kitchen, emergency exits etc.
  • Daily, weekly and monthly schedules for meetings, processes and deadlines
  • Procedure, process and policy manual for reading and reference
  • Chain of command for line managers, HR and other issues
  • Allocation of a mentor

I am sure there are many more, but this list is a good starter kit to get that first day working well and the new staff member settled.

We put all our staff on a long term learning programme, but more on that in the next post.

By |2017-03-06T14:02:29+02:00March 7th, 2017|Business Resources, Entrepreneurship, General|0 Comments

Recruiting the right people for the right job

Getting the right person with the right skill, enthusiasm, expertise and confidence for the post within your business is as rare as winning the Lotto. Or is it?

What can be done to better recruit the right staff members within your business? There are a number of key strategies that can be followed to help eliminate the errors of recruitment that will help get closer to the right person.

The number one error we see in small business is what I call ‘Sympathy employment’. This happens when we are requested or even forced into employing someone from our own family, church or friend circle just because of their relationship with you. This request often comes from your mother or someone else you find it hard to say No to. You employ this person and from day one they become a slacker and high maintenance. These people are hard to train, discipline or get rid of. If you have in the past or are planning to employ someone like this: DO NOT.

Another issue we see in small businesses is that staff are either recruited far too early for the post or too late. Both these result in a huge trough of productivity for the new staff member who is either board or over-worked. Staff should be employed at the right time, just as the workload is increasing allowing just enough time for Induction, training and orientation into the business. Timing is everything

Developing a solid business case and job description for new posts is key. Too often we think we know what we need and then once we are stuck with a staff member, we try to bend our business around their skills and needs. This compromise will always begin to derail your business and your long term strategies.

Getting professional help is a must for more skilled posts. I know that recruitment agencies are expensive and they don’t seem to ‘earn’ their money, but their experience and insight into the process of recruitment will be invaluable in the long term. Get help from the right people.

Do not recruit off GumTree or CraigList or any other free web based advertising platform. You will get all the people you do not want or need. We put up an advert for an admin post earlier this year and got over 300 applications. Most of them with spelling errors and completely inadequate skill sets.

Then once you have employed someone you need to put them on an induction programme: more on this in the next post.

By |2017-03-06T13:58:52+02:00March 6th, 2017|Business Resources, Leadership|0 Comments