Supervisory Leadership

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How can a small business find and keep quality employees?

Finding and keeping quality employees is critical to smaller business success. There are two reasons for that. First, any hire in a small business has a far higher impact on overall business performance than they would at a larger company. Second, the people in a small business are the rock in that business' sling when it goes up against Goliath.

To recruit the best folks you have to start by knowing what you're looking for, then you must settle for nothing less. It's very tempting to hire without being picky because "we've got to have someone" but usually that turns into disaster. Take the time to do it right and if you don't get the right person, run the process again.

Once folks come on board they need to be trained. They must be trained in their specific job and, perhaps more important, they must be indoctrinated into the company culture. Remember that those first days and hours have strong emotional impact. Have a welcoming and training program. Help your new person through the critical first days, make it easy and comfortable. And pay attention to who they meet and spend time with at the beginning.

As for what keeps them around when the work is frantic and the pay and benefits may not be as good as at Goliath, Inc? The research is pretty clear.

People stay and are both productive and happy if they're in great working environment. That means they've got

  • interesting and meaningful work
  • clear and reasonable expectations
  • regular and usable feedback
  • fairness (consequences = performance for everyone)
  • consistency
  • and the maximum control possible and reasonable over work life.
The key to that great working environment is the immediate boss. In fact, if there is one key to happy and productive crew, it's the supervisor.


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