When you are either in small business or thinking of opening a small business it is imperative to remember to give your employees feedback……every day.
Key: Don’t keep ‘em in the dark!
I was commenting on a forum the other day and the topic was staff evaluations. There was much talk about templates and forms and such, all the HR stuff that makes me laugh and sometimes squirm. Someone has gone to school and/or taken a seminar on the formal staff evaluation process. What a waste of time in my opinion. If you are sitting down with a member of your team you should be asking 2 questions and 2 alone. They are:
- Tell me how you “make” me money?
- Tell me how you “save” me money?
If they do not fall into either of these categories, then they “cost” you money and that is not a good thing for either of you.
In business you are looking at a couple of things every day.
- Improving Customer Service
- Increasing Sales
- Controlling Costs
Quite simple really isn’t it. If those are the keys to your business success why should you care about all those other issues being raised on a “formal” employee review form? You shouldn’t. So don’t waste your time and effort. Keep the whole process simple and evaluate people all the time rather than once every six months. If everyone knows what the business is looking for – and it is simple – then evaluations can be conducted on the fly during every shift.
Doesn’t that make sense? People ask how a ‘back of house person’ can affect sales. Simple really. Let’s look at an accounting clerk. If he or she is pleasant to a supplier, when you need a favor from that supplier they are more likely to want to help if they perceive your business as being one that treats others with respect. So, when you run out of an item on a delivery day and need more stock delivered the following day, they will do their utmost to help you.
Sales people can help you save money as well as make you money by watching their expense accounts. Night cleaners can impact the quality of the guest experience and promote repeat customers by keeping your physical plant in tip top shape.
Therefore, at the end of the day all the fancy employee evaluations are a waste of time and paper. Keep an eye on your employees daily and clearly define your expectations for them. If they know what is expected of them, the more likely it is that they will achieve positive results.
As far as the HR professionals in your organization are concerned, keep them busy helping with recruiting and training. Those are useful function and ones that will help you build revenues and cut costs through lower turnover. If you have the right people in the right positions doing the job right, then your business world is going to be a happy place.