But what about when it is time to hire a second employee, and a third? How can you make sure to manage your employees fairly?
While following federal and state employment laws come first and foremost, they are not the only elements to be concerned with as your company grows. As your human resources management tasks add up, be sure to consider the following tips for long-term success.
Hire by the book
This is the part of your business where it helps to be boring. Yes. Boring.
Consistency is key for completing human-resource management tasks smoothly. While it may seem generous or nice to treat employees on a case-by-case basis and set up employment policies that work for each of them, this tendency can create disparities between employees and cause tension.
To avoid stress, keep your employment policies as close as possible among new hires. Do not rely on your memory to recall what steps you took last time you hired an employee, either.
If you do not have a human resources plan, employee handbook or hiring task list, it is wise to sit down and prepare these guides for your business. Not only does it treat each employee equally and fairly—it helps your management team act consistently as well.
Doing things “by the book” may not be exciting, but it can make your life easier.
Plan for staff growth
When you hired your first employee, you might have been desperate for a first mate to stick by your side as you navigated the waters of your growing business. That person might complete many diverse tasks in a given shift and act as a generalist to assist you.
Once you move past your first employee, though, it is important to more clearly define the roles for your new hires. Before you write that job description, think of specific tasks you need help with and how a new hire might best serve the short and long-term goals of the business.
While cross-training can help your business run seamlessly—and everyone might need to pitch in during busy periods—having particular staff members dedicated to specific areas of work will streamline your day-to-day operations and help your team work better together.
Shine your “boss” badge
As a small business owner, you might work closely and for long periods of time with your employees. But a close relationship does not mean you should be unprofessional. Set boundaries between you and your employees by adhering to company policies, limiting off-hours communication and setting a good example around your team.
As your staff grows, you may not know new employees as well as the people who helped you get started. You can still develop a personal connection with these new staffers through regular staff meetings, brown-bag lunches and periodic one-on-one check-ins.
By communicating regularly and professionally, you will be a leader your team looks up to.
Not sure what steps to take to refine your human resources management skills? Contact a SCORE mentor to discuss your questions about adding new employees to your small business.
Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the SCORE Association. She is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR, and communication efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies to facilitate the growth of SCORE’s mentoring and trainings services. She collaborates with SCORE volunteers and develops SCORE’s online marketing strategy. Find out more: SCORE.org