An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

Author: Will Oden
Publish Date: Jun 27, 2019 09:46 AM EDT

19 08 08 07 16 57 original an ounce prevention

Is your interview process identifying the best candidate, or are you just filling seats and hoping for the best? For many small-business owners, the hiring process is complicated, stressful, and exhausting. You make countless important decisions every day, but no decision has the potential to impact your business as much as hiring.

It is our natural disposition to move quickly to get things done. But when it comes to hiring, it is the absolute worst thing you can do. If you rush filling a position, odds are you will soon be doing it again. Hiring the right person starts with asking the right questions as part of an effective interview process.

By adopting a structured and comprehensive hiring process, you are taking the first step in positioning your business for success by attracting the right talent. Now that you have hired your rock star, that is only the first step. Equally as important is how quickly you can successfully integrate a new employee into your business and its culture. It all starts with employee onboarding and orientation. For new hires, orientation is often a one-time event where co-workers introduce themselves and explain their roles within the business. While an orientation agenda can often be boiled down to a checklist, onboarding is a series of events that helps a new employee understand how to be successful in their day-to-day job and how their work contributes to your overall business. When a new hire is made aware of important aspects of their jobs and given role clarity, they can quickly become productive contributing employees to your business.

Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, when speaking of successful organizations once said that it's essential to get the right people in the right seats on the bus. This begins with your interview, orientation, and onboarding process.

Employee and Manager Training

Training your employees about sexual harassment, discrimination, how to report that behavior, and how to conduct an investigation when it is reported, goes a long way towards your company avoiding the risks that accompany such illegal employee behavior. You spend so much time recruiting and onboarding a quality workforce. Protect that investment. Such training, repeated annually helps to mitigate your risk. Actions of managers/supervisors can hold the company liable, so it is a good idea for frontline employees and managers/supervisors to attend. Proof of attendance at a class teaching these subjects helps to show your employees and, if necessary, later down the road, the government that you take all this seriously. When the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigates a charge of sexual harassment or discrimination, one of the first questions it asks the employer is what type of training do your employees and managers undergo? Pairing solid training with an effective written EEO policy, sexual harassment and anti-discrimination policy and practices and ensuring that employees have multiple avenues of complaint to management is a powerful package and a good first line of defense.

Performance Management

Performance Management starts with a commitment to a high-performance culture and begins with the hiring process when a job is defined. Concise well-written job descriptions and clear workplace policies are essential since both provide clarity regarding expectations connected to work. Performance Management is not a static event where a supervisor reads from an evaluation form once a year. In order to engage employees in their development, supervisors must provide proactive and timely feedback that offers the opportunity for a two-way conversation. The performance management process is used for both performance (substandard performance) and discipline issues (unacceptable behavior, attendance).

Often business owners have received no formal training in managing challenging employee issues. If you have an underperforming or disruptive employee, we can advise you on how to approach those difficult conversations as well as best practices on documenting performance issues and ending the employment relationship to limit your potential liability.

Exit Interviews

Do you know how to conduct an exit interview  that will help you better understand what you could have done to keep a departing employee? As a business owner, retaining your top talent is a priority . As part of your commitment to providing a positive work experience for employees, it is important to gain the perspective of a departing employee, both positive and negative. Their feedback will help you identify ways to continually improve the working environment. It is important to ask the right questions, but nearly every exit interview should help you identify opportunities for improvement. Look for patterns in feedback to identify possible issues that  you can address as needed.

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