MANAGING BUSINESS RESOURCES

Entrepreneurship-and-Communication-Skills-notes

MANAGING EMPLOYEES

One of the keys to successful businesses is the employment and retention of the right people. However the employment of staff also brings with it legal obligations, including:

  • Provision of a safe working place as per the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • The need to have a policy dealing with discrimination and harassment in the workplace;¬† and
  • Payment of minimum wages and provision of conditions.

Employment Conditions

All employers have certain legal obligations to their employees, including:

  • Paying correct wages;
  • Ensuring a safe working environment;
  • Supporting an anti-discriminatory and anti-harassment workplace;
  • Taking out workers compensation insurance;
  • Paying superannuation contributions;
  • Paying a range of employee-related taxes.

Employees may be entitled to:

  • A range of leave entitlements;
  • Notice of termination and severance pay;
  • Protection from unfair dismissal or unlawful termination.

All employers in Kenya are required to comply with, and exhibit a copy of, all relevant awards applicable to their workplace.

To motivate and retain staff:

  • Try to pay staff electronically or cheque – avoid cash.
  • Introduce staff incentives that encourage sales.
  • Acknowledge staff performance and encourage good working morale.
  • Determine the reason for staff turnover, if applicable.
  • Identify training needs of staff and encourage ongoing learning.
  • Be aware of occupational health and safety (OH&S) issues and have risk management policies and processes in place.
  • Ensure that staff and clients have facilities that will enhance relationships and satisfaction levels.
  • Review the decor and layout of your premises to ensure that you are conveying the most professional and appealing image to clients.

Personnel Selection

If your business will be large enough to require outside help, an important responsibility will be the selection and training of one or more employees. You may start out with family members or business partners to help you. But if the business grows – as you hope it will – the time will come when you must select and train personnel.

Careful choice of personnel is essential. To select the right employees determine beforehand what you want each one to do.

Then look for applicants to fill these particular needs. In a small business you will need flexible employees who can shift from task to task as required. Include this in the description of the jobs you wish to fill. At the same time, look ahead and plan your hiring to assure an organization of individuals capable of performing every essential function. In a retail store, a salesperson may also do stockkeeping or bookkeeping at the outset, but as the business grows you will need sales people, stockkeepers and bookkeepers.

Once the job descriptions are written, line up applicants from whom to make a selection. Do not be swayed customers who may suggest relatives. If the applicant does not succeed, you may lose a customer as well as an employee.

Some sources of possible new employees are:

  1. Recommendations friends, business acquaintances.
  2. Employment agencies.
  3. Placement bureaus of high schools, business schools, and colleges.
  4. Trade and industrial associations.
  5. Help-wanted ads in local newspapers.

Your next task is to screen want ad responses and/or application forms sent employment agencies. Some applicants will be eliminated sight unseen. For each of the others, the application form or letter will serve as a basis for the interview which should be conducted in private. Put the applicant at ease describing your business in general and the job in particular. Once you have done this, encourage the applicant to talk. Selecting the right person is extremely important. Ask your questions carefully to find out everything about the applicant that is pertinent to the job.

References are a must, and should be checked before making a final decision. Check through a personal visit or a phone call directly to the applicant’s immediate former supervisor, if possible. Verify that the information given you is correct. Consider, with judgment, any negative comments you hear and what is not said.

Checking references can bring to light significant information which may save you money and future inconvenience.

Personnel Training

A well-selected employee is only a potential asset to your business. Whether or not he or she becomes a real asset depends upon your training. Remember:

  • To allow sufficient time for training.
  • Not to expect too much from the trainee in too short a time.
  • To let the employee learn performing under actual working conditions, with close supervision.
  • To follow up on your training.

Check the employee’s performance after he or she has been at work for a time. Re-explain key points and short cuts; bring the employee up to date on new developments and encourage questions. Training is a continuous process which becomes constructive supervision.

Personnel Supervision

Supervision is the third essential of personnel control. Good supervision will reduce the cost of operating your business cutting down on the number of employee errors. If errors are corrected early, employees will get more satisfaction from their jobs and perform better.

Motivating Employees

Small businesses sometimes face special problems in motivating employees. In a large company, a good employee can see an opportunity to advance into management. In a small company, you are the management. One thing you may wish to consider is to give good employees a small share of the profits, either through part ownership or a profit-sharing plan. Someone who has a “share of the action” is going to be more concerned about helping to make a success of the business.

Simpler ways of motivating employees include:

  • Introduce staff incentives that encourage sales.
  • Acknowledge staff performance and encourage good working morale.
  • Determine the reason for staff turnover, if applicable.
  • Identify training needs of staff and encourage ongoing learning.
  • Be aware of occupational health and safety (OH&S) issues and have risk management policies and processes in place.
  • Ensure that staff and clients have facilities that will enhance relationships and satisfaction levels.
  • Review the decor and layout of your premises to ensure that you are conveying the most professional and appealing image to clients.



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