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In this episode, we explore how your growth can begin to impact your staffing needs and the signs to look for that indicate you may need to add more specialists to your growing business.

To listen to the episode hit the play button.

To download the episode, right click on this link  and choose Save Target As.  Go to the folder where you want to save the recording on your device and click Save or Enter.

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And hey, if you like what you hear, please leave the show a great rating and review while you are there on iTunes.

Show Notes

Businesses that move from start-up to growth often start to see gaps in staffing expertise.  When the business was smaller generalists and jack of all trade types of people were able to get the work done and propel the business forward. But as the business grows; the need for more specialized work and workers grows.

Today, we are going to look at the People side of your growing business.  Specifically, we are going to tackle the problem of identifying when you need to bring in more experienced staff and the signs that you may need to start employing more specialists in your business.

Key Points

*Growing businesses will start to see negative effects in the work and workload that must be addressed with more specialization and experience.

*Staffing generalist positions may have gotten your business to this point, but more specialists are needed to get you to the next level.

*Other problems can surface in the quality of the work and we’ll discuss the concept of good is no longer good enough.

*Problems can also occur that work is missed, requirements are not met or work is left undone due to the lack of expertise and experience in certain positions and roles in the company.

*Management level employees will also need to start specializing in a certain area as the company grows and becomes larger and more complex.

*Too many diverse responsibilities that take away from a person’s true skills and value as well as incomplete projects or lack of follow through are all symptoms that the entrepreneur should watch out for.

*Areas of the business where specialization is often needed are discussed as well as business areas that can help strengthen the business.

*Your brand and what you want your company to be known for is also a key factor for staffing decisions and key areas of specialization.

*We discuss how to handle those long term employees who are not automatic fits in the new evolved company based on their lack of skills, specialization or experience.

*Entrepreneur can take steps to make the transition smoother for his company and we talk about those in the episode.

Resources and Links

Note: Links in this post may be affiliate links.  Lisa Roberts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Employee Assessment Flowchart- access that here

Good to Great, by Jim Collins

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Get all the updates and information Lisa shares from Business Rx and the Healthy Business Healthy Profits show! You’ll get information, tips and strategies on growing a healthy successful business. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails.  At most, you’ll get something from me every few weeks. You can sign up  Here

Lisa Roberts is a business operations consultant who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here

In this episode we look at signs to look for to determine if it’s time to hire and tips on hiring the right way.

To listen to the episode hit the play button.

To download the episode, right click on this link  and choose Save Target As.  Go to the folder where you want to save the recording on your device and click Save or Enter.

Make it easier to get upcoming episodes by subscribing to the show on iTunes . Subscribing to the show will automatically download the episodes on your preferred listening device so you can listen to them when and where you want. And hey, if you like what you hear, please leave the show a great rating and review while you are there on iTunes.

Show Notes

If you have a company that is growing, you’ve found that you have to make a lot of decisions.  One of those decisions is figuring out when it is time to start hiring more employees. As companies grow, they eventually need to start adding people here and there.  But there can be times where you are growing so rapidly that you need more than just a few people at a time.

Today we are going to talk to Lisa about some signs that will tell you that you need to add more people to your company and some advice on how to add people the right way.

Key Points

*Some of the signs that you may need to hire in your business will be obvious and some will be subtle.  Entrepreneurs need to look for both.

*Obvious signs will surround the types of things you will typically see like rapid sales and business growth, the addition of new customers and the addition of new product or services offerings.

*The more subtle signs will come from employees, workload issues and missed opportunities. Other less obvious signs will lie in the data that you collect inside your company.

*Entrepreneurs need to establish benchmarks to measure results and to react when changes occur that affect the company’s ability to handle the workload.

*It’s also important to listen to and react to issues related to employees such as stress and burnout and establish a culture that enables honest feedback.

*Lisa shares several examples of data points that are indicators that the company’s performance is being affected by a lack of adequate staffing.

*We look as some of the things entrepreneurs need to do to stay on top of these issues and create the feedback mechanisms to identify issues as they arise.

*Lisa gives tips on hiring and ensuring that the company has the key processes in place to hire new employees the right way. She also provides some information for determining that you need new skills or roles inside your company.

