Start-ups and small businesses play a crucial role in the economic prosperity of South Africa. They are an important source of job creation. Seeing as though the IPM is dedicated to good people management practice in all types of workplaces, not just large organisations, in this blog we focus on how to manage people in your start-up or small business.
Hire people who love what you do, make work fun
According to Mark Cuban’s 12 rules for start-ups, you should only hire people who will love working in your start-up. Of course there is no foolproof way of ensuring that you hire the right people. And in a sense this could and should apply too all employees, irrespective of the size of your organization. But start-ups and small businesses can place a lot of pressure on employees given the requirements for them to often wear more than one hat. Fewer pairs of hands mean that one person may have a more diverse range of activities in their role, and these could change quite quickly, especially in start-ups as they grow and the business needs change.
Are you hiring people who will love and relish the flexibility that is good for this type of working environment? Rule 12 is this: ‘Make the job fun for employees.’ Do you do that?
Learn to delegate, to free your time and to keep employees engaged
Even if you don’t see yourself as a natural leader says HR Pulse in their article ‘5 rules for managing people in your start up’, you can still develop your skills. Learning to delegate is essential. You do this by tasking out small activities, initially of a more repetitive or administrative nature. As your employees grow and develop with your support, you can gradually delegate more. It’s hard at first to let go. However not only is it good for you to focus your time where you can create most value, but your employees will also need some challenge and autonomy to keep motivated at work.
We hear this one crop up so often. Employees need to be really clear on what is expected of them, but they also need feedback so that they can improve and deliver optimally within role. If you do not communicate well, you could be unwittingly disempowering and frustrating your employees, which means you wont get the best of them. They may even leave you. In a talent-scarce economy, that could put your business at risk.
Start-ups may involve more uncertainty for employees, so try to be open and honest about the business and where it is headed.
What are your top tips for managing people in a start-up or small business? We would love to hear your experiences.
The IPM provides a range of services to assist your to up your game in the people management stakes. Have you considered IPM Membership? Find out more here.