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Getting the right staff is one thing but then being able to keep them and keep them trained so they add value to your business is crucial.

You have to reward your employees who need to know that they’re valued members of your business and contribute to its success.

This means that you must have regular communications systems in place that gauge how your employees are going, along with ways to measure and reward their performance. Structured weekly meetings between a manager and their team members not only monitor work in progress, they can pick up frustrations that your staff may experience before these get to the problem stage. A frustration is generally related to a systems problem, which you can encourage your employees to write (if there is no system) or improve (if your existing system appears to be faulty hence causing the frustration).

Every business should have a system for employee performance and appraisal.

Aldous Huxley would probably have called them social engineers, but human resources (HR) specialists is probably the term more appropriately given to those organisations that play a key role in helping businesses shape a firm’s employees into better players.

Anne Bartlett-Bragg is one such consultant who provides professional development service and training to small business. She is also a university lecturer in human resources.

Bartlett-Bragg says that performance and appraisal should link closely to the job description and done at least once a year as ongoing underperformance can cost your business a lot in time and productivity.

She says you can buy good off-the-shelf performance appraisal products. If you find them too cumbersome, modify them and use their framework rather than the full process.

Aim to give all your employees the opportunity to perform their roles to the best of their abilities, and with sufficient guidance and training.

Bartlett-Bragg says giving your employees a statement about your vision/mission and objectives is crucial so they understand what you’re trying to achieve. How can people contribute to the success of a business if they’re unsure about its vision and objectives?

Share your policies and procedures manuals with your staff so they understand your intentions and expectations about important issues. And finally – your staff are such a valuable asset to your business – enjoy them, develop them and treat them how you would like to be treated yourself!

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Published on: Wednesday, May 11, 2011

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