4 Ways to Create Better Structure for Your Small Business

As a business owner, not only do you fill many different roles, but you’re also responsible for delegating roles to employees. While it can be challenging to trust others to get things done right, ensuring everyone understands your expectations can make this much easier. Ultimately, you need structure, which is all a matter of better management. By following these four steps, you’ll create a better structure for your small business and an environment of accountability and empowerment for your employees.

1. Job Descriptions

Job descriptions aren’t irrelevant once the hiring process is complete. The job description is the benchmark used to measure the performance of your employees. However, employees sometimes forget the ongoing significance of their job descriptions.

Tell your employees how valuable they are – to you, the team, and the company’s performance. It’s your employees’ ownership of their roles that determine their success on the job.

2. Employee Manual

Manuals are one of those things that nobody likes to read or write, but they’re essential to set the baseline for your day-to-day operations. You get to decide what the manual covers and in what detail, but it should include everything from habits in the kitchen to how you want a uniform worn.

A suggested rule of thumb is that even if something seems like common sense, it may not be to others, so put it in the manual. You’ll also want to refer to the Employment Standards Act if you’re unsure about how you employ people at your business. 

For more guidance, review this article, How to write an employee handbook.

3. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

SOPs are only mildly more exciting than manuals, but equally as important. They go one step further to ensure that anyone you employ can step into another position or department without facing too many issues. Essentially, SOPs document the processes you’d like carried out consistently.

4. Disciplinary Policy and Process

A disciplinary policy is the bittersweet partner of the Employee Manual and is often included in the manual itself. This policy allows you to circumvent the finger-pointing that may occur when trouble arises in the workplace and will help you resolve the situation in a way that works in everyone’s best interest. It’s not about embracing the ability to punish someone, it’s about welcoming ongoing improvement and consistency for your business.

By documenting any infractions, you can quickly identify employees who contribute to growth versus those who don’t. Plus, you’ll be able to take decisive action when discipline is warranted while providing employees with an understanding of what’s expected of them.

Small Business Structure Conclusions

While none of these structural tools will completely resolve any struggles, they do lay a firm foundation upon which you can manage your business. Remember, they’re much easier to implement before they’re needed in a difficult situation.

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