Integrity is possibly the most important trait you should possess. Employees must be treated equally and fairly, as should every customer and vendor. You must remain professional at all times, using diplomacy and tact to discipline undesirable behavior. In addition, you must always lead by example.
Here are some tips for building respect:
- Set the example — be certain that you remain in compliance with all company policies.
- Keep a positive attitude. If your employees are to stay positive you must set the example.
- Smile and be cheerful, but do not tell jokes or play pranks.
- Remain professional and somewhat impersonal at all times.
- Do not share personal matters with any employee.
- Do not give advice regarding personal matters – refer employees to professional counseling.
It is imperative that you hire honest, hard working individuals with proven track records – not just any warm body that walks through the door. Never lower your standards to fill a position – your other employees will question your integrity and resent you for hiring a problem that they have to deal with on the job. It is your responsibility to hire individuals who can easily adapt to your company policies. Therefore, you must obtain a complete history on your job candidates. Be certain that your application forms request employment history for the past 20 years – include the statement “Attach additional sheets if necessary” on your application.
Thoroughly check references. When calling references, ask for “Human Resources” instead of the person listed on the application (some applicants will list a “friend” – not management.) If Human Resources can only provide the dates of employment, ask if the applicant is re-hirable. Then ask if the person listed as a reference on the application is qualified to by the company to be a reference.
A stable work history and home life are essential elements required of your staff. Obviously if the applicant has not held a job for at least one year, nor has viable reasons for terminations, the potential for problems in your company are high. Of course there are exceptions; certain young people may make exceptional employees, but have no substantial work history. In this case you should check school references and religious leaders, then go with your gut feelings.
Provide Clear Direction
It is imperative to have an employee handbook which includes complete job descriptions and company policies, because without clear direction each employee will have a different perception of what their responsibilities are based upon their past work experiences and personal ethics. Warning certificates and regularly scheduled performance evaluations are essential management tools which assure compliance with company policies and procedures.
Evaluating performance is an essential part of your job. It is mandatory that you provide regularly scheduled performance reviews, and that they be filed in the employee’s personnel record for future reference. A formal evaluation should be conducted annually for all employees. New employees should have a formal evaluation at 6 weeks and 6 months.
It is of utmost importance that you give feedback based on specific standards and achievable goals to which all parties agree in advance. Therefore, an employee handbook must be provided to each new employee. The new employee must sign a compliance agreement which will be filed in their permanent record. Employees are then held accountable to follow every policy in the handbook, or they must resign. Should an employee be required to resign, then your personnel files will be proof to deny a claim against your company’s unemployment benefits account.
Part of the performance review is to set goals for the employee. Using the evaluation worksheet, comprise a list of improvements the employee must strive to accomplish before their next review. For example, goals for a cleaning technician might be to improve their attention to detail and increase their speed. Goals for the office assistant might include better accuracy in record keeping and improved efficiency of written communications.