In a large corporation, you may have an HR department and layers of management to help you deal with your personnel issues. But if you run a small business on your own, you can save yourself a lot of trouble down the road if you follow these four simple rules:
Don’t treat employees “like family.” Establishing a close-knit, friendly workplace is fine, but make sure you also establish some boundaries. Treat employees with respect and consideration - but remember that they are employees.
Don’t reward loyalty over performance. During a business downturn, you may be forced to lay employees off. As painful as this can be, don’t compound your difficulties by adopting a “last in, first out” policy. When you make your decision, concentrate on keeping your best people, regardless of how long they’ve been with you.
Don’t neglect the law. Even if you have fewer than 50 employees, pay attention to the rules regarding withholding, discrimination, and other critical issues. Don’t assume you can smooth things over with a disgruntled employee before he or she calls a lawyer. Play it safe, consult with your attorney, and follow the law to the letter.
Don’t delay a necessary termination. Firing someone is never easy or enjoyable, and many managers put it off as long as possible. But in a small organization, one person’s poor performance can make problems for everyone. When an employee isn’t pulling his or her weight, don’t hesitate to pull the plug—or you may endanger your whole business.
Source: The Manager’s Intelligence Report