How to Manage Your Workforce
A business is only as good as its team(s). Whether your business team is 5 people or 50, you are responsible for managing their effectiveness and productivity. So how do you manage a workforce well? You start at the beginning.
Create an Employee Handbook
Before you can successfully hire employees, it is important to have a basis for training, work conduct and all other policies. Put policies in place that you can and will uphold. This handbook should be given to each employee to make certain that they know the expectations and consequences of failing to abide by those expectations.
TIP: Your Employee Handbook should address the following topics: Non- Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), Invention and Intellectual Property, Conflict of Interest Statements, Anti-Discrimination Policies, Compensation, Work Schedules, Standards of Conduct, General Employment Information, Safety and Security, Computers and Technology, Media Relations, Employee Benefits and Leave.
Handbooks: Employee Handbook.
Codes: Code of Ethics
Policies: General Company Policies.
Be slow and diligent in hiring. Make sure to verify all references and prior employments, employee's names, and tax file numbers. Maintain an employee job description in the handbook. Maintain a competitive employee benefits package and use a payroll service provider. Retain a labour lawyer to avoid expensive claims and penalties.
TIPS: 1) Evaluate potential employees by brains, competency, passion, and integrity. Do more than one interview before hiring: How does this person like to work? How do they thrive? What kind of rewards work best for them?
2) Maintain ongoing training programs and keep all employment records at least four years.
Checklists: 19 Strategies for Hiring the Best, Employment Agreements, Pre-Interview Questionnaire, Knowledge Worker Interview Questions, Job Applicant Interview Script, Questions to Avoid During an Interview.
Guides: Interview Guides, Job Descriptions.
Forms: Employment Application, Applicant Appraisal Form, Driving Record Check Letter, Educational reference Check Letter.
Worksheets: Job Requirements, Applicant Selection Criteria.
Organise Your Personnel Department
Please try to find a name different to Human Resources (“HR”). Humans don’t like being considered useable/disposable resources. Whatever name you choose to call it, this department encompasses all the tasks related to future recruitment, retention, safety, employee relations, compensation and benefits, policy compliance, training, and development.
It also keeps track of all the important employee information. This department is imperative for the success of a company because they are constantly at the heart of what is going on relationally and legally with each employee.
TIP: People are the most important asset in an organisation so do not overlook the importance of being well organised regarding all aspects of your people. Here is what the personnel department should keep in your employee’s files:
Personnel File – application, emergency contact, disciplinary actions, resume, handbook signoff, contact info, job references.
Payroll Files – Payroll files contain a history of the employee's jobs, departments, compensation changes, garnishments, loans, and other information essential to paying an employee and keeping a copy of the employee's compensation history.
Employee Medical File - is also maintained. The employee records in the medical file are not available to anyone except designated staff and the employee whose records are retained in the file. Medical files, because of the confidentiality of the employee records, receive the highest degree of safe storage and confidentiality.
Checklists: Personnel File, Bullying & Harassment Investigation.
Guides: Interview Guides, Job Descriptions.
Forms: Employee Emergency Notification, Payroll Deduction, Absence Form, Direct Deposit, Overtime Authorisation.
Worksheets: Commission Lists, Commission Summary.
Spreadsheets: Employee Records, Employee Shift Schedule, Employee Time Record, Time Sheet, Bank Request.
The company starts with the employees, so what kind of vibe do you want your company to have? Google is known for its creative, innovative atmosphere. Microsoft is more about business and keeping everything organised and structured. Both vibes reach out to an audience and workforce.
TIPS: 1) Think of businesses in your industry that you respect for their vibe and atmosphere and choose what works for yours.
2) You do not need to offer free lunches, have ping pong tables or beer for all staff once a week but you need to make sure you are creating a company culture where people enjoy their job and their work environment. Sometimes it’s the little, inexpensive things you add that can make a difference.
Incorporate Helpful Workflow
Get a good project management / team collaboration application. Whether you use Yammer, Basecamp, Asana or any other, make sure that your software is helping your workflow, not hindering it. Maintain clarity and structure. Offer regular feedback and small milestones to keep everyone invested and on track. Communicate deliverables and assignments clearly, with a special emphasis on defining who the point person is on a given project. And build-in discrete endpoints and deadlines to keep your company moving forward.
