Growing your rural business requires hiring and keeping great employees who are motivated, resourceful and highly productive. A team of mediocre, partially engaged, somewhat productive employees is the slow kiss of death for a small business.
Let’s face it, most business owners are highly skilled and knowledgeable about the product or service their business provides, but when it comes to dealing with people, most owners don’t happen to have a graduate degree in psychology. If employee problems are keeping you awake at night, rest assured, you are not alone!
Many businesses struggle to keep employees engaged, motivated, and doing their best work. Payroll is often the company’s biggest expense. Unfortunately, businesses don’t always get what they pay for when it comes to the investment they make in employees.
Here are 5 keys to maximizing employee productivity:
#1: Do the work ON yourself and your business before hiring. The following are important questions to ask and answer before you hire:
– What are your Immutable Laws? In other words, what do you value so strongly that you won’t compromise?
– What is your Why?
Why do you do what you do?
– Who you do it for (i.e., your Ideal Client)?
– How does what you do for your Ideal Client or Customer make their life easier or better?
– How will this role that you’re hiring for serve your Ideal Client?
– What are the accountabilities of the role?
– What tangible results are you looking for from the employee in this role?
– What personality strengths are important to do the job exceptionally well?
#2: Increase the number of good applicants you receive
– Build your network of A-Players and those who are connectors with A-Players.
– Stay in touch with your network, regularly adding value so you stay top of mind and become thought of as an “employer of choice” in your network.
– Whenever possible, recruit from your network.
#3: Improve Your Hiring Process so that you Employ a Higher Percentage of A-Players
Imagine telling your applicants that they have the opportunity to join a team of other A-Players. This makes your business very attractive to A-Players who likely experience a lot of frustration in a job where they carry the burden for under-performing employees.
Unfortunately, the typical business owner hires a high performing employee only 25% of the time. That means that the 75% of employees hired turn out to be poorly suited for their job.
Mis-hiring is expensive!
Hiring the wrong entry-level employee costs a business between $5,000 and $7,000 after just 3 months, according to the US Department of Labor. Mis-hiring a supervisor who makes $20,000 per year costs you approximately $40,000. Hiring the wrong $100,000 per year manager will cost you about $300,000. Add to this the hidden costs of decreased employee morale across your team, lost business, and dissatisfied customers and you’re business is losing bucket loads of money from mis-hiring.
A great resource for improving your hiring is the Topgrading Process developed by Dr. Bradford Smart.
#4: Coach Better
A-Players are easy to coach. Coaching brings out the best in your A-Players. The better you coach, the more you get out of you’re A-Players. If you don’t feel confident in your coaching skills, seek out a coach who specializes in training small business owners to be better coaches.
#5: Support Ineffective Employees in Moving On
When you identify employees who are not performing well, find a different role in your business that is a match for their strengths, or support them in moving on to find a job that is a better fit for them. They will be much happier, and so will you!
Remember, if you are continually networking to connect with A-Players, it’s much easier to let a poor performing employee go.