Small business owners and managers are especially prone to being overwhelmed by details. And yes, the devil really is in the details on many occasions. But not scheduling time for some strategic thinking can be an even bigger mistake.
My advice to employers and managers is generally to first consider the issue of workplace fairness and try to avoid inserting their own personal beliefs. It's not easy either way, but mixing emotions with work can cause big problems for owners and managers.
Developing a sense of community in any organization is usually a plus, but keep in mind that a true community is a very difficult achievement. Most businesses and even non-profits ultimately must prioritize their organizational goals, otherwise they are likely to become a thing of the past.
It's hard to find time for things at work that don't demand instant attention. Nurturing your workforce is one of the most difficult, but it can pay dividends if you do it right, and kill your organization is you don't.
Both employers and employees can easily fall into a habit of taking each other for granted. It's almost always a mistake. Good jobs and good workers are never easy to replace.
Both parties need a plan to avoid this pitfall, starting with an effort to realistically value what they have.
As an employer, you have the power to create a critical mass event in your organization and tailor it to fit your specific needs. The trick is to get as many people affected by the issue involved as possible.
Nepotism is a word that gets bandied about a lot. But simply hiring a relative isn't necessarily wrong. Many small businesses or organizations thrive with this model. The key is how you operate. The word to watch isn't necessarily "nepotism," it's "favoritism."
Human nature makes it easy to preach one thing and do another. The reasons are so obvious and logical—to you. To everyone else, including your employees, it looks like something else and sends a message you may not like.
"Outside" incidents aren't necessarily outside the concern of employers. Everything from corporate identity to the morale of other workers can be affected by troubling behavior that occurs beyond the workplace.
When you are dealing with staff in a business or organization, keep in mind that if it's not written down, then it didn't happen. As far as the law and regulation is concerned, you must document your actions.
After more than 35 years of "mess management" and working with organizations to solve their crises in everything from sexual harrassment to federal regulations, Steve Cohen is a trusted HR specialist of the highest level. Worked up at work uses real-life examples to provide owners, managers, directors and others to navigate today's increasingly complex world of personnel and organizational management.