3 Essential Skills of Small Business Human Resources Management

Written by | Business Insights, Human Resources

As a small business owner, you wear many hats, and among the thousands of thoughts swirling around in your mind everyday, human resources should always be near the top. Why? Because without strong, passionate, and skilled employees, your business that you worked so hard to build, can’t and won’t thrive (even if they are just contractors). Retaining your employees and keeping them happy should be a priority. Here are three essential skills that every CEO should utilize when dealing with human resources issues:

Skill 1: Being Decisive In The Grey Area

As a business owner, you’re going to be in the grey area quite often. The grey area is just another way to say that something is unclear or that a situation could potentially have two different outcomes.

For example: One of your office employees gets into an argument with a field employee because of a miscommunication that resulted in a lost customer. Neither employee takes responsibility for the mishap and they come to you for help appeasing the angry customer. At this point, you’ve lost a customer and have two upset employees.

When situations like this arise, it’s up to you to come to a conclusion about who was at fault and what the next steps will be. Being confident and decisive in your decision shows authority while sticking to a consistent moral code (whatever that code may be) will set expectations for employees leading to a sense of stability and therefore happiness, even when things go wrong.

Skill 2: Be a Master Negotiator and Communicator

This skill is complementary to skill 1, but important enough to stand alone. After you make a decision, being able to effectively communicate your decision is crucial to your employees perception of you and your business. As a CEO, the ability to negotiate and communicate with ease (it’s harder than it sounds!) will be one of your greatest assets.

When in a tough negotiation, be sure to follow these top seven negotiation tactics:

  1. React sensibly
  2. Be patient
  3. Be confident
  4. Be dignified
  5. Be very clear in your communication
  6. Be a good listener
  7. Be reasonable

If you strive to do all seven of these things, you’re much more likely to end a heated negotiation with a conclusion that everyone is happy with.

Skill 3: Be a Servant Leader

Lastly, the higher you go, the more you serve the people under you. Whether you’re a manager or a CEO, this should hold true. Jim Rohn says, “a good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do better.” This is a concept known as servant leadership. Servant leadership is about focusing on the needs of your team, not every individual’s feelings. As a CEO, this means equipping your team with the tools and knowledge you feel will empower them to be more productive and successful. Wisely investing time, energy and money into advancing the members of your team will provide a larger return over time and make your employees happier.

Wrap Up

The job of a small business owner is extremely difficult. It’s not for everyone, but for the few who are able to create a viable and sustainable business, it’s very rewarding. Next time you’re faced with a human resources issue, think back to these three essential skills and try to utilize them. Let us know what you think about these skills in the comments!

Last modified: December 14, 2016

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