4. Have your employees’ backs.
If you want your employees to make great decisions, you have to give them the freedom to make their own decisions.
For example, our front-line customer service employees don’t need permission to make a customer requested change to accounts or to acknowledge employee successes with timely gifts. We do this because empowered employees better serve customers. There’s no need to leave a customer hanging in order to get “manager approval.”
In addition, employees crave trust and responsibility. While letting go can be the most challenging part of being a manager, it’s absolutely essential for happy employees, and as a direct result of this, happy customers.
5. Invest in leadership.
There is an old adage that suggests, individuals do not quit a company; they quit a manager.
To help ensure that good leaders are hired at your organization, focus on the recruiting and hiring process. Create a clearly defined job spec that includes what the manager will do and the type of individual you’re looking to hire.
You want to hire someone who not only has the skills and experience you need, but also has the right character for your organization. Hold multiple interviews with multiple people to ensure the consistency of the candidate’s answers and their cultural fit in your organization.
You can even source managerial candidates from your employee population via an employee referral bonus. When a candidate is referred from inside, there’s a better chance they will fit culturally. In addition, the referring employee is likely to be an important advocate for that manager during the critical early days on the job.
The market for top-notch talent is tough.
As a small company, you may be competing (for potential workers) with Zappos and countless other startups. Therefore, expect that every employee departure will trigger a difficult, time-consuming recruiting process.
Ultimately, when you create workplace conditions that allow your employees to be engaged, driven, productive, and happy you will give your business a competitive edge.
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This guest post is contributed by David Wexler, the VP of Human Resources at FreshBooks, the leading cloud accounting specialists for small businesses.
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