Resources and Links

Note: Links in this post may be affiliate links. Lisa Roberts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Link to the Book Winnie mentioned on Amazon.com: Hundred Percenters: Challenges Your Employess to Give It Their All, and They’ll Give You Even More by Mark Murphy

Link to Society of Human Resources article about onboarding is here

Link to episode we referenced  Cost of Solving the Wrong Problem 

Lisa Roberts is a business operations specialist who advises growth company entrepreneurs in successfully managing growth and the challenges they face along the way. She has over 25 years of experience in operations, finance and administration and spent several years in executive roles at a high growth company. She recognizes that there is a fine line between success and failure in a growing business and that entrepreneurs need to focus on managing finances, creating a sound operation and employ good business practices to stay on track.   You can find out more about her here .

Sign Up to Get Updates

Get all the updates and information Lisa shares from Business Rx and the Healthy Business Healthy Profits show! You’ll get information, tips and strategies on growing a healthy successful business. Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with emails.  At most, you’ll get something from me every few weeks. You can sign up  Here

I got a call from a business owner who was at his wits end about some employee problems. The more I listened, the more I could see that his biggest problem was that there were no clear roles and responsibilities and no job descriptions.

Most growing businesses go through a period where they move from very entrepreneurial to a more structured organization. In the beginning, roles and responsibilities are loose and everyone chips in to get the work done.  After a while, as you add new people to handle increased workloads, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to effectively manage everyone without some structure.

For my owner friend, it started with questions from an employee about fair pay.

What are some other signs that indicate you may need to get formal descriptions in place?

 

Five Signs that You Need Job Descriptions

job descriptions and organization chart
Image courtesy of Pixabay
  1. Wage and Salary Questions – Anyone can go online, look at Monster or Salary.com for a certain title and view the compensation range for that title. A job description does not define title as much as it defines the specific job roles, responsibilities, skill set and the value of them.
  2. Titles – Owners need to plan their growth structure as well the titles they use. As I mentioned, salaries may differ greatly by the title you place on a specific job. For example, if you call an employee a manager and they are really performing basic supervisory work, they may be confused about not only salary, but also responsibility and authority.
  3. Lack of Clear Roles and Responsibilities – As your organization grows, not clearly defining roles and responsibilities will most likely allow things to fall through the cracks and leave tasks undone. Recurring incidents of important tasks left undone can also cause disorder, which can lead to frustration and ultimately apathy in the staff.
  4. Employee Frustration – Confusion about employees’ job responsibilities will also lead to frustration and conflict. Employees like to know what’s expected of them so they can understand how performance is measured in order to be successful and satisfied in their job.
  5. Boss / Authority Questions – Job descriptions also help clarify the “reports to “aspect of an employee’s job. Years ago, I personally dealt with this. It was both frustrating and stressful for me, as an employee, to answer to effectively two bosses.

Establishing job descriptions helps clear up confusion about who does what, what a position’s pay is worth in the market and help ease some of the chaos, frustration and dissatisfaction that your employees are feeling. There are other benefits to having good job descriptions at your company.

Four Benefits of Job Descriptions

  1. Employee Performance – Part of measuring employee performance for both the employee and the employer is having a measuring stick. The job description is part of that measuring stick; how the employee performs against the required roles and responsibilities of his or her job.
  2. Growth Path For Employees – Having an understanding of the responsibilities, duties and skills needed for an employee to move up to the next role will help him see a path for career progression. Not understanding what the next level is and how to get there can be frustrating for an employee who wants to develop and grow at your company.
  3. Legal – Many legal issues surround this area and are too detailed to get into here. However, having a clear job description will help you define better, the pay scale, employee classification and may help if there is ever an employee dispute.
  4. Recruiting – A job description will make it easier for you to recruit for that position the next time you have to fill that role or add more positions like it in your company. It will serve as the basis for the job listing so that you can easily advertise and recruit for that position.

Who Has Time?

As a business owner, you’re probably sitting there thinking I don’t have time to write job descriptions for all my employees!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you spending time trying to find someone to do something in your business because it’s nobody’s job?
  • What’s the cost to your business when certain tasks fall through the cracks?
  • Do you have to stop what you’re doing and take time out because an employee is expressing frustration and dissatisfaction about their role in your company?
  • How much time are you losing from that employee who may not be as productive due to that dissatisfaction?
  • Are employees leaving because they feel underpaid because you gave them a big title without the pay – what’s turnover costing you?
  • Have you ever had a dispute with an employee about performance that resulted in large legal fees because of a claim of wrongful termination or violation of wage laws?

A little time now, can save time later

The truth is investing some time in writing job descriptions will create benefits in the long run. As you grow and add more positions, the need to have them will be more and more apparent. They will help you develop clear responsibility and clarity for the jobs in your company. Your employees will be happier knowing what their role is and what is required to achieve good performance.  They may also help save you time and money in the long run.