Your Business Employee Team

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When you purchase a business, the current employees are definitely a factor to take into consideration. Also, employees usually want to continue working for the new owner when a business sells; so it is usually a smart idea to keep them and make no immediate changes. They are actually hired by the new owner, even though they appear to just continue working.

A business owner evaluates the team of employees who work together to achieve the goals of the business and decides on any needed changes or additions. You may want to hire generalists rather than specialists. Depending on your type of business, you may need to have employees trained for several positions to cover for each other for vacation, illness, or any unexpected or expected reason to be away from the business.

That would include having someone ready to do what you do as the owner. If you have to be away from the business for a short period or long period, your business should be able to continue to operate without you. That is a good team!

Expecting a team of employees to work involves having faith in them. Always hire people who are smarter than you. They will get the work done as you request and will make you look good. Remember, prevention is always more effective than trying to solve a problem. Earn the trust of your employees and keep your sense of humor! 

Each employee is an individual with unique interests, goals and abilities; and all employees must work together as a team for the goals of the business owner.  As the owner, you motivate the employees to do what you want and discipline them when they fail to correctly do what you want.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs gives a model of what needs motivate people. His theory presumes that once a need is met, it no longer motivates; so the business owner looks to the next level.

  • The first level is physical needs, such as food, air, water, and shelter. These are basic needs everyone requires to live.
  • The second level is security or safety needs, which are the needs to stay away from danger.
  • The third level is social needs, which are the needs of being loved or belonging to a group.
  • The fourth level is self-esteem needs, which are the needs of achievement of self-confidence.
  • The fifth need is self-actualization, which is the need to develop one’s own growth.

While getting a pay raise is certainly a motivator to an employee living from pay check to pay check, it is important to know where each employee is on the hierarchy and what would likely be a motivator.  Identify the employees’ needs by getting to know each employee.  

Look for opportunities to give recognition. Some ideas include:

  • Show confidence in employees.
  • Give credit for an employee’s good work or ideas.
  • Promise only what you can deliver and be an active listener.
  • Create a sense of security in the business with firm and fair discipline.
  • Enrich the employee’s job and give recognition if appropriate.

When positive motivation fails, discipline and firing may be necessary. Cool off before making a 
decision and obtain all pertinent facts. Review the employee’s records and evaluations and any similar previous offenses.  It is important to document any disciplinary action with memos.  Write down the reasons for finding the employee’s performance unsatisfactory and the consequences for continued unsatisfactory behavior. Have the employee sign a copy for the files.

As a final thought, you and your employees are a work team and share certain characteristics. You communicate effectively, are relaxed or feel comfortable with each other and the goals of the business, are constructive in criticism when conflict occurs, are decisive, trained and have clear assignments. 

  • Author: Pat Jones
  • Title: Business Broker - Owner
  • Company: Pat Jones Business Broker
  • Company Website:
  • Date: March 12, 2020
  • Category: Buying a Franchise or Business
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