Running a business is a dream that so many people hold. It’s one of those things that makes society great to be able to follow your dreams and be your own boss. Being a valuable asset to the economy is also a title of prestige that we want to hold. This can cause us to think of a business as some kind of machine that somehow works together to bring us forward to this place in life.
The truth is that businesses are like living organisms; they all functions due to one component that is more complex than anything else inside the moving internals. The human being behind the desk, behind the paperwork, behind the different levels of research, production, testing, sales and future plans is what keeps a business afloat and prosperous.
Small business owners around the world think about meeting deadlines and targets, pushing their employees to work harder, faster and for longer and longer hours. We don’t often realize that by showing leadership that actually treated employee growth, the business would automatically grow itself; you may even fire up the afterburners if done correctly. This is why forging a cohesive team is so vital to becoming adaptable and strong.
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Realizing Individual Strengths
When hiring an employee, the basic criteria is to meet the required qualifications, experience, expertise, and possibly possessing that spark of genius that only be described as raw talent. Of course, this is how you should be hiring because these are the foundational aspects of each employee. Staff have to be competent, and at the interview process, you can only judge this by how successful they have been in the past, how their character and skills have developed, and it goes without saying their professional standard qualifications.
However, when it comes to employees in the workspace, soon you’ll realize that despite their brilliance on paper, they have a lot of growing to do. Every single business is different, so you should be making your own standards or which the people you hire should adhere to. It’s vital to, therefore, assess each employee’s strengths and weaknesses. You should know who can do what, who has more of a positive attitude, their time management skills, their ability to think on their feet, and also their individual leadership skills—to name a few.
When you can form an employee profile based on this, you have started the ball rolling for creating a team that has both yin and yang; a team that has members that can close the gap of each other’s shortfalls.
Forming A Hierarchy
Perhaps one of the most difficult things to do in business is to able to read people. It’s not quite on the same level as national politics, but politics do play a part in how you form a hierarchy. Every business needs one; there can be no uncertainty about who is doing what, and who is reporting to who. Otherwise, it’s just chaos with no clear direction.
Usually, when this kind of decision-making conundrum is figuratively at your front door, and suddenly you hear the knock of firm but fair leadership calling your name; it’s at the beginning of a business’ life. However, this can and should be done whenever you feel as if things aren’t moving in the right direction or how fast you would like them to.
Alway, always create the hierarchy of superiors based on two things alone. One, the ability of the person regardless of race, gender or age. Two, their thought process and how much in tune they are with your mindset, your vision of what the business should be. You must violently shun any emotional responses that come into your mind.
Promoting friends who have less ability and vision than a stranger will almost always end in disaster. Put the best person for the job in the role of a manager, who will lead a section of employees in the various departments of your business. This person will not only lead, but will transfer your orders and wishes to the team, and have the responsibility to then meet targets.
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Helping Everyone to Stay on Board
The world of business is head-spinning, always moving quickly. This is no more so in the world of small businesses, enterprises and entrepreneurship. It’s vital that each employee has modern tools at their disposal, coinciding with your wishes, to keep up with whatever is going on. Just think about the many memos, invoices, updates, notifications, reminders, briefs, tasks, guidelines, and other documentation you will constantly be giving your employees.
On top of this, organizing events, meetups, conferences etc. keeps the schedule of you and your employees packed all year round. Running a smooth ship is by far one of the most overlooked aspects, so many small business owners are guilty of. But, with modern technology right at everyone’s fingertips, there is no excuse why you shouldn’t be able to keep all your employees reading from the same page and attending meetings on time and at the right place.
Think about employing free scheduling software that is easy to use as an administrator, and even easier to distribute among your staff. So much communication happens on the cloud, i.e. online storage servers, and it’s easy to see why. By each of your employees setting up an account on these various websites, they can access documents that have been shared to them by the managers on the floor whom you are distributing your orders and target ambitions through.
Of course, there will be different software for different tasks, with some more oriented toward numbers, figures and statistics like Microsoft Excel, and others like Sling that can create timetables. It’s up to you how you use them, but one thing is for sure: because they’re online, every employee who adheres to your documents is therefore in sync. This allows the team to move forward in one united front.
Allow Creativity and Individuality to Sparkle
The silent and invisible binding glue that keeps the lowest ranking employee to not conjure a resentment toward his or her superiors is the ability to inject their own creativity at work. We’ve all been there, where you’re the lowest on the totem pole either because of skills and need, or holding an entry-level position and you feel unappreciated. A good business person will acknowledge the fact that leaders in their business are few, and followers are plenty in number.
In order to get the best out of your employees who act as the day-to-day workers in their departments, it’s important to allow their individuality to shine. Of course, it’s a little awkward because you don’t want them to be totally free to do whatever they like, so you must choose the right time and set the correct parameters for this to occur.
For example, if someone in your marketing department, or sales, or research has an idea that is not detrimental either in derailing the main goals of your business or in the eating up of resources, then allow them to explore further. Don’t forget that small businesses are where innovation beams the brightest, so don’t be afraid to accept new ideas.
When there are meetings that are either departmental or as a whole business, there should be a section for questions and answers. Don’t just bark orders at your team and think of yourself as so high and mighty that you expect them to shut up and do as they’re told. Lead with a firm hand, but not as a tyrant dictator. Allow junior staff to explain their ideas and how they think the processes could be improved.
Every department has their own modus operandi, and it’s just how people of different natures, expertise, and sub-group professional cultures are. Don’t repress this and try to turn everyone into a bland robot.
Playing by the Same Rules
One of the lesser areas that small businesses should also be looking at is fairness regardless of rank. One of your company ethos should be rules or codes of conduct guidelines. All staff members should have a copy available to them, so they know what is and isn’t permissible, along with what is expected of them in the workplace.
As the leader and owner of the business, you should be wary and watchful of who is not abiding by these rules. More often than not, junior staff will be more likely to keep within the boundaries of operations and be more ethically aware. It’s unfortunate to admit sometimes, but power does corrupt.
This is why you should openly exert an attitude of holding managers, board members, and junior staff all to the same standard. If anyone breaks a rule or does something that is provocative that you do not agree with, it’s wise to punish that individual in a way that lets everyone else know that you are not afraid to lay down the law no matter what seat you sit on in the hierarchy.
Forging a cohesive team will unlock the power your business needs to succeed and champion your competitors. People are the engine of business. Being able to command respect and wield authority over your employees is incredibly important and must not ever be overlooked or underestimated.
However, with this in mind, you should allow creativity to be expressed from junior staff, form a hierarchy based on skill rather than personal relationships, help everyone stay up-to-date with online software, and realize the strengths and weaknesses of your employees.