The way you staff your small business plays a critical role in the overall success of your operation. Having too many staff members means wasted investment and bored employees, while too few people manning operations can mean longer wait times and under-served customers. The key is to strike the right balance of placing appropriate people in the right roles at the right time. By developing a positive company culture, setting achievable company goals, and maintaining an efficient hiring process, turnover rate will decline and new hires will be more motivated and invested than ever.
Hire Qualified Staff
Develop job descriptions and pre-hiring requirements prior to interviewing for job openings. Hiring managers should have a goal of hiring the most experienced, motivated and productive employees you can with the budget you have available. Look beyond newspaper ads for qualified workers. Ask for referrals from existing employees and industry colleagues, and solicit applications from online job boards and universities.
Train Your Staff
Once you have the right people on your payroll, have a goal of providing them with formal training to ensure that they know the functions of their jobs and have a firm understanding of your performance expectations. Provide ongoing continuing education in key areas, such as customer service and sales. Arrange for job shadowing for complex positions so new employees feel comfortable in their roles before tackling them on their own.
Use Smart Scheduling Practices
Regularly monitor how many people it takes to effectively staff your business shifts. When making schedules, have a goal of always taking into consideration the knowledge, experience and personality types you’re scheduling to work various shifts. For example, it would be unwise to schedule a shift full of brand new employees or to match up colleagues who have demonstrated they don’t work well together.
Have Contingency Plans
You never know when an employee will call in sick or quit without notice, or when your company will experience an unanticipated rush in business. Be prepared for emergency staffing needs with on-call or backup employees. Consider a goal of connecting with a reputable temporary staffing service that can help you fill roles at the last minute when needed. Also do your best to ensure employee vacation timelines are always considered when assessing staffing needs for a given time.
Have a goal of cross-training employees so they have a good working knowledge of how other positions in your business operate, a great way to do this is through a training program. In the event of a temporary heavy workload, having employees familiar with other roles in the company can be a valuable asset. This approach also gives employees the opportunity to expand their own professional horizons and empathize with team members.
Be a Mentor
Being a small-business owner affords you the opportunity to provide a greater level of employee mentoring than your large-business counterparts. Have a goal of helping interested employees advance their knowledge of the field and push themselves toward ambitious professional goals. This will help you cultivate a motivated, knowledgeable and loyal workforce.
Regularly poll employees about their satisfaction levels. This will let you know if employees feel over-worked, underpaid or unappreciated. Survey customers and clients about their experiences as well. This will help you gauge if you have your shifts appropriately staffed, and determine if employees are providing solid service or if they need additional types of training.
Develop a Goal and Reward System
Smart goals are becoming increasingly popular in performance reviews and professional development. Human resources personnel, like HR managers, often have set metrics or competencies for evaluating employee performance and business objectives, but employee retention and performance management can benefit from implementation of setting goals. This begins with organizational goals before setting recruitment goals, and employees setting career development goals. Milestones and goals can increase productivity amongst coworkers, effective goal examples will include a time frame, and way to measure completion.