Business man point light bulb in his handSo, you have fired your independent contractor today. Of course, the competition for your business dollars is always on and if you’re not satisfied with the performance of an employee or contractor, you have every right to find another—in a professional and legal way, of course.

Your employees and contractors are the biggest factors in your success (or failure) as a company or business. It is therefore critical that you wisely select, hire, promote and/or fire someone on your payroll depending on their on-the-job performance. As a senior manager or business owner, some of these decisions might be the most important ones you ever make.

Do you need help?

In the day-to-day running of your business, you will first have to assess if you really need to hire an employee, consultant or contractor. If you have listed down the reasons why this person would add to your bottom line, go ahead and list his/her job responsibilities. Your next steps are to find the right candidate and test their capabilities.

Benefits? What benefits?

Before you have hired the right person to the position, you need to work out a decent employee benefit plan because these reward systems are considered significant by most employees. Benefits may include an annual bonus (or quarterly conditional bonus based on performance, sales etc.), health and life insurance, profit sharing, a retirement plan and other benefits you might be able to afford. Such incentives will boost morale and encourage your employee to be loyal long-term and be more productive at work.

How much?

The benefit plan designing process can be time consuming but you have many ways of researching the right plan and seeking outside intervention, if needed. Furthermore, you can also (at some stage during the process) involve some employees or run an internal survey to gauge the expectations of your team members. Of course, this process is the step after you have successfully ascertained the goals of your benefit program and determined your cap on spending.

Temp is tempting

One of the popular recent trends seems to be hiring temporary (temp) help. This is a good move if you’re planning short-term actions in a particular direction or are unsure about the candidate in front of you. Of course, once you start trusting an employee or if the temporary situation has become one that may permanently influence your bottom line, hire the employee on a permanent basis. Remember that temp hiring has its advantages and disadvantages. If you take too long with a temp, he/she might move on to another employer who sees their potential to add value to their business. So don’t be too tempted to temp too long.

Performance appraisals

Most companies have an internal system for employee appraisals, usually an annual event employees look forward to as it translates into promotions and pay hikes. For startups, the first appraisal may be tricky but if you handle it professionally, you can live-and-learn to do appraisals. Alternately, you can hire a consultant (individual or firm) to plan and execute the exercise on your behalf. Whether you make it personal or not will depend on your company’s culture and how you intend to forge it.

These are just some of the steps you need to take in order to manage your team in a professional manner. While learning from best industry practices, you can also become a pioneer and perhaps invent a system or process that professionals in your domain and across the industrial base may use in the future. The only limit may be your own imagination!

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