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LavanaThomson,United Kingdom,Professional
Published Date:15-07-2017
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YOUR GUIDE TO BUSINESS SUCCESS THROUGH YOUR PEOPLEHOW WILL THIS GUIDE HELP ME? However good your product is, your business success is based around people skills and “happy” people working for you. Yet many owner/managers see training and developing people as a waste of unnecessary time and money and cannot see the benefit it will give them. They are often afraid of training and trainers and do not realise that training and developing people is the answer to many business development problems. To many owner/managers, training and developing their people means high costs, academic activity, taking qualifications, attending an education/training Institution, time away from the business and less chance of a family and social life. This just is not so This guides looks at some of the “people issues” in your business and suggests ways of getting the most out of your people. At the same time, it will identify how, what you are doing, links to the many formal qualifications there are for owner/managers, as well as for the people who work for you. Many formal qualifications are made up from occupational standards, which form the basis for N/SVQs and are applicable to all job roles. Occupational standards, however, are not only used for gaining qualifications, but can also be used for benchmarking. Benchmarking is comparing how you and your staff do your jobs, against what is expected by the national standards of competence. Once you have ‘benchmarked’, you will be able to see how effective you and your staff are at your jobs and, if necessary, plan any suitable training or development activities that might be needed. Within the guide, you might find some words which have different meanings. These will be in bold text, as above, and will either be explained in the appropriate section, or will be listed in the ‘Glossary’. At the back of the guide, there is a section which lists some useful names and addresses you can contact, if you need any further information. Although this guide deals with the “people issues” within your business, it also links to your overall financial, marketing and people plans and business objectives. Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Introduction to the GuideMARKETING PEOPLE PLAN PLAN PEOPLE ISSUES FINANCIAL BUSINESS PLAN OBJECTIVES When planning your finances, you need to know what your people are going to cost you. If they leave your employment, there is the cost of recruiting more staff. If they need developing, there is the cost of training. If they take you to an Industrial Tribunal, there is potential bankruptcy When planning your marketing and/or promotion, you need to know that your people will provide good customer service, produce good quality products and work effectively to produce the quantity of product needed to meet the demand. When planning your training and development of staff, you need to know how to recruit new staff, induct new staff, develop your staff, motivate your staff to make sure they work to the required standard and treat your staff equally. When setting your business objectives, you need to know that you have the right staff with the right skills and knowledge and, if you haven’t, how do you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve your business objectives. Within the guide, there are a number of sections, each covering different areas of “people issues”, all of which, when put together will help towards your business success by getting the most out of your people. Good luck and happy reading. Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Introduction to the GuideCONTENTS OF THE GUIDE Page Developing Your People’s Skills and Knowledge 1 Planning for New People 2 Training and Coaching Your People 13 Appendix 1 20 - Example Job Description 21 - Example Personnel Specification 22 - Example of an Induction Checklist 23 Developing Your People’s Performance 25 Knowing Your People 25 Motivating Your People 29 Reviewing Your People 33 Appendix 2 39 - Individual Review Form 40 - Self-Review Form 42 - Performance Review Form 44 Developing Your Own People Skills 47 Counselling Your People 47 Disciplining Your People 51 Treating Your People Equally 58 Appendix 3 66 - Example Equal Opportunities Policy Statement and Policy 67 Glossary of Terms Used in the Guide 68 Helpful Information Developing Your People Business Plan 73 - Your Business Information 74 - Your Marketing Plan 81 - Your People Plan 82 Useful Names and Addresses 86DEVELOPING YOUR PEOPLE’S SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE As an owner/manager, your most precious resource is your people - the people whose work you are responsible for. Without them you are redundant. Only through their efforts can you (and the business) achieve anything worthwhile. The greater the ability and willingness of your people the more fruitful are these efforts likely to be. Naturally, when you select new people you will hope to select the most willing and able. But your responsibility does not end there. Sometimes you will select new people or promote existing people in the belief that they are willing and able to learn the new job. Now you have to arrange things so that they can do so. Even the best of recruits is likely to need your help in developing new abilities and understandings. At the very least they need to learn how their present abilities can be adapted to serve and support the goals of the team they are joining. New people cannot be expected to become effective in their new jobs without undertaking new learning. More than this, however, even established people will sooner or later find their abilities and understandings inadequate. They will need to learn new ways and improve on the old ones. Why so? Largely because of the rate at which things change nowadays. The goals of business change, as do the resources available to them. Similarly jobs change. New technologies entail new procedures, new roles and new relationships with others. Part of your managerial role is to be alert to the changing demands on your people and to consider how they need to develop their skills and abilities and perhaps learn new ways of looking at things. You will have a continuing responsibility for identifying your people’s training needs. Whatever specialist training may be available, you will remain the person most capable of tackling many of those needs yourself - by coaching. Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 1In carrying out the development your people’s skill and knowledge you will be collecting evidence towards proving your competence against units of the Management Level 4 N/SVQ PLANNING FOR NEW PEOPLE As an owner/manager you will have responsibility for appointing new people. This has three aspects: 1. Deciding what jobs you need new people for. 2. Deciding what sort of people you need to fill those jobs. 3. Finding such people. Analysing the Job Before you reach for your pen and start drafting a job advertisement there are a number of questions to ask yourself. Why does there appear to be a vacancy? Has someone left, or are there new tasks to be done, or has the volume of work increased? You also need to decide whether you really need an extra person or can you get along without the person who's leaving? Also can you retrain existing people to perform new tasks, or can you increase productivity using new methods or equipment? If you really do need someone, has the job already been analysed for payment or training purposes? If so, does that analysis still describe how you would like the new person to work and if the vacancy arises because someone is leaving, do you want someone who will do exactly the same work as that person. Next, you will have to think about what the job will involve and what is its purpose. Also what will be done, what will result from it, where will it be done, how will it be done and what standards of performance will be required? Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 2After you have decided on the job, you next have to think about the responsibility the job-holder will have for people, money, equipment or materials, confidential information, deciding his or her own work methods and deciding his or her own objectives or targets. A very important part of your analysis is to look at what working relationships (formal or informal) will the job holder have with you, with other team members and with outsiders (e.g. customers or suppliers). Finally, you will have to identify what will be the job's pay and economic rewards, physical working conditions, social conditions, most challenging or attractive features, as well as most difficult or distasteful features? Having arrived at the answers to the above questions, you should hopefully be able to write a satisfactory Job Description based on those answers and using headings such as the following: a) Job title. b) Main purpose of job. c) Chief duties and activities. d) Specific responsibilities. e) Working relationships. f) Pay and conditions. An example Job Description can be found in Appendix 1 at the end of this section. Describing the Person for the Job Once you've analysed what needs doing and described the job, you are ready to describe the sort of person who will be needed to do it. This description is sometimes called a Personnel Specification. As with a Job Description there are number of aspects to consider. Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 3Firstly, what level of general education does the work require and what qualifications (if any) are necessary? What type and length of previous experience is needed? Is there any kind of specific job-related training required and if so, can it be provided after a person is appointed? What level of general mental ability is required and are some kinds of mental ability more essential than others - e.g. verbal, numerical? What specific skills and knowledge does the work call for and must the new person have acquired all of these before beginning the job? When employing people, personality is very important and you should ask yourself what type of person will fit in best with the existing people and what social skills will the person need in all relevant working relationships? What kinds of disposition are required by the job - independence, docility, cheerfulness, accuracy, creativity etc.? Physique and health of the potential job holder will play an important in part in your decision, so you must state any requirements, as well as the relevance of general appearance and dress sense. You also need to think about personal circumstances, such as how close to work would the job-holder need to live, or would the job-holder need to work irregular hours, or would he or she need to be free to travel? Remember, with each of the above, be sure to think about what would be the essential minimum, as well as the desirable ideal. An example Personnel Specification can be found in Appendix 1 at the end of this section. Does such a Person Exist? Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 4Now you know what the vacancy is, and the kind of person you need to fill it, how confident can you be about finding them? Do people with such a combination of desirable qualities exist anywhere, if so, will they be available around here at this time of year and why should he or she want the job? In a very competitive market you need to think realistically about why should he or she want to come and work with you and can you offer enough in pay and/or other benefits to make a move seem worthwhile? Getting Suitable Applicants The first step towards finding suitable applicants (assuming some exist) is to bring the job to their attention. Before you think of advertising in a newspaper or journal, there are (for the most part) cheaper alternatives to consider. These might include inviting an existing member of your team to take the post, asking team members to recommend friends or family. Consult your files of unsuccessful applicants for similar previous posts, or mention the job to any individuals you know in other businesses who might be suitable. You could also ask friends in other business and companies to mention the job to people who might be qualified and interested. If you find this is not producing results, another way is to contact your local Employment Services or commercial employment agencies. If you decide that failing all else you have to advertise externally, it is important that you consider what kind of advertising will bring you the applicants you want at the least possible cost. Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 5You will need to consider how much can you afford to pay for advertising and how much is it worth paying, considering the level of the job? You will also need to consider where you will advertise - local papers, trade or specialist journals? You must also decide what do you need to say in the advertisement, in order to attract suitable applicants - and discourage unsuitable ones. Have you seen other businesses’ advertisements for similar vacancies and do they have any features you should either follow or avoid. You will also need to think about the detail of information in the advertisement, especially as the bigger the advertisement, the greater the cost. A typical ‘classified advertisement’ might read: “TRAINEE FRIER required for five evenings a week (Tuesday to Saturday), 7.30 – 11.30pm. A Food Hygiene or Food Safety qualification would be an advantage, but not essential as full training will be given. All protective clothing will be provided. Interested applicants, over the age of 18, with a friendly and cheerful personality should contact: The Owner, The Happy Haddock, High Street, Anytown, tel: (01482) 327837, by Friday 26 October” Apart from attracting (you hope) the right kind of applicants, does the advertisement present the appropriate public image of the business and does it, above all, avoid any suggestion that preference will be given to people of one sex or ethnic origin or religious belief rather than another? You will also need to think about what information you'll need in order to draw up a shortlist. Do you want the applicants to complete an application form, just tell you whatever they think is relevant in a letter of application, or send both a form and a letter? If you do not have a standard application form you may want to devise one of your own, covering the key points. Once you have received interest from applicants, do you intend sending further particulars to the interested people, such as the Job Description and Personnel Specification, or will you give it to them on the day of the interview. Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 6Dealing with Applications Before the applications start flooding in, you will need to consider who will handle telephone calls, send out application forms and further particulars, record the names and addresses of people they are sent to and record and acknowledge the return of completed applications. You will also need to agree a suitable date and time with applicants who are to be interviewed and send a courteous letter to unsuccessful applicants. Once you have received all the application forms, the next step is to draw up a shortlist of candidates for interviewing. Be systematic about it - don't go by 'general impressions' and prepare to read through the applications several times. Compare each applicant with the personnel specification and eliminate any who do not meet essential requirements. If you still have too many applicants, eliminate those who do not meet desirable requirements. Of those that are left, choose those who seem closest to your ideal applicant. In addition to those you shortlist, pick out a couple of reserve applicants in case some of those you invite for interview decide to with- draw their applications. Having picked your shortlist, you will need write a friendly letter to the candidates thanking them for applying, inviting them to come for an interview and telling them when and where it will take place. You might mention any certificates or other items they need to bring with them and let them know if there will be any formal tests as well as the interview. You might also ask for any important information that was missing from their applications and give them any other relevant information (e.g. maps, expenses, claim forms, etc.) Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 7Selection Interviewing Having drawn up your shortlist of candidates, you will want to interview them. The interview has been described as a conversation with a purpose. Actually it has at least three purposes: 1. To enable you to discover which of the candidates live up to expectations and which of them best meets the job's requirements. 2. To enable them to find out about the job and the business and to decide whether they really want to work with you. 3. To leave them (whether successful or rejected) with a favourable impression of the business and feeling none the worse about themselves as a result of the interview. Most owner/managers think they are good at interviewing. But it is not easy to do well. Researchers have shown, over and over again, that interviewers fail in their task because they make up their minds too early, fail to collect all the relevant information or don't evaluate systematically what has emerged from the interview. Furthermore, interviewers rarely get evidence that any of their rejected candidates would have been a better choice. So - unless the person they do appoint turns out to be obviously incompetent - they are rarely prompted even to reflect on their mistakes. Nevertheless, interviews continue to be the most common method of selecting new people. So it is worth thinking about how to avoid the major pitfalls. Preparing for the Interview When preparing to interview, you need to consider a number of issues. Firstly, allow plenty of time for each candidate. You will also need to think about who will be interviewing, whether candidates need to meet other members of staff besides the interviewer(s) and when might such meetings best take place? Who will welcome the candidates and look after them on the day of the interviews and will there be a convenient room available - with comfortable Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 8seating, a glass of water for the candidate, ashtray (if you don't mind the can- didate smoking), and so on? Do you need candidates to bring certificates or proof of qualifications? In addition to the interview, you might want candidates to do a test or exercise that simulates the sort of work required by the job. Who will carry this out? You will also need to consider what documents/information you will need to take with you to the interview. It is important that you have the Job Description and Personnel Specification, as well as candidates' applications and any other details about the job or the business that might be needed to answer candidates' questions. Further consideration will have to given to the structure of the interview, as you will have to decide what areas of questioning you wish to cover and if you are interviewing with other people, how are you going to divide the areas of questioning between them? It is usually best to begin by talking about the job for which the candidate has applied and at some point start taking the candidate through important points in his/her application, whilst finding out about how the candidate sees his/her career progression so far. Decide approximately how much time you want to allow for each of these areas of discussion, and try to stick to it. It is important that you cover the same ‘ground’ with every candidate, or comparisons will be impossible. You must also devise a method of ‘scoring’ each candidate against the Personnel Specification in order to arrive at an objective decision. Conducting the Interview Put the candidate at his/her ease - e.g. by going to the waiting area, introducing yourself in a relaxed and friendly way, and making sociable conversation while accompanying them to the interview room. Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 9Introduce the other interviewers (if any) and briefly mention some of the main points about the job and your business. (This may highlight what the candidate has already seen in the further particulars.) Draw out the candidate's career biography by spending most time on his/her most recent work and getting the candidate to talk about his/her successes (without avoiding less successful aspects) and discussing relations with colleagues (and bosses). Determine what has moved candidate to change jobs and ask what the candidate expects from this new job. At the end of the interview, invite the candidate to mention or expand on any of his/her experience or expertise that has not been adequately covered and ask you any questions that have not already been answered. Tell the candidate what to expect now the interview is over; how, and by when, candidates will know whether they are to be made an offer. Questioning Techniques Your success in getting useful information from the candidate will depend on your ability to ask appropriate kinds of questions. The most basic distinction is between open questions (which invite a more expansive and thoughtful answer) and closed questions (which invite a yes/no or other very brief response) Use open questions when you want to: l Introduce new areas of discussion (e.g. what attracted you to your present job?). l Explore further (Could you tell you more about that?). l Link one response with an earlier one (How did that affect the conflicts you mentioned earlier?). Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 10l Probe self-awareness (In what ways did the course change your attitudes?). l Get candidates to demonstrate their approach to problem-solving (How might you tackle that problem now?). Use closed questions only when: l A yes or a no is all you require (Have you previously worked in a shop?). l Some other very specific response (Just over 2 years) will suffice, or you intend to follow up with an open question (So why did you leave?). Use open questions much more frequently than closed ones (or you'll find yourself doing most of the talking, and probably sounding like an interrogator). Try to avoid l Leading questions - those that tell the candidate what kind of answer you expect (Wouldn't you agree that ……….?). l Package questions (What is your main task at the moment, and how does it compare with what you were doing before and what do you want to go on to next?). l Unfair questions - especially about the job you are interviewing for which the candidate could not possibly be expected to answer without far more detailed knowledge than he/she can possibly possess at present. l Trick questions of any kind that serve no purpose but to suggest that the interviewer is smarter than the candidate. l Giveaway questions that suggest to the candidates (or to the other interviewers) that you have already decided for or against them. l Sexist questions - if you wouldn't dream of asking a young married man, “What arrangements do you have for looking after your children?”, don't ask a woman either. Controlling the interview Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 11An interview is neither a one-way interrogation nor a free-and-easy conversation. It is a structured conversation in which one of the participants (the candidate) should be doing most of the talking - at least two thirds of it. Your ability to keep the discussion flowing to best effect will depend on the sort of questions you ask and the order in which you ask them, the close attention you pay to the candidate's replies, silences and body language and the degree to which you can guard against making up your mind about the candidate too early and noticing only those things that sup- port that premature judgement. You must also listen to and take into account the questions asked and replies received by the other interviewers (if any) and use your own body language and non-verbal communication by nodding or smiling and looking at candidate. Even if you have a poor candidate, for fairness, you must give that person the same attention that you give the other candidates. With that in mind avoid looking at notes or other interviewers whilst the candidate is talking and don’t close your file and put your pen in your pocket half-way through the interview. During the interview remain seated, don’t stand up or walk about, or tolerate silences. Evaluating the Interview Once you have interviewed each candidate you will need to decide which candidate has the ability and motivation to do the job well and consider whether he/she fits in with the rest of the team. If more than one candidate meets these criteria, which one do you prefer, and why? If not, do you lower your standards or re-advertise? Once you have made your decision, do you feel reasonably confident about the chosen candidate and did you get the kind of information you needed out of the interview? Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 12Which aspects of the interview were least satisfactory and could you have improved them by better planning, questioning, listening etc? Can you see any ways to improve the selection process next time? Check on the performance of the selected candidate over the next few months and compare with what you expected? (Unfortunately, you will never know whether people you rejected might have done even better) Does this comparison suggest any necessary changes in the selection process. Always keep an open mind throughout the interview. If you feel especially for or against a candidate, look especially for information that might contradict that feeling. TRAINING AND COACHING YOUR PEOPLE Inducting New People Induction is your opportunity to help new people to understand what's going on. This is essential even for people who are merely transferring from another job and there is more to it than just learning what work is required of them. The quicker you can help them tune in to the goals and expectations of your business and your team - and how various people and jobs relate to one another - the more quickly they will become effective. If new employees are ignored or left to their own devices, feelings of dissatisfaction, resentment and insecurity will almost certainly develop which will eventually adversely affect both the individual and the business. A good recruitment and selection policy can therefore be wasted if proper induction of a new employee is not carried out. Induction has three broad aims: 1. To obtain the best work out of new people as soon after they join as possible. Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 132. To establish a favourable attitude in the mind of new people towards the owner/manager and the business in order to encourage loyalty. 3. To smooth the initial period of employment when everything is likely to be unfamiliar and strange to new people. It is therefore important to have a formal induction programme for new people. If you do have one, do you know as much as you feel you should about what happens to new people by way of induction. Is there anything extra you feel you and/or your team should be doing to inform your new people about aspects of the business as a whole or about other people in the business in particular? It is essential that the new people know where to report on the first day and who to ask for. Once received, new people should be given at least basic information relating to the following: l Provisions for staff, such as cloakroom and toilet facilities, lunch and break arrangements and staff allowances and discounts. l Information about the business, such as its size and its aims, customer types, product range and company structure. l Who's Who, including personal introductions, to the owner, the employee’s line manager/supervisor (if different to the owner) and other relevant people and what they do. l Health and safety, including their own responsibilities, machine and equipment safety, general safety, accident reporting, first aid facilities, fire precautions and procedures and the evacuation procedure. l Business rules and regulations, such as their hours of work, procedures for absence and sickness, timekeeping, holidays, pay and overtime arrangements, training and personal protective clothing and laundry arrangements. Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 14l Expected general standards, such as personal appearance, speech and language, reliability, behaviour and conduct and customer expectations. An example of an induction checklist can be found in Appendix 1 at the end of this section. The successful induction of a new member of people depends largely upon the preparation and provision of adequate information. It is essential for all persons responsible for inducting new people to be fully aware of their duties and the importance attached to them. Ensure that there are opportunities for new people to get a response to their individual queries/concern and remember to give them some kind of printed reminder of the main points raised in the induction and an indication of where to go for further information. Identifying Training Needs There is often a gap between what people can do and what they should be able to do or would like to be able to do. This gap may indicate a training need. You may become aware of the training needs of individuals while in day-to-day contact with them, or they may emerge in periodic reviews of their work. Either way, you might like to ask yourself some of the following to help you decide what is necessary. When considering many of these questions avoid making assumptions about people's abilities or willingness to learn purely on the grounds of their race or ethnic origins, sex, marital status, age, or whatever. Consider each one as an individual. What are my expectations about the way my team - and individuals and groups within it - should perform and in what ways is an individual (or group) not performing as they should be performing? Does the gap in performance arise because the individual or group lacks the ability to perform as expected? If they do lack the ability, did they once have it and Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 15if they once had it, why have they lost it - can it be lack of practice and/or lack of feedback as to how they are performing. If they have lost the ability, or never had it, would they be interested in acquiring it or reacquiring it and are they capable of acquiring it? If they clearly do have the ability and aren't using it, do they know when they should use it, or are there obstacles of time, equipment or interference that hinder them from performing as well as they could? Are there penalties such as the danger of workmates' sneers for performing as they should and do individuals get greater (unofficial) rewards from performing 'their way' than from performing as well as they should? More importantly, are they told immediately and clearly if their performance falls below what is expected of them? Once you feel you have recognised or spotted a gap in performance you will need to decide whether this gap (e.g. cost, safety, waste etc.) is important enough compared with the amount of resources you might need to spend in closing it? Bearing this in mind there are a number of cost-effective ways of closing the 'performance gap'. These could include redeploying incapable/unwilling people, selecting more capable people, redesigning jobs (e.g. simplify paperwork and procedures), arrange more frequent practice of rarely performed tasks, providing job-aids (e.g. checklists or manuals) that remind people of how to perform such occasional tasks, take more care in letting people know what they should be doing and when, provide on-the-job coaching and arranging for brief refresher training and/or full training courses. It is worth noting that training (or coaching) may not be the solution to a performance problem. Changes may be needed instead (or as well) in other areas such as selection, job design, supervision, communication and rewards. The Training Cycle This is not found in a gym or is something that you ride. It is the structured approach to the training or development of people. It covers the four stages of identifying the need, planning the training or development, carrying out the training or development and reviewing its success. This last stage can either lead Your Guide to Business Success Through your People Developing your People’s Skill and Knowledge 16

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