Are you aware of the fact that eight out of ten businessmen or entrepreneurs suffer from failure during the first year of their business endeavor? This figure can be a way troubling indeed and this makes you feel more determined when it comes to achieving your business goals. This is because you are simply being triggered by the fact that you have the persistence and tenacity to make yourself a successful businessman.
The truth is that whether you have just began or have established an enterprise, successful businessmen would usually get to the point when they already find it hard to manage things all by themselves anymore. This made me realized when I had my first employee hired for my business operations. I really felt surreal. I said to myself that I finally made it and concluded that I was already successful.
However, growing a business to the height that you already need to hire more workers or employees can put you in a scenario where a great deal of challenges abounds. This simply puts you in a situation wherein you are now not only in charge of yourself but other people as well. In short, it is you who is responsible for your people’s livelihood, development and work. There are lots of things to deal with, indeed.
And just like putting up a business, recruiti9ng and hiring people to work for you is also risky. In fact, an erroneous hire is good enough to cost your business thirty percent of your yearly income or revenue. The bad effects continue to occur at your business’ bottom line. Also, dealing with the effects of a bad and erroneous hiring decision is also potential enough to cost an excess amount of your valuable time and of course, the trust and loyalty of your clients and customers as well.
Thus, it is highly advised that initially, it is a good idea to elective with the people whom you want to work for you and your business. Choose your employees carefully without being immobilized by your fear. The fact is that hiring someone new into your business organization gives you the feeling of running a whole new business. But it should not cause much difficulty at your end.
The truth is that I also had my share of mistakes – mistakes that you can find on this list. For sure, you may find some of your mistakes here, too. What you need to put into your mind is to continue learning, growing and expanding as a leader. You’ll see, as your business grows you need to shoulder the responsibility of keeping it afloat.
The following are the common mistakes that you need to watch out for especially when you are already on your way to creating your own business team:
- You’re not Treating Every Team Member as a Person
Many businessmen commit the mistake of hiring their employees by simply basing on what they see on their application letters and resumes. Well, that’s not a good way to hire. You should go beyond reading those papers. Make it a point to know the applicants as persons.
Be able to learn about what they doing. Maybe an applicant has a particular hobby or skill that could impact your business well. For an instance, an applicant is very much inclined to writing then this should make you realize that the applicant’s writing prowess is something that can help you to market your business.
Even when the information that you have learned isn’t used, your applicants or employees are much happier to know that they are treated like real persons instead of robots that need to work according to your instructions.
Businessmen often gather together their workers using what is known as generational stereotypes. For example, you must have already read books and articles that talk about millennials which are claimed to be entitled and lazy. In every group of persons, I am quite sure that there are those who are entitled and lazy. However, I know of many millennials who are known to be very industrious, can be reached easily and are devoted and dedicated to their jobs.
Your ticket to overcome such realities is to bury the stereotypes especially when you are referring to or speaking with your team. Be able to focus your attention on their personalities, goals and skills. These can help you in aligning every team member’s skills and passion, helping you in the development of a highly enhanced and well engaged team.
- You are Using Financial Motivation Only
We have to face the truth that every person is, or at least a little financially motivated. There’s nothing wrong with being financially motivated. You see, a worker usually has to pay bills and it’s a good idea to treat yourself with something special even once in a while. That’s normal. However, if you treat your workers like all they expect from you is cash or a paycheck, you are doing them a harmful action.
There are actually many ways or factors that affect the motivation of your employees. In a recent survey, more than eighty percent of respondents said that they would have considered a job that comes with a lower pay if it comes with health benefits and/or the freedom to work anytime or in flexible hours. Do not think that I am saying that money is not important.
You need to pay what is due to your workers so that they can live comfortably. Apart from that, you also need to take note all the other important benefits expect from their employment. There are people who look for clear and perceptible benefits like holidays and vacations. There are also those who look forward to finding a sense of purpose while working.
Employees that are motivated are known to be more productive by forty percent than those who are not. Thus, this gives an employer the assurance of having their revenue increased or multiplied by 4.5 times.
