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7 Ways of Effectively Managing Employees in a Small Business


If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers. True to these words, employee satisfaction is equally vital to customer satisfaction in any business. Whether your business is big, small, startup, or wherever you consider your enterprise, once the staff in your business are satisfied and motivated, it is easier to harness their full energy and skills and get the best out of them.

But how do you ensure that your staff are appropriately managed and taken care of?

Recruit the Right People

The process of managing employees begins with hiring the right people. When finding employees for your small business, ensure the staff are skilled, enthusiastic, and motivated. They should be humble, honest, self-driven, and good team players. Inform your employees of the vision and expectations of your business, and appeal to them to align their ambitions and objectives with your business goals. 

Ensure Effective Communication

Effective communication is key to the success of every business. Communicating openly increases the engagement of the staff, builds respect and trust, and fosters better workplace relationships. Not just that, effective communication between the management and staff can be the foundation of problem-solving and conflict resolution in any business.

So, talk to your workers in a clear, concise, friendly tone and show kindness and empathy. Also, be open and approachable, encourage feedback and show genuine interest in the issues of your employees. Should you find it difficult to talk to introverted employees, you can find out the different ways of managing introverted employees. Furthermore, listen and ask for clarity if anything is still not clear.

Clearly Define your Goals and Objectives

Setting clear and concise business goals and objectives guides your workforce and gives them direction, focus, and purpose. Your business goals should be specific, realistic, measurable, and relevant.

That is not all. You must enlighten your workforce about your business objective and strategy and compel them to align their goals with the mission and culture of your small business.

Regularly Evaluate Employee Performance

The value of measuring and monitoring the performance of your workforce cannot be stressed enough. Employees are the driving force of a business, and their performance will hugely influence the performance of your small business. When employees underperform, resentment builds, and productivity suffers, which can lead to a loss in revenue or other shortcomings of the business. The underperformance of workers can also kill the morale of all your staff. Additionally, when employees underperform, they may provide poor customer service, leaving customers dissatisfied. As a result, dissatisfied customers are likely to turn away, leading to a downturn in sales and profits.

Review your employees’ productivity level from time to time and try to identify those that are not pulling their weight. Depending on your type of business, employee performance is measurable based on metrics such as the:

  • Quality of work
  • Speed and efficiency
  • Level of innovation
  • Trust and consistency
  • Degree of adaptability
  • Potential and desire of continuous improvement
  • Planning and organisational skills
  • Response to feedback.

Consider conducting performance reviews (or appraisals) – depending on the size, goals, and transparency of your business this could be monthly, quarterly, or annually. Remind your workforce what you expect from them and drive them to achieve your business goal. If employees are not meeting expectations, investigate why, since their reasons could be genuine and fixable. Share constructive feedback with the employee and discuss ways to maximise their performance.

What’s more, do a SWOT analysis of your team and identify the strong points and flaws, as well as the preferences and dislikes of every member. Try to tap into their strengths and diverse talent pools, and find ways of coping with their downsides.

Show Appreciation

Making your staff feel valued and recognised goes a long way in boosting their productivity and increasing the profitability of your business. Therefore, it is crucial to build a culture of recognising hard work and complimenting or rewarding your employees for any achievement or little task they undertake.

Come up with ways of showing gratitude to employees and compliment the overachievers in front of the whole team to show them how significant their contribution is. This way, other team members will understand that hard work is rewarded and feel encouraged and motivated to work harder. Along with that, consider introducing reward programs such as employee of the month and unique benefits for overachievers.

Conduct Regular Employee Training

The dynamic business world’s strategies, skillset, and technology are ever-changing. If you want your business to keep up, your staff’s knowledge base, expertise, and values need to be renewed and expanded regularly. You should consider establishing a training program to help update your team fill any knowledge gaps and align their skillset to changes within your industry. Besides teaching new skill sets and upskilling workers, training your employees is essential in inducting newly hired employees, increasing value and employee loyalty, and boosting productivity.

If a research by ABS is any indication, about 23% of employees in the Australian market undergo work-related training. And out of this number, 25% attest to applying the skills gained in their work.

To reap the ROI of employee training, trainers should deliver the information in short, precise bite-sized chunks that are easy to consume. Do not cover multiple topics simultaneously. Also, update the training program frequently and change its content whenever an internal policy is changed to do away with irrelevant outdated information. Also, consider more interactive and illustrative training methods such as peer training, coaching or mentoring, and technology-based learning. Moreover, create accessible, impactful training programs while including illustrative materials and mediums in your training, such as videos, pictures, and graphics.

Create a Positive Workplace Culture

Every business needs to have a straightforward ethos, values, belief systems, and attitudes that guide employees and management. As a small business owner or manager, you must identify the core values of your business and build trust by honouring and representing those values. Come up with a positive culture within your business that encourages teamwork and collaboration, increases productivity and efficiency, and enhances the retention of your employees. Do not forget to communicate these values with employees and make them feel part of it. Also, create clear goals and rewards for employees and let them know the repercussions of failing to observe the company values and culture.

More than that, a positive Australian workplace culture begins with fostering a happy workforce. Once the employees are happy and satisfied with their job, they will likely abide by the values, adhere to the business culture, and give their best performance. Furthermore, job satisfaction increases the retention rate of workers. You can nurture happiness among your team members by:

  • Communicating with them.
  • Showing gratitude
  • Meeting them where they are
  • Paying attention to their opinions and ideas
  • Giving them a sense of purpose
  • Encouraging social interaction, self-care, and exercise.

In Summary

Your team of employees will make or break your business. So you need to reach out to your workforce and inform them of your goals, expectations, and values. To build a thriving business, connect with your staff, build trust, create emotional bonds and show them that their well-being is your priority as the employer rather than an afterthought.

At Nationwide Super, we’re the Small Business Super Business for entrepreneurs and small business owners in Australia. Contact us today to see how we can serve you and your employees. Read our disclaimer