If you’ve just acquired your first employee to manage, then congratulations! You’ve achieved an important milestone in your business journey.
Having an employee changes the dynamics of your business. You will no longer think about how much solo work you can endure, and you will have to set up guidelines and expectations for your new employee.
There’s no strict guideline on how you should manage your employees, but there are some general tips that can help. Check out these five tips on managing your first employee.
Once you’re ready to hire your first employee, you’ll need to create an employment contract.
How a contract looks will vary, but some general items you should include in an employment contract are the job title, compensation, probation period, benefits, sick leave, vacation time, and general nature of employment. You should also include a termination clause.
You should also consider creating an additional contract, like a non-disclosure agreement, if you’re heavily dealing with sensitive business information you don’t want to be shared. If you don’t include a separate non-disclosure agreement, you should include some sort of confidentiality clause in the initial employment contract.
All contracts should be signed and legally agreed to by both parties.
You might have included your expectations for your employee in their employment contract, but you should talk to them and elaborate on what you mean.
For example, you might have written that you expect your employee not to say anything bad about the company in your contract. You should elaborate to your employee that means they shouldn’t go on social media and complain or reveal sensitive information to a news media outlet.
Your expectations don’t have to be rigid and should adapt as the company changes and grows.
It’s one thing to have high expectations, and it’s another to have reasonable expectations.
You shouldn’t go too crazy about what you demand from your employee. They have a life outside work and can only do so much. Sure, jobs can get stressful, but you shouldn’t be operating a business to the point where your employee is on the verge of a mental breakdown.
Avoid going overboard with the amount of work you give to your employee. Don’t be too hard on them when they mess up and offer to help if things get out of hand.
It’s important for your employee not to become stagnant in their job.
While your company may not have a tremendous amount of room for advancement, you still need to encourage your employee to expand their skillset and challenge themselves. Your company can only grow so much if you have one employee with a limited skillset.
You should consider offering incentives to your employee if they’re able to learn new skills. This could be in the form of a one-time bonus or maybe an extra vacation day.
While you might be used to not having to communicate with others outside of your clients, you need to ensure you’re responsive to anything your employee might need or have a question about.
This doesn’t mean you should be messaging them constantly or hovering over them like a hawk. Instead, you should make sure you have a communication channel always open in case they need to reach you. Consider doing a daily check-in in the morning to see if they have any questions or to tell them about new developments.
If you’re going to be away for a while from the office, tell your employee so they don’t have to worry if they can’t reach you. You should also disclose if you plan to take a long vacation and how your employee can reach you in case of an emergency.
Managing your first employee is a big responsibility. You could almost think of it as having a significant other.
Odds are you’re bound to make some mistakes in the beginning, and that’s fine. Managing your first employee is a learning experience. What’s important is you learn from your mistakes and continue to build a good rapport with your employee.