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Managing your assets: staff  
How often have you heard businesspeople say that their greatest assets are their employees? This is generally true, but how do you nurture these assets so they continue to contribute value to your business?

Check that you are making an effort on each of these points:
  • The salaries/wages you pay need to be competitive [where to find sector-related average incomes; how to estimate what the business can afford…]. If you can't pay as much as your competitors do, offer employees some form of performance bonus based on the profitability of the business.
  • Working conditions must meet, and preferably exceed, minimum health and safety standards as laid down in the law.
  • Make sure you have written contracts of employment with every employee, and that they understand the conditions spelt out there (especially on tricky issues like absenteeism, sick pay, under-performance and grievance procedures). Click here for the Department of Labour's guidance on your duties as an employer with regard to their employment contracts.
  • Consider what would happen if a key person in your business suddenly could not work for an extended period of time. If this would be disastrous, you need to insure the business for lost earnings, so that you can stay afloat until the person returns or you can train up a new person in their place