Don’t be overly reliant on a single staff member

Has your start-up grown to the point where you’re thinking about hiring staff? Or have you recently hired your first employees?


If so, congratulations! Keep up the good work!


But be warned – there’s a big potential pitfall just around the corner if you aren’t careful.


Often, the people you will hire people will have specialist knowledge and experience. That might mean, for example, hiring an accountant to oversee your payroll or an IT guru to work on your website.


More often than not, this can lead to a situation where, for example, only the tech guru knows how all that PHP code under the hood of your website works or the only member of staff who can use your accounting software is the accounts manager.


Such a high degree of reliance on a single member of your staff can leave your business in a position where it grinds to a complete halt if, through annual leave, illness or injury, they spend any time away from work. That’s not fair on the employee, and it’s a dangerous situation for you.


Likewise, if for whatever reason that employee stops working for you – whether they decide to leave or you terminate their employment – training their replacement in even a rudimentary way is likely to be difficult.


And if, for whatever reason, you need to take any disciplinary action against them (heaven forbid), they have a lot more leverage if they know your business cannot effectively function without them.


You cannot afford to let your staff members hold your business to ransom like that!


So it is absolutely essential that, for every member of staff you hire, there is someone else on your team who knows enough about their daily duties that your business doesn’t come to a standstill if they’re not at work.


It is also essential – especially for any IT-related roles – for people to document what they do and to leave this documentation is a secure place where other employees can access it if needed.


Likewise, while shared passwords are an absolutely awful idea in general, if you do have any shared accounts or admin accounts for any online service, it’s essential that these passwords are documented somewhere in an accessible place.


So do you have an employee you couldn’t function without? Make sure they document what they do along with any passwords or accounts they regularly use and train at least one colleague in the essentials of their job.


Get it done – today!


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