For businesses all over the world, building a strong team of staff is absolutely essential to the successful running of the company. If you are just in the process of hiring some employees for the first time or you have never been able to get it quite right in this regard, then this blog is for you. Skilled and motivated employees can bring a whole host of benefits to any company, and can move it off in directions that you never thought possible.
To begin with, you need to have an effective recruitment process in place so you are attracting high quality applicants and choosing ones that are an ideal fit. Next, you should look at your training programme so the people you hire get up to speed quickly with your business aims and culture, as well as making it clear what is expected of them. Finally, you need to think about employee retention so you are not constantly going through the first two stages again and again.
So, let’s take a look at each one of these stages in turn and the ways in which you can improve each one of them to build your own business A-Team.
- Review Your Methods
First and foremost, your company needs to exude professionalism to all potential candidates. As a huge proportion of recruitment is done online these days, this means making sure the advert has been well-written, the application process has been streamlined and your company website is up to date. If you are advertising through social media, graphics should be designed professionally and you need to respond to any queries as efficiently as possible.
- Use Professional Outlets
Rather than doing everything through your own channels, carefully select job boards to advertise through that you know will be popular with potential candidates. As well as the more general sites, it is worth looking at the specialised ones in your particular field. Also consider more traditional avenues such as job fairs.
- Assess Resumes Thoroughly
Your method of assessing resumes should be thorough and you should have certain criteria that you are ticking off along the way to ensure that candidates that reach the next stage are of the highest calibre. Many companies choose to ask for an additional cover letter or even some sort of assessment so they can further scrutinise applicants. Getting this stage right ensures that you are not wasting time bringing in the wrong candidates for interview.
- Choose the Right Interview Questions
When selecting interview questions, you should make them open-ended to ensure that the candidate has the proper skills and knowledge to complete the job effectively. Try to avoid being too generic as they will probably have heard these questions a thousand times before and simply reel off a standard stock response. Make sure you check references to back up the credentials of promising candidates. Try to select candidates whose skills best match what you are looking for rather than trying to shoehorn them into positions that simply aren’t suited to them.
- Create a Detailed Employee Manual
This document will be issued to every new member of staff, so you need to make sure you get it right. Within it, you will explain all company policies, requirements and tips that will help them get on with the job successfully. Check out Entrepreneur Resources for a guide to getting it right first time. Obviously, your training programme will be more than just a written document, but it helps for new members of staff to have something to refer back to from time to time.
- Take a Hands-on Approach to Training
If you run a small business, it is likely that you will be wanting to take care of the training yourself. However, as the company grows, you may need to assign someone specifically to train new members of staff or you may want to vary it up depending on what job role they are taking on. Regardless of how you approach this task, you will want to make sure that you oversee their development, as well as encouraging them to ask as many questions as possible so they can get up to speed as quickly as possible.
- Delegate the Training Process Effectively
As we have just talked about, you may find yourself wanting to delegate the training process to a seasoned employee, HR professional or skilled manager. Remember, the better trained your member of staff is, the more effective they will be for the company as a whole. Whoever is training new employees should know the company inside out, passing on as much knowledge as possible in a way that isn’t totally overwhelming. After the new employee has settled into the company, you may want to ask them for feedback about the training so you can improve it in the future.
- Promote Self-Training
Though it is important that the new member of staff is properly trained, you can only take them so far before they need to start showing their own initiative. Depending on how your company approaches training, you may want to directly supervise them through the first few days or weeks, before gradually allowing more freedom over time. It is important not to micromanage too much as this can become frustrating for the new member of staff and you are also not giving them the opportunity to show what they can do.
- Strong Communication is Paramount
While many bosses think that employees’ happiness at work is built solely around their pay packet and company perks, the truth is that good communication is valued enormously. Strong communication involves making it clear to staff what is expected of them. When you hold a staff meeting, you should delegate tasks, set deadlines and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Though emailing has fast-become the preferred method of communicating throughout an office, the value of meeting face-to-face on a regular basis cannot be overstated. Strong communication should be encouraged throughout your organisation but leading by example is always the best approach to take.
- Provide Feedback on a Regular Basis
Another common source of frustration amongst employees is that they don’t get enough feedback on how they are performing. If you have enjoyed some success at your company, it is important to look back at who was involved in that particular project and make sure they know you are happy with their work. You may choose to deliver the feedback one-on-one or in front of the whole team. It is important not be seen to be singling out the same people over and over again as this can end up having a negative effect on the overall morale of the group.
- Offer Opportunities for Growth
No one likes to feel like they are stuck in a rut with no chance to better themselves which is why it is so important that you create opportunities for growth within your company. Even if you run a small business, showing staff that they could one day be running a whole team themselves gives them an incentive to stay. Rather than looking externally when new positions open up, you should be looking to develop people from within. An ambitious plan for the growth of your business can really help to show staff that your company is going places.
- Provide Tangible Rewards
Though creating a good working environment is important, staff members still expect to receive tangible rewards for staying with a business for a long period of time. Obviously, salary will be at the heart of this, but there are other ways that you can show your appreciation to your team. Taking them team out for a meal after a successful project is a great way of making sure everyone feels included. Closing the office early leading to a public holiday can show your staff that you care about their work-life balance. Creating a happy working environment can really pay dividends for your company
So, with this recruit, train and retain motto echoing in your head, you can build your business A-Team. Start by making sure that you get the recruitment phase right, selecting the best possible potential candidates and screening them thoroughly during the interview phase. When you have decided on the best person for the job, you then need to make sure that they get up to speed quickly with a comprehensive training programme that explains the job role and makes it clear what is expected of them. Once they get settled into the company, your next challenge involves keeping them there for as long as possible. This is best done through a combination of positive feedback, opportunities for development and tangible rewards that encourage them to achieve their best work. Complete each one of the three stages thoroughly and you should have a winning formula that puts you on the fast-track to business success.
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