Style & Substance: Two complimentary questions

Dear Readers:

We have recently had 2 complimentary questions, and although we have answered similar questions in the past, we believe that people can always adapt these questions and answers to their own personal and business situations…

Dear style & substance:

It is obvious to me that I am not a very good people manager, as I have really let my 3 employees “walk all over me”. I find that I get quite resentful when they are not doing their jobs, but then come across as overbearing and demanding when I ask them to work a little harder. I truly don’t even know where to start.

This is a constant battle for many small businesses in which you become too familiar with your staff before setting and continuing to carry out the duties and tone for success. With a quick self/business assessment, it can then be broken down into 2 easy steps, to give you a starting point and a continuing point.

What are your daily frustrations and worries about your business? Some are your problems as the owner and some are your employee’s problems for not accomplishing their work to meet your expectations. Separate these out and look at what your frustrations are that relate to them.

Now it is boiled down to EXPECTATIONS and FOLLOWUP. Some expectations are actually physically accomplished (you can actually SEE whether or not they have done it); such as keeping the workplace neat and clean, completing clerical support, accurate cash handling, etc. The other tasks are invisible; excellent customer service, being focused at work and not distracted by their personal lives.

Your idea of clean, work ethic/attitude, and “hustle” may be quite different from them, so setting the expectations and explaining how you plan on following up in the interview and at the point of hiring are what will work best. Having these duties/expectations printed and agreed upon reinforces your professionalism. Daily, weekly and monthly; set the expectations, get agreement and set a time to follow-up and assess the work. The more you communicate, the easier it will be for them to either step up and excel or show you that they are not the right fit for the position.

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