At Intel, an experiment was conducted by Dan Ariely and he discovered that providing employees with cash bonus and other cash incentives was the most unlikely and worst motivating factor for employees. This experiment entails measuring the factory workers’ productivity in the department where computer chips are assembled. These employees were divided into four different categories, with each category provided with an incentive that’s different from the others:
- Cash bonus
- Manager’s compliment
- Free pizza
- No incentive
The results have been gauged in the weekend and it was found out that those that received cash bonus had performed worse by 6.5 percent than the others. Thus, the cash bonus incentive had cost much of the company’s fund due to lots productivity. In short, it didn’t work to motivate workers at all.
What is really surprising is that the groups that have the highest output were the ones that were only given compliments. For many people, the “feeling good” sensation about their performance is the kind of motivation every employee needs to work at his best. In short, a little dose of appreciation can prove to give you more possibilities along the way and your team deserves that for always.
- Your Long Term Vision isn’t Shared with Your Team
Remember that when you are running a business with a team of employees, it really helps to be in the same stage at all times. This means that you all work together in consonance to your business’ vision, mission and values. Recently, a Gallup poll manifested that an estimated forty percent of millennial workers have the feeling of connection to the vision of their company.
As a leader, the most appropriate thing that you need to do is to give your workers the assurance that every step they make is an essential contribution that helps spell out the mission and success rate of the company. This system is made possible by Starbucks. For the year 2017, Starbucks has already made it possible to flourish more than 24,000 store locations all across the globe and its mission is to become their customers’ “third place.”
Starbuck’s founder Howard Shultz wants his shops to give customers the sensation of having the next best place to work and feel at home. In other words, Starbucks locations are all tagged as “a customer’s third place” and this is being conveyed to all of its employees all the time.
And to help customers really get the engagement they want, Starbucks made it possible to launch a website known as My Starbucks Idea. This website allows customers and employees to send their ideas to make every customer experience much better at any Starbucks location. From the time this website was launched, it had already made more than 150,000 new and unique ideas.
By way of inviting other people to share their ideas that align with your company’s mission and vision, it will be possible for you to create an affirmative culture that is composed of well-engaged customers and workers. However, this won’t happen unless you communicate and relay your company’s mission statement.
So, what is your mission then? Basically, the mission of your company is anything that defines “why.” It is why you established, implemented and operated your business and the kind of hope that you wish to realize globally. As a matter of fact, 61 percent of employees are not familiar or aware with the mission statement of their company or employer.
Keep in mind that your workers are not capable of reading your mind so it is not surprising that many of them do not know your statement mission. To help your employees learn about your state mission, it is a good idea to always tell and remind them about it during your meetings or even individual demonstrations.
For example, if you will be announcing your software product’s brand new feature, it would be nice for you to say, “We are adding a feature that allows our users to have their statements printed because we aim to make their accounting tasks a breeze, and we also realized that there are still many people out there who still prefer paper copies.”
Talking about the goals of your company in a constant manner can let your employees see the effects of their contributions especially in the forward movement of corporate objectives. During personal meetings, it is always best to tell your employees regarding their present works status as well as their future plans.
Make it possible to have a one-on-one meeting with each of your employees at least once a month. This kind of meeting can be utilized to check how each employee performs. Make them understand the mission of the company. Be sure to deliver constructive and positive feedback your employees might be able to use to remain at the right track.
- Ignores Tough Conversations with Your Team
As I can see, a business leader wants to work without scaring his employees. Businessmen who have this kind of mindset usually don’t want to be tagged as the company’s bad guy. A tough feedback can be hard to deliver and it isn’t easy, of course but it should not be something that should destroy your mood either.
These days, more than 60 percent of business managers are very much uncomfortable when it comes to communicating with employees. This figure is actually alarming and worrying at the same time. Out of this figure, 37 percent do not like communicating with employees who might consider the talking as something unacceptable at their end.
If you are an entrepreneur, rendering constructive criticism or discipline to your workers might seem to be harder and more difficult. Always be reminded that you have built your company all by yourself and from scratch so you just need to answer your own questions. And it is hard to manage other people and their performance if you are used to managing just your own self.
