As a fellow entrepreneur, I can advise you well about what mistakes not to make. Because I made all these mistakes myself, and plenty more. and learned the hard way – so you don’t have to!
The following list details some of the bonehead moves I made and caution you not to make these small business mistakes.
No Written Job descriptions
Having a well-written job description is a simple but profoundly effective method of avoiding incorrect hires and having to fire many employees.
By you taking the time to write down exactly the work you expect from the employee you develop the position as you craft the description. This is a time for you to thoroughly think through what actions you want your new employee to take.
Additionally, when you review this written description with your employees they become clear on what is expected of them and what they need to deliver to maintain satisfactory job performance.
Make this document a hard copy printed piece of paper which allows your employees to take it home and review to be sure they understand and accept your job requirements.
Too many companies have these job descriptions safely stored on a digital system that does nobody refers to. Make the document easily accessible and portable to review at any time.
Skipped Background Checks
In today’s world, I recommend that every employee is background checked, within legal guidelines, to protect you and your company from any nasty surprises.
You do not want to find out after hiring an accountant that they have spent time in jail for embezzling from their prior employer.
Also, you want to uncover all issues in their background whether it’s criminal, such as domestic violence or driving drunk, or credit issues and bankruptcies you must know this information and discuss it with your employees before you hire them.
Employees have secret passwords
Surprisingly many companies have key employees who have passwords known only to them personally to log into their business workstations. When they leave or are fired it is a disaster to try to get this vital information from them to access their computers.
Instead, it should be mandatory that all passwords for all employees be known by the IT team and upper management at all times. Plus your employees should not have the ability to change their passwords at any time to prevent this type of secret system that locks you out of your own computer system
Recently I spoke with a company whose top administrator left for a competitor and they could not access the ex-employees computer system. They continually contacted her she said she had forgotten the password. So it cost the company $750 to hire an IT professional to hack into their own computer network. In addition to this loss of monies, it delayed this firm’s ability to contact their customers, follow-up on work in process by the ex-employee and continue to run their business as usual.
It is worthwhile to check your employee’s passwords on a regular basis to be sure you know them and they are active. Most professional IT teams do this on a monthly basis, they log in to everybody/s system using the password of record, then they reassign new passwords for cyber security.
No Protocol Action for when employee leaves or is fired
This mistake was illustrated in the prior point where the company did not have an employees password to their computer. Have a written checklist protocol for your company actions to take when any employee leaves your company or is fired, or dies. The checklist would include passwords being changed, customers being contacted, work tasks reassigned and projects in process reviewed.
Have a written checklist protocol for your company actions to take when any employee leaves your company or is fired, or dies. This checklist would include passwords being changed, customers being contacted, work tasks reassigned and projects in process reviewed.
Heed these cautionary tales and take these simple, but important, actions to protect and support your company’s success.
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