This week, I received a question from Jessica P. from Salt Lake City, Utah. Jessica’s questions is not as cut and dry and simple to answer as my usual question. It’s interesting, and I like it! Jessica runs a small bakery in Salt Lake City, and she only opened her doors last year. Her bakery is doing well so far, but she has a question that I’m excited to answer:
“I have a hard time trusting people enough to let them work for me at my bakery. Since I’m just starting up, I don’t have a lot of money or time for error, and definitely not for employees who don’t care about the business. How can I know who I should trust enough to work for my bakery?”
This is a great question, because it is hard to find quality people to help you out at any business, but especially when you’re just starting up. Like Jessica said, there’s not a lot of money or room for error, and most employees, honestly, won’t care about your business the way you do. After all, when you’re a business owner, your business is your baby! I have some tips that I think will really help Jessica, and all small business owners, while they look for trustworthy, hard working employees to help them out.
Treat Your Employees Like Family & Friends
It’s easier for people to care about you, when they know you care about them. Let them into your life a little bit more than you would if you were running a large corporation. The nice thing about running a small business is that you’re typically working closely with all of your employees, each day. This is the perfect way to ensure you have a trusting and caring relationship toward them. If you can see them as a person and a friend as well as an employee, this will help them to do the same for you. Of course, they are still there to work, so don’t let this turn into a friendship where nothing gets done because there is no authority. Instead, treat your employees with respect and have fun with them! Trust me, this is a great way to get everyone you work with to care about you and your business.
Be Honest with Your Employees
Don’t be afraid to let your employees know how much your bakery means to you. They should recognize that this is a dream and a goal for you, and you are trusting them to help along the way. If your employees can see how important the bakery is to you, and how hard you are working, it will likely rub off on them. Again, this is a time where it’s nice that you work so closely with each and every employee. Knowing them on a personal level makes it easier to share your dreams and hopes for your business with them.
Value Your Employees
It really is that simple! If you value your employees, and show them that you do in your actions toward them, they will notice. You own a bakery, so a fun idea might be to make them their own favorite kind of ‘birthday cupcake’ on their special day and highlight it as customers come in, letting them know it’s that employee’s birthday. You could also offer a discount to your employee’s family members (if you can afford to do so), on birthday and special occasion cakes and treats that they order from your bakery. This kindness goes both ways and when employees feel that they are valued and an important part of your business, they will strive to make it better.
Jessica, I hope these ideas help you when it comes to hiring and training employees for your awesome bakery! I am excited to hear how this turns out for you and all the other small business owners who could benefit from your question.
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