Hiring your first employee is a big step.
You’ll want to make sure that you help your new hire to maximize their performance. We suggest following four steps that are simple, but time tested:
1. Set the right goals
Goal setting is essential. It helps employees to prioritize their activities and focus their efforts. The goals must be meaningful to the employee. There should be sufficient rewards for goal achievement and consequences for failure. This will ensure that achieving the goal will rise to the top of the employees “to-do” list.
Near the end of his life, H. L. Hunt, the self-made oil billionaire, was asked to name the requirements for success. He answered, “There are only two real requirements for success in life. The first requirement is deciding exactly what you want (setting goals). Most people never get to that point. The second requirement is determining the price that will have to be paid to get it and then resolving to pay that price.”
2. Develop a plan to reach the goals
After setting goals with the employee, put together a plan to achieve them. To accomplish a goal, the employee will need to commit to a plan. A goal without an action plan is just a dream. It’s not real, and it’s probably not going to happen. It’s equally important to agree on a date, and possibly a time, when the employee will complete each action step. This will create the necessary push to get the work done in a timely manner.
3. Empower the employee
To maximize the chances that your employees achieve their goals, you must empower them. This means three things. First, properly train your workers to do the tasks necessary to achieve their goals. Then you will need to motivate your team. There should be rewards for success and consequences for failure. Finally, you should remove roadblocks that are within the company’s control. Following these steps will result in your employees more consistently achieving their goals.
4. Evaluate performance and make adjustments
Once the three steps above are complete, you have to assess performance and make any necessary changes. We’re not talking about annual performance evaluations. A formal write up may only happen once a year, but effective management requires assessing performance much more frequently. For employees that are new to the organization or learning a new task, you may need to assess performance daily or perhaps even more often than that. Employees who have demonstrated competence may only require weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly meetings to discuss performance.
Managing people is difficult. It’s not an exact science and there is no magic wand that will ensure you always get it right. Even the best managers make mistakes. The good news is that managing people well is a skill you can learn. With work, you can improve your capability in this area. Doing so will take a concerted effort on your part, but if your company is going to thrive, your skills as a manager will be of paramount importance.