Don’t be a good employer, be a great one: Managing employees

15th May, 2017

managing employees

Once you’ve got your team in place, it’s important that they’re managed properly or your investment may be wasted.

Getting the best out of your team

You know the old saying – happy employees are productive employees. So, you need to think about how to motivate your team so they’re happy and productive.

Remember that although you’re the boss, you’re also a source of support to your employees.

There’s much more to being the boss than administering their pay and leave.

Being approachable, empathetic about personal problems and managing work stress levels, your staff will look to you to support them.

For your business to function as efficiently and profitably as possible, it’s worth investing time in the people who are actually doing the work.

Bonuses and benefits

Not only will bonuses and benefits make your business more attractive to potential employees, they’re also a great way to motivate and retain good people.

  • Bonuses are usually performance based – in other words, you don’t have to pay the bonus if the employee hasn’t come up to certain standards. You do need to pay PAYE tax on them if they’re regular or frequent. However, things like annual bonuses, a retirement or redundancy package, are treated as lump sum payments. MYOB Essentials Payroll helps manage this for you.
  • Benefits are perks employees receive as part of their job, such as use of a company vehicle, or discounts on the business’s goods and services. They are subject to Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT).

Morale and motivation

Not all incentives need to be related to money. There are lots of other ways you can keep your staff motivated and happy that don’t involve leave or bonuses, for example:

  • Social activities can be a great way to keep staff morale high. If you’ve got a large number of rugby fans on your staff, you might take them to a game. Or you could encourage everyone to sit down an hour before the usual knock-off time on a Friday, and enjoy a drink or two before heading home.  Do keep in mind that not everybody is socially minded though.
  • Team building can illicit groans when mentioned, but they usually come out the other side feeling energized and more at ease with their colleagues. Activities where your staff have to divide into teams and compete against each other work well, such as organising a touch rugby game, or a trivia night at the local pub.
  • Flexible hours can also be a great way to keep staff happy, where possible. If it’s not detrimental to your business, you can discuss flexi-hours with your staff, usually on a case-by-case basis. For example, you may allow an employee to work from home in order to take care of a sick child, without them having to take a sick day.

READ: Don’t be a good employer, be a great one: pre-employment

READ: Don’t be a good employer, be a great one: hiring process

Disciplinary measures

There may be times when employees lack motivation, aren’t getting along with their colleagues, are not working productively or have actually engaged in misconduct.

If you have an employee who’s often late for work, is behaving inappropriately, has breached confidentiality or engaging in unsafe behaviour, you need to think about a misconduct management plan.

  • Having a chat is about just sitting down with the employee and talking about what’s been going wrong. It could be all that’s needed. They may just need to unload, but were unsure of how to approach you.
  • Investigate if they’ve done something wrong, such as stealing or behaving inappropriately towards a colleague, then you need to find out when and where it happened and if anyone saw it.

Once you’ve got all your evidence, you need to decide if you think the employee is guilty of misconduct. If you think that they are, there are steps you must take to manage it correctly and within the law.

The last thing you want is for an employee to file a personal grievance against you.

You can avoid this by:

  • Documenting everything, no matter how minor and store in their employee file.
  • Talking to your employee about each issue. Every time you have a concern, you need to raise it with them.
  • Making sure you follow the set processes before taking any kind of action.
  • Making sure the employee knows they can have a support person with them if you’re alleging misconduct against them.

At the end of the day, most problems can be solved simply by not letting them escalate.


For more information download the full essential guide to being a great employer