But feedback makes an effective way to enhance the growth of a team. In fact, even your top employees require constant constructive feedback regarding their performance. What you just need to be reminded of is to be very specific. For example, you are working in a hotel and the managed tells you, “I did not like how you treated that customer.” Hearing what your manager tell you that thing would make you feel that you wanted to improve. But do you know where you exactly went wrong?
Your manager wasn’t precise enough to tell you the exact wrong thing you did to that customer. The manager should have voiced out his opinion this way, “Sam, the next time you tell a customer that every room is accommodated, please see to it that you should have handed them a discount coupon for their next visit and bill. You see, we practice surprising and delighting our customers in this hotel.”
Now, that’s much nicer and better.
If you were Sam, you are now aware of the exact attitude that you need to change in the future. Good feedback is always essential to keep your team grow. And when your workers have done great things, you need to be very specific as well. Do not give feedback when it is constructive.
A few words of feedback can help you a lot especially when it comes to boosting the morale of your employees. If you were the manager of the abovementioned hotel, you might tell Sam, “Your shift for the day is highly appreciated especially during this very hectic and busy season. Your dedication to our team is well appreciated, too.”
- Not Empowering Enough
Many business leaders find this thing as something tough for them to learn. Basically, it is a connotation of the belief that one man isn’t capable of running the world when’s he’s alone. So, if you are a businessman or entrepreneur who finds it hard to delegate tasks to your team members then you are not alone. In fact, there are many businessmen who are so protective of their companies, making them think that they are the only ones who can perform tasks correctly.
Unfortunately, this could not be farther from what is known as the truth. If you are not delegating or empowering, you are actually limiting the growth potential of your company. By simply delegating and assigning tasks to your employees, you are simply freeing up your time and attention to focus on your company’s big ideas. On the other hand, doing all the tasks all by yourself makes it impossible for you to think for the improvement of your business.
You need to remember two important things that can make you feel happy and content when it comes to the delegation of work in your company:
Being specific does not necessarily entail giving direct feedback to your employees but giving them the right, proper and specific direction as well. By doing so, the task that you want to get done will be returned to you according to your expectations. You also need to be very specific about your reasons why you have picked that particular person to do the task that you wish to delegate.
You can say it this way, “Hey Mark, I have picked you to do the monthly customer reports for the company because I am sure about how you really care about our clients and customers. I am certain about the trust I am giving you with this job.”
Have Your Goals Connected to Your Tasks
Remember that you cannot just assign tasks without having to look back. Be sure to let your employee know the purpose of the task to the goals of your company. Think that a well-informed worker is a well-engaged employee. See to it that Mark is aware that your monthly reports are important for understanding your accounts’ health and the organization’s overall profitability as well.
- You are not Always Available
How can you be able to delegate your tasks effectively when employees find it hard to reach you most of the time? Having a meeting with your employees at least once a month can be a great idea but you need to keep in mind the availability of your presence especially during impromptu questions and urgent or emergency situations. The fact is, you cannot delegate whatever you want without participating or involving yourself at all.
A robust and regular communication with the company’s management can make your employees feel that they are important and valued. At this point, they knew that everything that they will have to say will be heard. To implement this effectively, an “open door policy” should be observed. This entails the freedom of any employee to come to you anytime with a problem or solution that needs to be urgently addressed by you.
With an open door policy, you can gain the trust of your employees in the process. Many workers want to feel that they are a part of a large working team and the freedom to talk in an open manner is the ticket to create this kind of work environment.
Moreover, you need to make sure that every employee is informed about your company’s rule regarding open door policy. Tell them that your door is always open so that they can come in anytime to relay their ideas and concerns about the growth of the company.
- You are Changing Company Rules without Telling Anyone
An ideal company always comes with a worker/employee handbook. This handbook is normally handed out to newly hired employees so that they can get ideas regarding the benefits and other important things about the company. It is also here where you can find policies that have something to do with non-competitive agreements, dismissals, dress codes, etc.
The employee handbook is a very significant document that lets newly hired employees know what they can expect from the company. But if everything found in your company’s employee handbook isn’t implemented and observed then what’s the point of giving it to each of your employees?
