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
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
Source: The Manager’s Intelligence Report