7 Workforce Management Tips for Small Business Owners
Dan Levenson August 10, 2018
Are you a new small business owner hiring employees for the first time? If so, you’re probably just starting to realize how hard it can be to oversee your workers.
One of the most challenging aspects of running a small business is hiring great people and keeping them around to ensure your company remains successful. That’s why workforce management is so critical.
Here are seven basic tips for workforce management, along with a few considerations and warnings.
Understand State and Federal Employment and Hiring Laws
A major part of being a small business owner is knowing and obeying your state and federal employment and hiring laws. Failing to understand and comply with these laws, such as the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), can lead to facing lawsuits.
It’s imperative that your business has EPLI (Employment Practices Liability Insurance). This is insurance coverage that protects a business against the various threats linked to the hiring process. An EPLI insurance policy covers a wide range of risks, including accusations of sexual harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour law violations, contract violations, and other threats.
Be Sure All Your Company Policies Are in Writing
No matter how casual you strive to make your workplace, all of your company policies should be documented in writing instead of just given orally. One of the primary reasons is for easier and clearer employee training. Not to mention, it’s often easier to settle disputes and manage tricky situations if there is written documentation to refer to.
Your new employees also need to understand all the steps involved with their tasks in order to perform them well and not feel like they’re out to sea with no guidance. They need to be provided with detailed job descriptions and receive systematic training that is well documented, so they can jump right in feeling prepared.
Get Your Payroll in Order
A huge part of any company’s operations is payroll. As an employer, you need to ensure your employees are paid on time and their paychecks are correct. Furthermore, there are strict requirements from the IRS as well as your state department of revenue that must be obeyed. These include those, such as wage/hour compliance, withholding compliance, and tax filing.
Set Up a Comprehensive Employee Benefits Package
To be able to recruit and keep your best workers, you must provide an attractive and comprehensive employee benefits package. Keep in mind that the foundation of an exceptional employee benefits package is good health insurance. And if you can afford to provide ancillary benefits such as vision and dental, your employees will likely appreciate it.
Providing paid time from work should also be included, along with pay for sick days, personal days, funeral leave, holidays, and vacations. And of course, don’t forget about maternity and paternity leave for new parents on your growing staff!
Manage and Assign Tasks
When assigning tasks, consider each employee’s unique talents, experience, and work histories. Think of how you can challenge your workers to further develop their skills so that they can remain motivated and productive.
On the other hand, be careful not to micromanage, which means excessively observing and controlling every aspect of an employee’s job. When you constantly look over the shoulder of an employee, you can make him or her to feel inadequate, which can result in a loss of engagement, initiative, and creativity.
Set the Right Business Hours
Effective workforce management involves setting the right business hours. When determining your business hours, you’ll need to consider certain factors, such as the business hours of companies near you and the standard within your industry.
Also, it’s a good idea to have your business open earlier than your competitors. Another consideration is the weather. Often, companies have longer hours in summer, spring, and early autumn than they do in winter when the days are shorter.
Ask Your Staff for Input Regarding Schedule Preferences
Some small business owners are afraid to ask their employees if they would be willing to change shifts, but this is a mistake. Surprisingly, some people prefer a night shift, so it doesn’t hurt to simply ask. Often, parents want to work at night to be able to spend more time with their children during the day.
But before asking, it helps to explain why your business needs for a shift change. Rather than being a dictator, consider your employees’ needs and practice two-way communication.
Other Considerations and Warnings
- Learn to delegate, realizing that you can’t do everything.
- Prioritize communication.
- Offer guidance to encourage staff confidence and understanding.
- Consider hiring an HR manager. Just be sure the person you hire is experienced in your industry and knows the unique needs of your business.
Along with managing your employees well, making sure your business has sufficient insurance coverage should be one of your top concerns as a small business owner. At InsureYourCompany.com, we work with a wide range of businesses in New Jersey and nationwide. Contact us and tell us about your business today!