Employees are often the greatest challenge to the entrepreneur. In most cases limiting employees limits your opportunity. Employees can prove the single largest distraction from the important work of entrepreneurship.
In all my years working as a supervisor, manager, business owner or consultant the single most common thread that runs through all businesses with employees is that of employee management. Employees are in fact customers of yours and with each passing year they feel more like customers and demand more as customers.
Entrepreneurs often end up being crushed beneath the combined weight of regulation and employee expectations. All too often the entrepreneur doesn’t survive. The original mission of creating and operating a profitable business comes second to meeting regulatory needs and making your customers happy. Ultimately you feel hostage. In extreme cases the experience can feel like a public rape leaving you asking why your romantic vision of providing goods or services and creating jobs and value could be turned into a villain’s work.
No entrepreneur that has ground the grist eludes these emotions. But they don’t have to overwhelm. You don’t have to be the maître. There are tools and techniques to improve your bottom line and minimize your employment problems now. They take up front work and they take some follow through, but be assured the effort of being proactive will be 10% of that you will suffer without it.
The key to improved success lies in a strong position description or as Michael Gerber of E-Myth fame would call it a “position contract”. Our companies use the position description as a proactive tool to keep people on track and to serve as an accountability tool that they must live up to. It feels good to have a meeting with a poor producing or bad behaving employee and with no emotion point out in detail the reasons you are counseling them or even releasing them.
Many business owners think a job description is to be a paragraph with a rough outline followed by “other duties as assigned”. In my companies our position descriptions are between 3 and 7 pages. They are very clear and go so far as to break duties down into categories ranging from those duties that are regular and repetitive without room for change and those that expect reasonable and adaptive thinking skills to take care of on the fly.
The position description is then merged with an audit or review tool that matches it.
We’ve introduced position descriptions to our companies, our client companies and even the boards that our employees serve on. They are always met with some level of scrutiny. They are called “oppressive”, “micro-managing”, “restrictive” as well as other words. These comments tend to come from those the description is written for. After implemented, the employer usually feels a great deal of relief and if audited and maintained the staff start to feel much more confident and their focus seems to turn to appropriate focus and execution of services and tasks.
Take some time to research position descriptions and look for examples that seem similar to what I’ve share here. If you want help creating position descriptions that meet your specific needs, you can contact my company at www.commercialresources.com or countless others to have them created specifically for you.
Ultimately it is important for the entrepreneur to reconnect with their original mission and to pull themselves from beneath the oppression of regulations and employee expectations and get control of their role as a customer of the employee. The employee is selling you their time, effort and ability in exchange for pay. The well done position description is your agreement outlining what you can expect as a customer. If you were signing a contract with my firm for the amount of the annual salary of any individual employee of yours, you would likely require a very clearly written and easy to understand agreement. Why not expect the same from those you hire?
Bill Burch is the President of Morgan E. Cline Companies as well as the founder and president of Commercial Resources, Inc., a professional business service provider and professional employer organization (PEO). CRI is a longstanding member of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). Facebook and LinkedIn contacts are welcome and encouraged.