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Hiring Your First Employee?? Stop… Read This First!!

Hiring Your First Employee?? Stop… Read This First!!

I get a lot of small business owners asking me about what they should do if they’re looking to employ their first employee.

Looking for your first employee can seem scary and hugely risky. 

  • What if they don’t work out?
  • What if they ruin your customer relationships? 
  • What if they are more hard work than return?
  • What if you don’t like them? 
  • What if they aren’t productive enough? 
  • What if they cost too much and produce little or no ROI? 

All of these concerns are valid, but often it’s seen as an unknown and business owners metaphorically close their eyes and hope for the best.  That’s a risky strategy when playing with peoples lives, so I’d like to share with you a better strategy that yields much bigger returns and makes business and life more enjoyable.

You see, people, most people, don’t start out with a bad attitude.  They don’t start a new job with, and attitude of “I’m going to be miserable and do my worst”.  Most people, and I say most, because there’s always the exception, start a new job with hope.  Hope that this is an exciting new opportunity, that will bring with it, growth, certainty, direction and hopefully a bit of connection. 

So what do we do, as small business owners to harness this hope? 

Often on their first day, we are flat out, busy, no time to stop, so we just say, watch me and we carry on.  Or they start and we haven’t got their work station ready, their log ins sorted and we may even forget the basics of giving them a tour, showing them the toilet, where to park etc. It’s usually on this day, that that hope starts to fade, and as their days continue, if we don’t have a clear strategy, they lose a little more hope each day, until they get to the point where they say “I’m miserable, I’m not putting in any effort anymore.”

I get it, it’s busy, you’re under the pump and you’re just trying to make ends meet.  Stopping to do that would mean that you’re not producing revenue.  But, here’s the thing.  You either have short-term gain and long term pain, or long term gain and short term pain.  Which do you prefer?

If you prepare your business well the first time and you run the systems required to meet your employees needs, then you will absolutely reap the benefits in the long term.  It’s like a fruit tree.  You don’t plant the seed and expect fruit same day.  A tree that’s planted in the right environment, nourished, watered and cared for will yield massive returns in the future, over and over again. 

So how do you provide the right environment?

I’m going to give you a step by step process, which when you implement effectively, will absolutely give your team member the very best chance at being successful in your work environment.

  1. Be clear on your Vision, Goals and Values
  2. Establish clear KPI’s for each role in your business and extract them from the business goals
  3. Write a very clear Job Description (if that’s all they were to do, would that be enough)
  4. Formulate your Job Ad using your Job Description
  5. Document your expectations – I usually say, this is a list of everything that will piss you off if they they don’t do it.  This is attitude, punctuality, style of customer service, dress etc.
  6. Interview with questions relating to the Job Description and Expectations
  7. Also ask questions to elicit their values, to ensure they’re a match with yours.  (Values are important because that’s what determines behaviour, and you cant easily change someones values)
  8. Create an Induction Pack, including
    1. The Vision, Goals and Values
    2. Job Description
    3. Your Expectations
    4. The role’s KPI’s
    5. A training plan and what you expect from them performance wise in the first 6 months
    6. Take them on a tour of the work place showing them toilets, parking, introduce them to people if relevant (suppliers, customers, contractors etc).
    7. Go out for a coffee and go through the induction pack with them, ensuring they understand and are asking you questions.
    8. Set a time, same day, same time each week where you meet as a team (even if it’s just the two of you), to discuss results from the last week, based on their KPI’s.  This is also where you can hold them accountable to the agreed actions of the past week, without it costing you brain space or time during the day.
    9. Create a standard meeting template document that asks the right questions which will give you a clear picture of how they are performing and coping in your work environment.  It will also help you identify where they need help.
    10. Run this meeting Every. Single. Week.  Doing this is an indication to them of how valued they are in your work place.
    11. Meet with them on a regular (daily in the beginning, if possible, weekly if not – to teach them something new.  Again, same time each week. 
    12. Once per month, take them out of their work environment for a cuppa to officially check in with them.  You can create a standard template for this also, reminding you to ask things like, how are they going, how’s their partner/family?  Ask if there are any concerns, questions they have?  Give them feedback on how you feel they are fitting in with the business.
    13. Every 6 months, perform an offical review, based on their Job Description. Using a standard template is a great way to observe improvements.

I acknowledge that this does seem like a lot of work and yes it can be, however, with the use of lots of templates, once it’s set up and the systems running, it will only cost you ;

  • 2-3 hours on their first day
  • 2 hours per week (1hr for meeting, 1hr for training- Variable, depending on the training you offer)
  • 1 hour per month
  • 2 hours per 6 months

In return, you’ll have a happy, engaged and committed team member who loves working for you and will do what it takes to get the job done.  Which means, no more recruiting for that role, no more basic training once their competent and no loss of revenue.

There are many other suggestions I have for ensuring that your team are happy and productive within your work environment, however starting with this process will take you a long way.  If you’d like help with the implementation of this process or would like the templates tailor made for your business, let’s have a chat and see if I can help you get this up and running in your business sooner rather than later!  Click here

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