Managing Talent The Right Way

Running your own business often involves a great deal of multitasking, particularly when you're on your own and don't have a team. You end up being your own accountant, secretary, PR manager and strategist.

At some point though, as your business and the number of clients you are serving grows, it may become necessary to expand your team. You can do this by outsourcing certain tasks to a third party contractor, or by hiring. In addition to choosing an individual with the right set of skills and cultural fit, it's also important to consider your responsibility to your employees. The best type of working relationship, is one in which all of the parties involved can achieve tangible benefits in a supportive environment. How does this apply to your relationship with your employees?

1. Pay: This is probably the most obvious incentive there is and as a start-up it is important to be clear that the level of pay may be limited. Despite the limitations that may exist, it is important to make sure that the way that you structure your salary scheme is proportional to how much work you demand from your employees.

2. Leading by Example: The best way to communicate to your employees how you would like them to behave is to exemplify that behavior. Would you like your employers to show up on time for meetings? Then you should be on time for them too.

3. Encouraging and Rewarding Innovation: A common complaint among entrepreneurs is that employees just don't want to think for themselves. They'd rather have everything spelled out for them, otherwise it just won't get done. For some people, no matter how much you encourage them to share ideas, they are more comfortable with just following instructions. For certain tasks, this is appropriate. But if you'd really like to encourage independent thinking then reward it. Give your employees a bonus, take them out to lunch or just show them happy you are to have them on board.

4. Personalization: Small businesses are often known for their personalized approach to customer service. They know their customers well and remember all the details. Why not take the same approach with your employees? Get to know them and take an interest in how they're doing, while remaining professional. If you care about your employees, they will more likely than not care about you and your business.

I've spent a lot of time discussing what employers need to do. This doesn't mean that the success of your business depends solely on what you do as an employer. Employees also have their responsibilities. No matter what you do, there will be some employees who will not do their best and will under-deliver. But there are those out there who are eager to make a positive impact on your business and by creating the right kind of environment, you've already won half of the battle.

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