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How To Successfully Manage Employees As A Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, you're naturally a multitasker because you're responsible for oversight, administration, accounting, customer service, marketing, business development, and more. However, as you scale, you’ll learn that you can’t and shouldn’t do it all and hiring additional team members will become a necessity.

If you don’t have experience managing employees, this added responsibility can feel daunting. Don’t worry, these five (5) tips will help you successfully manage employees as your small business grows.

Define Employee Roles & Responsibilities

The people you hire will determine the success of your company. Equipping employees with the tools to be successful significantly increases the chances of business success.

Before you begin the recruitment process:

  1. Determine the roles and responsibilities of each employee

  2. Document these tasks in a detailed position description, focusing less on the “how” and more on the “what”

  3. Include tasks you plan to delegate

  4. Ensure employees will be provided with a comprehensive understanding of their role in your company

Demonstrate Proactive Conflict Resolution

When issues arise, it’s natural to want to identify the root cause of problems. However, as the organizational leader, seeking understanding rather than assigning blame will prove beneficial in successfully investigating issues and conflicts.

During these conversations, be mindful of how you communicate (tone) and what you communicate (message).

Saying "tell me what happened" vs. "what did you do?" will deescalate a situation quicker than an accusation. Remember to have grace and compassion because when mistakes occur, employees are often harder on themselves.

Also, to contain the situation, be prepared and informed by gathering detailed information about the event. Unsuccessfully managing important issues can lead to future mistakes and broken relationships, which could adversely impact your business.

Provide Feedback Early & Often

As a business owner, you need feedback to operate your business successfully. Your employees also need constructive feedback to perform their jobs. Constructive feedback benefits you, your team, your customers, and your business.

Proactively share information with your team to avoid blindsiding them with negative feedback. Routinely collect feedback from customers/clients, team members, and managers to gain a holistic understanding of employee performance. Also, solicit feedback from your employees regarding your performance to ensure you're meeting the needs of your team. Remember, any feedback that is provided should be timely and include relevant information.

Periodically Assess Employee Roles & Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of your team will grow as you scale your business. This may include employees changing roles or taking on additional responsibilities.

It’s essential to assess employees’ current responsibilities compared to their initial duties when first hired.

Ask yourself:

  • What's changed in their role?

  • Am I now asking them to do more?

  • Have I provided this person the tools to perform their new tasks?

  • Are the compensation and benefits adequate for their new responsibilities?

When you’re asking an employee to perform new duties, make sure you:

  • Document the new duties

  • Communicate new responsibilities and expectations with the employee

  • Assess the employee’s ability to perform the work

Be Flexible with Employees

Managing employees with various personalities, experiences, skill sets, cultures, and other attributes can be challenging. Always tailor your approach to each individual, but remain consistent in your communication standards. Employees should have an equal understanding of their roles and responsibilities and the company's policies, procedures, and critical business information.

Structure is important because it maintains organizational cohesiveness. However, as your business expands, so should these structures. Flexibility is also vital in successfully leading employees.

Managing with flexibility is beneficial to your employees’ well-being. Provide flexible working arrangements when possible and allow employees to have the autonomy to own their careers and thrive personally and professionally.

Effective employee management is critical for the success of your small business. However, to remain successful, your methods and success measurements must continually evolve. Employee satisfaction directly affects your organizational success and should be a priority for your business. Remember, if you take care of your employees, they will take care of you.

Seeking support in managing employees for your small business? Contact Abnormal Logic today to learn more at

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