Starting your own company is no easy feat. Every step of the way is followed by some new issue, some new problem, some new challenge. And while we all know that its worth it, you need to focus and tackle all of them, one task at a time. Employment issues are one of the more common challenges budding entrepreneurs face, and quite difficult at that. In order to help you be prepared, this article will serve as a warning.
Namely, in this article, the most common employment issues for any startup will be covered. You will know the enemy, and have ample time to prepare to face it. With a bit of luck, patience, and a lot of hard work, you will most certainly succeed. But, enough of that, lets dive in!
Not setting up clear employment policies
Let’s begin with employment policies. This is a very broad term, it encompasses things ranging from sexual harassment to dress code. It boils down to how an employee should conduct him or herself at the office. This regulates not only the behavior of the staff but of the employer as well.
Now, the issue here is that most of these, like sexual harassment, equal employment opportunity etc., are regulated by the HR department. You, as a startup company entrepreneur, most likely do not have HR. And there is no need, very few emerging companies have more than ten employees. But, herein lies the problem.
Namely, you may have a completely trustworthy team of ten people, but that still involves, well, people. Having the rule of conduct set out early on can spare you a lot of grief and drama in future. It can also save people from any awkward situations or needless tension.
Another policy should be concerning healthcare and legal backup. Will your employees be covered by your companies health plan? How will this coverage look like? What if somebody decides to sue one of your employees, but in relation to your own company? Will you have a lawyer on retainer? Just to give you an example, imagine you yourself have a healthcare-related company. What if somebody sues you for malpractice – will you contact a professional medical negligence solicitor, will the company handle it, or will the employee do what he or she can? Maybe the roles will be reversed, and you will be the want who wants to sue.
The point of all these questions is to emphasize how every situation and business is unique. You need to sit down and think long and hard about the possible employee policies you will need to implement for the present and for the future.
Salaries and letting people go
These two are issues that probably make people very uncomfortable. Unfortunately, these are issues that you need to figure out imminently. Salaries may be obvious, but provisions regarding any employment contract termination are also something you need to plan out quick.
Now, giving advice about salaries is a bit difficult for an article of this nature. Namely, it depends on your location and the line of work you’re in. but, you can do a couple of things to figure it out. See what the average salary for people in your line of work is. Compare and contrast, and then play it by ear. See how much people charge for overtime (yes, you will pay your people overtime, suck it up), as well as checking on any necessary bonuses.
As far as firing people is concerned, that’s a bit easier. Plan out in advance what the procedure is. Whats the severance pay, how much time do you give them before they start looking for a new job. What is the reasoning behind the actual firing? Are there certain violations and transgressions that won’t even give that employee any kind of severance pay? And finally, are your ideas and provision in line with any state, federal, local, and union laws?
Restrictions and confidential information
It’s no secret that most startups are usually focused on tech. But, even for those that have companies working in other directions, this section should still be important. Namely, what are your employees allowed to say, and what should they be quiet about?
Of course, we’re not talking about your despotic rule, but about company secrets. How much information are they allowed to share on the project they are currently working on? Are they obligated to protect the company’s IP and patents? For how long, in what capacity. You need to figure out and announce this information as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’re in for some nasty surprises.
There you have it, folks, the main issues emerging entrepreneurs face. No matter what line of work you’re in, you should keep these couple pieces of advice in mind. This will keep your new company running smoothly towards success!