Lean in. Listen well. What I’m about to say is important. It’s one of the hard truths we don’t want to hear, like deep-fried chicken is unhealthy; it may be delicious and soul-satisfying, but a steady diet of it leads to a higher probability of health issues than baby kale salads. Ok, here it is. Your employees are not your friends. I know, it sounds harsh, but let me explain.
You run a small business. The object is to make a profit. At the core, there are higher callings-serve mankind, make the world a better place, elevate the lives of your employees; but none of these worthy goals will be met if you don’t make money. Profits are the means to an end. Lose money, lose your business, lose your opportunity to change the world. So, it’s a business you are running, not a social gathering and these very important people you depend on to keep the wheels of progress spinning are employees, not friends. You treat employees differently. With respect, but differently. If your friend is late for dinner, it’s no problem. You probably shake it off and say no big deal. It’s Bob, he’s always late. If an employee is always late to off-site scheduled jobs, you lose customers. You can’t be as easy going with an employee as you can your friend, Bob. Now let’s dig a little deeper, because keeping good employees is vital to your business. We believe that employee retention is best accomplished with the correct accountability tools.
You already know how we feel about allowing remote employees to text in, email in, write in on napkins or handwritten timesheets their hours. This practice is the major source of drain on profits and it perpetuates dishonesty. Our remote employee management clock in, clock out system is the first step in creating an accountability system that’s fair to all employees. But more can be done to improve employee retention.
Treat employees with respect and have clear, concise and fair expectations. Put these expectations in black and white. Your employees need this as much as you need to do it. According to a survey done by Chicago-based ComPsych, 31% of the respondents stated that “unclear expectations from supervisors” was a major work stressor. This issue is probably compounded if the employees are remote without direct day-to-day supervision. Another survey conducted by Gallup reports that “only about half of employees strongly agree that they know what is expected of them at work.” Solve these problems with an employee handbook. It would outline your expectations, policies and consequences for any violations. According to this article at Legalnature.com, a site that helps you create an employee handbook, they “are a practical and legal way of protecting the company from employment issues arising between employees and the company.” The article goes on to say that employee handbooks can help “avoid any potential misunderstandings and conflict.” An employee handbook can go a long way to increase employee engagement, improve employee retention and create a more productive environment for your employees. Boundaries are a good thing.
Best business practices require a framework of standards and expectations. An employee management time tracking system and employee handbooks are the accountability tools needed to protect profits and ultimately the business. Then you are empowered to change the world. We wish you the best at it!
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