There are pros and cons to operating as a team of one. You don’t have to rely on or answer to anyone else on work that’s produced. Or manage multiple schedules and deliverables as they exchange hands.
On the flip side, everything falls on you. There’s no one to delegate tasks to when up against the clock or bounce ideas off of when running on empty. It’s also, of course, nearly impossible to grow your business beyond a certain threshold without more hands to help build it.
If you’re wanting to expand your team, clearly define your “why”. And keep these tips in mind for recruiting, training and motivating employees successfully.
Go in With a Plan
Why are you wanting to hire someone? It’s a seemingly simple question that deserves some meaningful contemplation — because the answer will have a direct impact on you, your business and whomever you offer a position to.
Develop a job description with a clear list of expectations and responsibilities. This should include a mix of specific, experience-based qualities as well as soft skills. It’s great if someone knows how to manage a budget but are they able to communicate their needs clearly and juggle priorities?
Additionally, think through how you’ll go about searching for qualified candidates. Make a list of job boards worth posting to based on your industry, understand the costs (relative to both time and money) and strategize on how to tap into your networks for referrals.
Develop a Simple Orientation Program
A key component of hiring is training. You want to set new hires up for success from day one. It may be tempting to simply hand off your least favorite todos and set them loose, but this can end up costing you more in time spent revising or redoing work later on.
Additionally, if a new employee doesn’t feel welcomed or supported, they may be likely to leave as quickly as they started — leaving you back at square one.
Just as you’ve spent time thinking through the kind of person you want to hire, think about how to be the kind of company people want to work for. Have a working definition of your business vision, company values and principles, and rules and policies to present.
Foster innovation culture by encouraging participation and assign new employees a designated mentor or coach to touch base with for questions. Train your team from the start and make it a regular occurrence to help avoid complacency.
Check in With Your Team Regularly
Motivating your team requires regularly checking in on performance and mental health. You shouldn’t approach one-on-ones as a chore. These are times to build relationships and better understand what employees need to do their jobs well.
Ask questions about their life and show care for their ideas, feelings and concerns brought to light. Employees are people, not cogs in a wheel. Treat them as such and you’ll build a stronger, more accountable team as a result.
For a more in-depth discussion on the steps to take for recruiting, training and motivating employees, dive into our recent webinar on the subject.