TIP: 1) Look for ways to systemise the workflow. For example, when do you send out wage/salary payments? Who organises those payments?? Design a step-by-step system for correlating work done, time, invoices, and payments.
2) Invest in technology. Just like software, any technology that aids in your workflow efficiency is worth the investment. Maybe your Financial Secretary needs his or her own printer or your marketing department could use a new camera. Talk to your team and ask what technology might help.
If you train each employee the right way the first time, you will save a lot of time down the road. You will also avoid any character clashes related to differentiation in training. This means following all the policies outline in your employee handbook. Update training often and promote professional growth on your team – allow them to take classes, seminars and attend meeting to increase knowledge. Recommend these and publications.
TIP: Train them to be independent of a manager but show respect to whatever manager they have. Cross-train everyone. If someone is sick and that important document needs to get to that client, you will know that your team can handle it.
You are the leader. So, lead by example and show leadership by building an atmosphere of mutual respect and fun, ensuring constant communication with all team members. If somebody did something good – or bad – tell him or her immediately.
TIP: Solicit employee ideas, respect individuals outside of their job, give meaning, constructive feedback, appropriate praise, keep an open door policy, practice transparency and honesty, prove support for employees who need it, and follow all the policies outlined in your handbook.
Checklists: Personnel File, Bullying & Harassment Investigation.
Surveys: Employee Compliance, Employee Satisfaction, New Employee, Motivation.
Forms: Employee Correction, Notice of Employees Unsatisfactory Behaviour, Record of Disciplinary Action and Proposed Changes, Reprimand, Warning Notice, Employee Appraisal, Employee Complaint.
Correspondence: Congratulations on A Job Well Done, Complimentary Letter to Employee on Handling Difficulty, Complimentary Letter to Employee on Handling Emergency, Congratulations on Increased Sales, Congratulations on Outstanding Achievement, Letter of Appreciation.
Worksheets: Employee Job and Motivation Improvement Meeting.
Your management team should be leaders like you. Make sure the employees can respect them, and that they are exhibiting proper behaviour that makes employees proud to be part of the company. Like you, make sure they uphold all the policies outlined in your handbook.
TIP: IInstil in them these 7 things: 1) to identify and define the needs, 2) to select and engage, 3) to establish expectations, 4) to understand and develop skills and knowledge, 5) to provide and receive feedback, 6) to manage the work environment and 7) to grow and extend careers.
Forms: Peer Improvement, Superior Improvement.
Agreements: Management and Administrative Services.
Worksheets: Management Audit, Evaluating Management Performance, Performance Evaluation, Self-Evaluation.
Make goals and benchmarks clearly known and make sure to follow through with whether or not you met those goals. Look ahead at where is the marketplace is going, the challenges your company might face, and the solutions you might need. Lend a hand where necessary and do not be hesitant to share knowledge and expertise. And lastly, lead with vision, displaying a broad imagination.
Worksheets: Organisation Wide Goals.
Consider instituting paid independent projects, flexible hours, and even telecommuting. Your employees might benefit from a change in scene. But for those who need structure, design a system and environment for them to thrive. Make sure that your work environment is suited to help each employee do the best at his or her job.
TIP: Keep in mind the entrance interview you did – your employees probably told you how they work best. So do not be scared to offer conditions outside the “standard” 8 to 5 schedule (at the office).
Some of the most effective leaders have devised unorthodox incentives. These can include enhanced mentoring, offering an increased role in large meetings, even giving employees the chance to take control of a "passion project" on company time. Ask your employees what they believe in, and find ways to provide genuine, subjective value in exchange for great work. Also, design economic incentives for all levels of employees, not just the management. If each job is important to the company, each employee should know that.
TIP: Showing you to treat everyone equally is a good incentive by itself.
Checklists: Workers Compensation Claims, Compensable Work Chart.
Forms: Reimbursement Medical Expenses.
Agreements: Executive Medical Reimbursement Plan, Employee Share Purchase Plan, Health Reimbursement Arrangement Plan (HRA), Indemnification Agreement for Directors, Notice of Grant of Stock Option, Profit Sharing Plan, Simplified Superannuation Plan, Executive Protection Agreement Change in Control, Income Continuation Protection Agreement.
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