do any of you manage employees? what are some good/bad/ugly experiences that you've had? would you do it again? if you haven't yet, is it something you would like to do? why or why not? any tips for future managers?
Yes, and how you handle employees depends completely on your personality, and the type of employees you have. I find it best to be direct and state expectations up front, correct problems right away, and offer praise at a job well done. But dealing with employees can be like dealing with children - you may communicate with a creative child differently than you would a child who is a linear thinker.
I admit I'm not great at it, but do the best I can. I am very calm, matter of fact, don't really yell or carry on, but how I communicate may be construed as "too direct". So people who need to be coddled or babied don't usually react well to my management style.
I would suggest that before you hire anyone for your business, hire help in your personal life first. Hire a housekeeper or maid to come in every week and clean the bathroom, kitchen, dust and vacuum. Hire someone to do yardwork. Get help with childcare. This frees up time for you to work in your business without distractions or worries that other things aren't getting done. It also requires less paperwork, less taxes than hiring an employee.
Once you are ready to hire bakery employees, I would start with counter help first - those type of jobs take less time to train and get up to speed. Work up from there.
Best of luck!
AGreat advice Liz! I'm not at the hiring stage yet but it's definitely something in my future!
Thank you, hope it helps someone. Another piece advice is to "be slow to hire, quick to fire". Sounds terrible, but on the firing side, if you have a feeling someone isn't going to work out after a week or two, usually they just aren't going to work out. We had a hard time firing anyone early on in our business, but when someone isn't fitting in or grasping the job skills, it is best to let them go and find someone better suited for the position. It sounds cold hearted, but we are much better at firing now. :)
My bakery is a solo operation, but I manage at my day job. I always remember to correct constructively, in that if an employee needs correction I approach it from a constructive standpoint instead of making them feel like I'm beating them down. Stay firm when I need something done, but don't treat them like children. Listen to suggestions to make them feel like they're contributing, but don't be afraid to cut someone if they're not living up to expectations. Good luck!
One more thing- my mentor tells me to remember that people usually fire themselves. They usually know what they've done.
Give your employees the tools they need to succeed. If there's a certain way you want something done, show them how to do it. Encourage questions. Let them know how what they do fits into the greater scheme of things. And never forget to acknowledge them for a job well done.