Tips for Supervising Employees

BY JEAN D. SIFLEET

TOP TEN

1 | Hire carefully. Hire for attitude; train for skills. You are better off with an employee who has a good attitude and really wants the job than one with a bad attitude who may be more knowledgeable.

2 | Establish workplace standards. Communicate your expectations. Make it clear what is expected from dress code to telephone manners.

3 | Provide training. Offer opportunities for growth and development, and since your behavior sets the tone for the office, be careful to model the behavior you want employees to mirror.

4 | Recognize and reward high performers. Use incentive compensation to recognize and reward the employees and behavior that make your business successful.

5 | Weed out weak performers. Firing is painful but necessary. Retaining poor employees drains productivity.

6 | Invite employees’ input. Staff members know what’s really going on. Solicit their feedback.

7 | Communicate. Establish a regular schedule to keep employees informed and engaged.

8 | Deal with problems sooner rather than later. Do not delay in addressing a problem. With a positive tone, discuss the issue privately with the person and then, if appropriate, communicate a policy to the entire staff.

9 | Develop strong processes. Cross-train employees and document procedures so anyone can be replaced.

10 | Treat employees consistently. Problems arise when staff members are treated differently for vacations, overtime, holidays and continuing education. An employee handbook clearly establishes the policy for everyone.

Source: Jean D. Sifleet, CPA, JD, Clinton, Mass., www.smartfast.com .

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