There is a thin line between an employee that will take your business to the next level and one that will bring your company crashing down. It’s true to say that you can think of your employees as two extremes. Either, they are your greatest weapon or they are your biggest liability. It’s difficult to know which an employee will be when you first hire them. But rest assured they will soon show you their true colours. You need to be particularly careful when hiring new members of staff for your company. It could have a larger impact on your level of success than you would like to imagine. For instance, let’s think for a moment about the possibility of an employee meeting a new client.
If your employee is meeting a client, they will be creating an impression of your business. They will determine whether or not that customer likes what they see. They will shape the perception, and their choices will affect whether it’s one sale or a secured, loyal customer. As we said, there’s no way of knowing which it’s going to be until that first, eventful meeting. By that point, two things will have happened. Either they have won the customer over or they have lost them. In doing so they will also have damaged your business reputation.
You’d be surprised how quickly this can lead to bad word of mouth spreading about your business. This is particularly true in an age where everyone has an opinion, and everyone wants to express it online. If a customer has a poor impression of an employee one of the first things they’ll do is head online and try to get some attention. They’ll post a negative review, mention it on Twitter and they may even attempt to contact you directly. But they will do this in a public space so that other customers can see. It’s the equivalent of shouting at the top of your lungs in a crowded street: Don’t eat at that restaurant it gave me food poisoning. Before long no one will be eating there just like no one will be buying from your business.
Of course, that’s the worst possible outcome, there could be another alternative. You might find that an employee delivers an absolutely fantastic service. The customer is so impressed that they immediately hop online and post a positive review. It won’t spread quite as quickly as negative feedback. But it will still have a brilliant effect on your business. So, as you can see, it’s swings and roundabouts. Let’s look at some of the other ways your employees can help or hinder your business.
Accidents And Emotional Distress
It is important to realize that when you take on employees for your business, you have a responsibility to them. You need to make sure that you provide a work environment where they feel safe and happy. If you don’t do this, you’re going to run into mental or physical health issues with employees. You will be responsible for any damages they suffer. We chose a legal term there on purpose because more often than not, this will result in you being sued. It could cost your business a fortune or cause irreparable damage to your company reputation.
There are a few ways to avoid this happening in your company. The first suggestion we have is that you make sure you have support. Or rather that your employees have support and someone they can talk to if there is a problem in your company. The best way to ensure this is to use an employment law specialist. With a specialist such as this feeling in your business can be monitored. They will be able to make sure that employees feel like they are being listened to. More importantly that they are safe working in your office. This will help you avoid the risk of claims such as emotional distress. Emotional distress claims are difficult to win but if employees do the pay out will be huge.
For physical accidents, it’s about keeping your work environment safe. To do this, you need to think about the problems that could cause an accident. In the office, it is most likely to be an employee tripping over loose wires. Or, perhaps a wet floor. These are some of the most common issues that cause accidents in the workplace. You can avoid issues like this by making sure employees know it is their responsibility to report or handle hazards when or if they see them.
Excellence In Efficiency And Productivity
Of course, if you can avoid accidents and hazards in the workplace, you will be able to reach high levels of productivity. This will typically be due to the work provided by your employees. You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of keeping employees happy. It could be the difference between delivering a fast turn around and being beaten by your direct competition. A lot of business owners tend to assume that higher levels of efficiency can be achieved with new tech. While this is technically true, you must remember who will be using that technology. Typically, it’s going to be your employees. If they’re not working to their maximum level of potential, productivity levels will always be low.
Theft And Foul Play
Although unfortunately, there is one final way that employees can damage the success level of your business. Employees will have insider knowledge of your company. They will know how it works and they may even be able to access secure files. If there is a theft against your business, it’s most likely to be sourced from someone on the inside. An employee could ultimately steal from you with you even realising that anything has happened. It’s a frightening possibility but one that is all too real. This is why it’s not a bad idea to monitor and keep checks on your employees. New technology allows you to do this by monitoring their activities online.
So which is it? Are your employees the greatest weapon or the largest liability? It seems it all depends on how you run your business.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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