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Today's business environment and the attitude and expectation of employees do not lend themselves to the old command-and-control style of management. Gone are the days where the boss sends a flurry around the office when he cracks a whip in the morning before you’ve had your first cup of coffee.
Hiring new people for your firm is both exciting and risky. On one hand, bringing new ideas, experience and enthusiasm into your business can reinvigorate your existing teams and drive your business forward. On the other, there’s always a risk that the person you hire doesn’t quite fit—or doesn’t really have the skills or experience you were expecting.
Butting heads The old adage “agree to disagree” has been tossed around often enough during heated discussions. But if the dispute arises from your customers, contracts, employees or debtors, you need to move quickly to resolve it or face far-reaching consequences on your business. In some cases, it may be impossible to avoid complications. However, there are some fundamental steps that a business owner should take to minimise the impact of a dispute.
In my coaching work, one of the most typical challenges business owners experience is pushback from team members because of changes the business is implementing. Similarly, when facilitating team advisory boards, I regularly hear this: ‘the biggest problem around this place is communication.’ Here are some examples that you might relate to: My team doesn't like the new system we have put in place to manage inventory. A couple of customers have said they don’t understand why we want to change our pricing policy, and we’re feeling the brunt. Everyone is behind what we are doing in this business except for one person—he has been here for 25 years, stuck in the old way of doing things and won’t change. With the exception of the third example above (golden rule of buy-in—you do NOT need buy-in from people who should not be on your bus!), the most likely reason you are facing these challenges is that you have not explained WHY you are doing something. You see, there is a real difference between implementing a new inventory system, and explaining the reasons for such a strategy. Some firms I have worked with have used this simple script and found it to work well:
When should I hire a new employee? This is a question that has plagued many small business owners as they plan for—and then experience—a growth phase. There is no easy answer, but in general, it’s better to be prepared than to scramble around looking for an extra hand when the workload increases. Ideally, you would plan in advance and have a flexible, part-time employee from as early on as possible just to help with the administration. The idea is to train him or her to handle essential but non time-critical work.
A great cake to top off a great year As the final icing on our cake this year, we were recognized in the top 5 best places to work in New Zealand. We placed fifth in the 2012 Kenexa Best Workplace Awards, which is a first for us. It’s a big win, considering they had a record number of nearly 300 entries this year. At MYOB, we have a simple rule. If you want your company to run better, make sure your team is happy. It’s even reflected in our slogan: Love your work. It sounds cliché but it does work.