So you’ve just hired your first employee. Congratulations! Now what?
If you’ve hired an employee, you’ve probably seen an uptick in your business and need someone to help you handle it. Adding more staff to accomplish more work It’s a simple enough concept, but many small business owners have no experience managing people. Unfortunately, employees aren’t robots that come pre-programmed to do what you want (yet…?) and their success is ultimately tied to your ability to train them. So what steps should you take to get your new hire to be a benefit, and not a drain, to your business?
How to train your first employee
- The first thing to lay out for your new employee is the overall strategy for the company. Rather than beginning by running him or her through the process step-by-step, making sure they have a sound top-down view of how the business operates will allow them to make decisions based on intuition instead of panicking.
- Once that’s done, walk your first employee through their expected day from beginning to end. Doing it in proper order will make the instructions easier to remember as it will remain as one extended command instead of a series of confusing and/or forgotten instructions. Other than the brief business overview in step 1, try to avoid bogging down your hire with specific information for duties they won’t be undertaking. Keep it simple!
- Prepare your employee for their average day. Let them know what their standard duties and workload will be. Opening with this helps reduce their new-job anxiety and can help reduce your turnover. Only after doing this should you discuss “worst-case scenarios” and emergency situations where they may have to wear many hats. Explain what they may have to do in rare occasions and make sure they’re prepared to do it, while reminding them that it will not be a normal part of their duties.
- Try to be as hands-off as possible. Start your first employee as soon as possible and watch them to see how they do. Correct them as needed, but remember that doing is more effective than watching.
Deciding what tasks to reassign
Your first employee hire is as much about them taking on new responsibilities as it is about you giving up some of the burden. An important step is to decide what day-to-duties you would want a new employee to take over for you. Try to measure how much of your day is taken up by all your duties and how you value them — where is your time the most valuable? It’s your duty as a small business owner to maximize your revenue. Just remember that your employee likely won’t be as skilled as you are, and the role(s) you want them to fill should be based on their abilities as well as your needs.