New Employee Training in a Small Business


You probably started your business on a small scale as a one man show. You did everything yourself. But if you are a good businessman, your business has grown. So you need to hire someone to help you in your work. Taking it for granted that you have found what seems to be the right kind of person; there are a few things you need to do to make sure they fit in well and add value to your business.

  1. There are areas of you business that are confidential like the finance and accounts. Only you should know how much money you are making and from where. Other aspects like contacting customers and suppliers are also sensitive. Even if you have hired someone to manage customers and suppliers, start them off on other things like general management, website upkeep, shipping and inventory. Once the person has proven himself, you can put him onto other things.
  2. At the same time, if you make the new hire feel he is not being trusted, your relationship is doomed from the start. Lay your cards on the table and explain that while you do not mistrust him, access to sensitive business data needs a degree of trust that has to be earned and cannot just be given. If the person resents this, look for someone else.
  3. Prepare a details training plan for our new hire. Set clear time frames and milestones by which the success of each part of the training can be measured. The plan should be tightly structured so that the employee is pushed to perform under pressure but not so tough that he finds it discouraging. Keep asking how he is feeling and if you find that there are genuine problems with the structure of the training, modify it.
  4. If you find areas of under performance, discuss them with the new hire. There may be issues you are not aware of (like personal one) that may be affecting his performance. If you can help him overcome them, you will have earned his gratitude.
  5. While the training is going on, pay special importance to the attitude. If there are signs of unreasonable discontent, you have problems. If the new hire does exactly what he is supposed to and stops there, you still have problems. You are not hiring him just for the current work load. As your business grows you need someone whom you can rely on to take on more of the burden.If he shows no desire to do more than what is expected of him, you do not have someone who will grow with you. If you are running an online business, go to CMS Platform, a great site offering support for online companies, to get an idea of what the new hire can do for you and what you can outsource.
  6. Encourage questions about all areas of business except those which you keep to yourself. Politely but firmly decline to answer questions you do not want to, but keep these areas to a minimum. The new hire needs to feel he is part of your overall business.
  7. If, after the training you are not satisfied with the performance, tell him why and let him go. Its tempting to keep giving chances to people, but someone who does not know the importance of making the right initial impression will continue to take up your time and not reduce your work load.
  8. How formal or informal you want to be with your employee(s) is up to you. Today everyone is informal which is great. Just remember that informality should never cloud who is the boss and who runs the show!

Keep these tips in mind whenever you hire and you and the new employee will be off to a good start.