FirstLight Franchise Blog

Building a Strong Small Business Team

Finding the right employees for your small business can be time-consuming, difficult, and sometimes confusing. You’re not searching for just anyone, but people who share your passion for small business and industry recognition. You’re hoping to find employees whose work ethic, attitude, and values reflect your business’ mission, goals and values. So, how do you build a solid small business team? Here are five simple tips that may be easier than you realize:

  1. Ask the right questions. Get to know your current and potential employees by asking specific questions that pertain to their character and work ethic. For instance, ask them how motivated they are to make a difference for your customers. You don’t necessarily need to always hire the candidate with the most experience or “perfect” background. Remember that some of the hardest working and most passionate workers have to start somewhere. If they are committed and passionate enough about your business and industry, they can be trained and taught. Often, candidates who are easy to train and motivated to learn and succeed are the employees who grow the most professionally, and find themselves promoting up in to new positions.
  2. Acknowledgement. Allowing employees to feel comfortable with open communication enables them to voice their opinions and suggestions without feeling judged or overpowered. Acknowledge your employees through their opinions, ideas, and accomplishments, and you will create an environment of growth. Remember, some of the best ideas come from front line workers.
  3. Challenge them. Your employees will have a tough time growing professionally if they aren’t challenged enough. Ask them to perform a task that’s outside their comfort zone or that isn’t a part of their normal, daily tasks or routine. How well do they respond? What did they learn? How did they grow from the challenge? Sit down with them afterwards and ask them these questions, receive their feedback, (acknowledgement), and help them to build confidence in themselves.
  4. Be an example and mentor. Your employees are only as good as their leader. Who is going to fill your shoes when you retire or promote? In many cases, your employees! Be on the lookout for employees who seek to continually improve themselves. These are the employees to reach out to, mentor, inspire, and teach.
  5. Support their support system. Your employees’ families are important to them; therefore, they should be important to you as well. Employees’ families support them and, in most cases, play a large role in their every day happiness and well-being. Value their families through consideration and company events like dinners, “bring your kid(s) to work day, honoring special holidays, understanding family emergencies and special occasions, and hosting company parties that include employees’ families. Remember, if an employee is having difficulties at home or handling personal family stressors, they probably aren’t as focused or motivated professionally. Understand and respect their needs and wants. Your employee will feel acknowledged, valued, and understood, and will give back by continuing to work harder for you and your business.

At the end of the day, an employee wants to feel appreciated and have a strong sense of self-worth and satisfaction, both professionally and personally. Through acknowledging employees, sending and receiving feedback, openly communicating with one another, keeping them challenged and providing learning and growth opportunities, a strong small business team can be established and maintained.