It’s easy to feel intimidated by managing employees as a small business owner. It’s often a bit overwhelming to think of being responsible for someone’s work experience since their happiness at work will affect your business tremendously.

Often, managing other people is a role business owners fall into. They want to run their own business, wind up taking on staff, and then find themselves in a position of figuring out how to manage other people as they go. Conventional wisdom gets passed along from business owner to business owner, regardless of whether the advice applies to the people following it.

Here are some common myths about employee management that you should be aware of. We’re not saying they’re always incorrect, but before you apply them as a rule, ask whether they’re relevant to your business. 

You must reward long tenure

Taking on your first employee is a huge deal. Many entrepreneurs dream of the day that they can afford to hire someone to help with the workload. It’s especially true when you’re burning the midnight oil in those lean early days.

The unfortunate fact is that as you grow, there may come a time when you’re struggling and need to let someone go. It’s a heart wrenching decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Many small business owners feel the need to adhere to a “last in, first out” policy. While this is understandable, it’s not always right. Because your business is small, you need to make every dollar and skill count. You must look at your staff objectively and keep those whose skills are best suited to keeping your business afloat.

Employment rules don’t apply to small businesses

Indeed, small businesses only need to adhere to some of the same employment rules that large companies do, but a common pitfall is to assume that you are also exempt from payroll administration rules. It can be a costly mistake to make.

Work with a payroll service provider familiar with employment laws in your area to ensure you pay and reward your employees correctly. Outsourced payroll management is a smart move to ensure compliance and save you money in the long run.

Running a family business means you should hire family

A prevalent practice among small business owners is to hire family first. You see this all the time across industries, and there are some excellent reasons for hiring your family. For one, they’re invested in what you’re doing because they care about you, and that’s important.

However, you must think of your business first. Your niece may be a great kid who could really use a job, but if she has an attitude that offends your customers and neglects to answer the phone, she’s not the best person to put at the front desk.

Find the right person for the role, no matter who they are. That very well may be your dear niece, but if there’s someone more qualified or a better fit, this is one scenario where family does not come first.

You should treat your employees like family

Similarly, it’s common for small business owners to say that their employees are part of the family. While the sentiment is nice, this shouldn’t be your goal.

You and your employees are close, care about one another a great deal, and have fun at work. While that’s all well and good, families have disagreements. They also have a bond of loyalty to one another that simply should not be expected in the workplace. At the end of the day, your business is where your employees come to work.

They deserve fair pay, a reasonable schedule, and opportunities to develop in their careers. You should never expect them to take on more for less just because you’re a small enterprise always running on a tight margin. Pay and treat them well, and don’t expect them to give their all for their job. They’re people with full lives outside of work, and you must respect and celebrate that, no matter how small your team.

Final thoughts

There are many benefits to managing a team as a small business owner, but there are also some commonly made mistakes that you should avoid. Remember to treat your employees well; they will surely respond in kind. Contact us to learn more about our affordable payroll solutions and how they can help you stay compliant while demonstrating to your employees how much they mean to you.