By WENDY SELLERS
Q: I hate micro-managing but I do not trust my employees to get their job done.
A: It sounds like you might be part of the problem. Why don't you trust them? Did you hire or acquire the wrong person for the job? Are the job requirements unrealistic? Do you have the wrong leader in charge? Could there be poor communication on your end? Are there any processes and procedures for the employees to follow thereby setting clear expectations for your accountability actions?
We spend most of our waking life at work, so it is very important to trust those around you.
An ironic twist to your dilemma is that a Harvard Business Review survey reveals 58 percent of people say they trust strangers more than their own boss. Furthermore, the Great Place to Work Institute has documented that committed and engaged employees who trust their management perform 20 percent better and are 87 percent less likely to leave the organization. What does that mean for leaders? To a large extent, the way you lead your people has a dramatic impact on their level of engagement on the job.
Q: I am not great at training but I know my staff needs mentorship to get all this information out of my head so I can focus on our patients and growing the business. What advice do you have?
A: This is a very common predicament. A few things you can do are as follows:
- Start recording conversations with your employees - or conversations with yourself - that refer to process and procedures and then ask someone to type them up (you can use online and free technology to translate voice to text).
- Organize your notes to use as Standard Operating Procedures. This allows you to be crystal clear with expectations and job requirements and then hold the team accountable.
- You can do the same with your smart phone and record videos or series of pictures of procedures.
- Request that an employee who is detail oriented and great at note taking shadow you for a few hours a day over a month and delegate the above tasks to them.
- You can contact a local college and request a business intern to assist in this initiative.
- Hire a business or process consultant who help you determine what to change for efficiency or risk purposes.
- Whichever route you take, expect this to be time consuming but an investment in your business future.
Q: I am friends with my staff which is making it very difficult to have performance conversations. What do I do?
A: Often when people tell me, I was just promoted to manager, I tend to chuckle and say "no, you now have a whole new career." Managing people is not what it used to be. People not only want to be engaged, mentored and recognized - but todays workforce demands it. Transitioning from a colleague and friend to a manager that has to hold their friends accountable for actions and behaviors is hard on most relationships. The saying "it is business, it is not personal" sounds legit but honestly it is simply not true. As a human being, everything is personal. With that said, I recommend that your approach be professional, empathetic, fair and consistent with all staff - no matter what your former or current friendship status with them is or was. Sit down each staff member, review their job duties in detail, ensure they understand how they will be held responsible for those job duties as well as their behavior at work. Set up weekly or monthly one-on-one conversations to make sure you are both on the same page with open, two-way communication. Never make assumptions that someone "gets it" because if they don't, you have one person to blame - yourself.
Q: As a small business owner, what laws do I have to abide by?
A: This information is taken directly from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions website.
If you have at least one employee: You are covered by the law that requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work to male and female employees.
If you have 15 to 19 employees: You are covered by the laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, disability and genetic information (including family medical history). You are also covered by the law that requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work.
If you have 20 or more employees: You are covered by the laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability and genetic information (including family medical history). You are also covered by the law that requires employers to provide equal pay for equal work. (https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/smallbusiness/index.cfm)
"The HR Lady," is Wendy Sellers, leadership coach, author, speaker and COO of BlackRain Partners www.blackrainpartners.com, a business consulting company focused on coaching, training, development and HR. She has a Master of Healthcare Administration, a masters in human resources, SHRM-SCP and SPHR certifications. Wendy's leadership book, "Suck It Up, Buttercup" is on www.Amazon.com