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Effective Staff Management Tips for Small Businesses

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Staff management for all businesses, big or small, requires skill, restraint and patience, to keep them happy, motivated and away from conflict.

However, don’t fall into the trap of believing what you do today to have happy and productive staff is everlasting. As your staff change, your measures need to be revised, so they are relevant.

As a manager or leader, you will need to have a good grasp of your region’s employment law plus the employment laws of your state and the nation. For example, in the USA, there are eight federal laws protecting employees according to Investopedia.

Knowing and abiding by legislation is a good foundation however happy staff require your soft skills. Your personality, your moods, how you communicate are some of your soft skills. Are you collaborative? Do you lead by example? Understanding and working on your soft skills is a work in progress and a big topic covered in many articles on BusinessBlogs.

Processes, Structure and Boundaries

The basics of staff management will include:

These include:

  • Updated staff records are essential since employment tribunals will rule against an employer who has failed to do so. Inaccurate records also remain unacceptable.
  • Maintain copies of employment certificates given to employees along with any other official documents, references and government licenses. These come in handy during any investigation carried out
  • Record of sickness, leave and holidays taken by employees helps the small business owner in case he decides to fire an employee. Without proof, the employee can challenge his decision in court, but proof can help the owner justify his action.
  • Performance appraisals is a good way of showing employees how well they have worked and how the management perceives their effort. It works as a motivator and a way to help them improve certain aspects of their work.
  • Development plan and career paths created for employees helps to show how the management values their progress and acts as a great motivator to help them do better.
  • Salaries and bonuses should ideally match those of the other payers in the industry. This will make employees stay rather than consider leaving for better pay. A bonus is a way to show appreciation for employee effort in the year and helps to encourage employees. Rewards in kind can also be added for smaller accomplishments. In the end, it is a material gain that spurs performance.
  • Discipline among employees is also important so that they do not take advantage of a lax employer. Poor performance must be questioned just as much as absenteeism and wasting time. A good balance needs to be struck between kindness and discipline for the employees.
  • Maintain cordial relations– a good manager, in this case often the small business owner, treats all his employees as his equals, giving them respect and reaching out to them cordially.
  • Communication channels must remain open– This is essential between the owner and the staff. Listening skills help to maintain a two-way interaction that is a key requirement for a good team.


Most organisations are service orientated; therefore, successful staff management contributes significantly to the bottom line. The world’s leading organisations have a record of a happy and highly motivated employees.

Staff need structure and boundaries hence the bullet points above, but respect for the individual who leads will highly affect the leader’s expert use of soft skills.

You’ve heard the saying can lead a horse to water but can not make it drink. The structure gets your team to where it needs to be, and your soft skills provide the inspiration and encouragement they need to excel in their roles.


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