If the handbook modifies and describes how your company makes a decision then it should be done and followed how it says. If it says that decision-making has to be one way then it has to be carried out that way and not in a different manner. A disagreeing employee might feel slighted and feeling of distrust would surely kick in.
Businesses often change in their processes all the time so as to handle varying issues. This is normal. But if you are going to give an employee handbook to your worker, be sure to have the contents updated. And if you wish to come up with changes with your company rules, be sure to let each and every person in your company know about these.
When you were hired, you were allowed no to wear your uniform during Fridays. All of a sudden, an alteration about the company’s dress code took place and you weren’t informed about it. After a few weeks, you received a memo and a disciplinary action from your manager simply because you did not wear your uniform on Friday. You might want to think that the decision of your manager was a way outrageous and ridiculous.
Not to mention the embarrassment that you have felt because of your ignorance or unawareness of the changed rule. Is it your fault? No, it isn’t. It’s the company’s fault because it has the responsibility to relay and communicate all changes taking place in the company.
If you fail to communicate changes to your employees then this might make other people think that you are practicing favoritism. Why you were put in trouble for not wearing your uniform on Fridays when your manager allows others to wear anything?
Doing favoritism evidently can create negativity quickly. It can also force employees to resign and leave. As the leader or owner of your own business, you need to be very careful about the ‘playing-favorites’ attitude.
- You are not Giving Rewards to Your Company’s Top Performers
You do not want to appear like you are playing the favoritism game especially when one or more of your employees need special attention due to their commendable performances. Yes, giving rewards to top-performing workers is not an act of favoritism. With such rewards, you can show that you are a fair judge or boss who simply recognizes the hard work of every employee in your company.
In a career growth survey, 41 percent of the total respondents said that they would leave their present employers so as to make advancements out of their careers. While there are many good performing employees are motivated by way of career growth, be sure to provide lots of opportunities for the future leaders, allowing them to grow responsibly. Be straight and open about how you emphasize and implement your company’s succession plan as well.
See to it that your company’s top performers realize that one day it is not you who will sit in your office to serve as the company CEO anymore. In reality, the time will come when someone who is as good as you will step inside to do your job. Your top performers can easily get bored if they do not get the constant challenges they want.
Make sure that every team member comes with a development plan (it has to be personal) that allows them to set out new development and growth goals. This plan should be updated yearly during the annual review of the employees. Every employee will usually have goals that are different from the others, as well as the things that keep them motivated.
To keep you top-performing employees, you need to avoid mistake number 1 on this list. Be sure to know all your employees as persons. Be able to learn about the things that motivate them in order to bring out the best in them. It should be well understood that not making a good team is the number three most common reason why new companies or businesses fail. Hand onto your company’s top performers – you should remember that for always!
Evidently, business success will never be achieved without encountering many challenges, difficulties and mistakes. You commit these mistakes but they are a good way to learn in the process. Ideally, you won’t make a similar mistake again and again.
As your company grows, you need and require more people to help you realize your company’s mission. This holds true whether you want to hire an CEO or CFO. Mistakes are simply inevitable and I can say that I have made plenty of them when I started my business. I remember putting up a business and it really was a big flop. But I have realized that the number of failures does not matter much especially when a great deal of lessons are learned from each failure.
After my failed business, I utilized my marketing skills to establish and launch a brand new business. With a small budget in hand, I, along with my con-founder have made it possible to build it to more than a hundred thousand users. Learning the right ways on how to hire and manage good people was the hardest thing I had to learn but in a way, I consider it as the most rewarding.
Many owners of businesses claim that giving an above-standard pay can attract and keep top performing workers. In fact, you don’t need much money to motivate the best people in your company. Be able to learn about handling tough conversations. Take the time to learn to delegate and control your temper as well.
Above all, be able to learn to praise and appreciate every team member’s unique talents, skills and contributions. And, don’t forget to say, ‘thank you’ to them quite often.
So, what’s your plan in relation to the growth of your team? If you have one already, what do you consider as the hardest thing that you had to deal with especially when it comes to managing others?