Running a small business can be challenging enough, but effective staff management is also a large component of keeping your team functional.
I could easily create a list of “101 Best and Worst Staff Management Practices” but let’s focus on a short list of best practices.
Best Management Practice #1: Keep any staff records up to date.
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Keeping records up to date includes storing valid copies of all documents and contracts pertaining to your staff in a personnel file. This is extremely important not only for internal auditing and tracking purposes, but employers have a legal responsibility for maintaining records on any changes to an employees work history. Keep clear records pertaining to hiring, salary changes, performance, and tax and benefit information.
Best Management Practice #2: Keep track of time worked as well as time off.
Be sure to track all time worked by your employees. This is especially critical if your employees are non-exempt, (hourly paid employees who are eligible for overtime). Employees should report time worked and time away from the office through time sheets or some other time reporting software which is reviewed and approved by the supervisor or another designee. This is another area where you are at risk as an employer if you do not have accurate time worked records.
Best Management Practice #3: Keep track of employee performance. Studies show that when employees have a clear idea of what is expected of them, they tend to perform better in the workplace. Have regular conversations with your employees about their work and listen to employee feedback about what works and what doesn’t work. Take the time to prepare a formal performance appraisal so that there is a record of your discussions. Performance appraisals, or employee evaluations should be conducted on an annual basis. These performance review sessions can be as formal or as laid-back as you wish, but it’s a good idea to keep in touch with all members of staff and check in every now and then, to improve performance.
Finally, when you are dealing with staff management issues, you may run across difficult workplace issues or be faced with employees who are not in compliance with company policies. Addressing issues as they occur through coaching keeps the lines of communication open, and helps to prevent issues from spiraling out of control. Establishing and adhering to company policies can help you remain neutral during disputes, so make sure that your employees know from their very first day of employment what your company policies are. Be sure that employees have access to all employee policies and revisit key company policies on an annual basis.
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