The Tourism Development Corporation of The Bahamas

TDC shares HR tips with the small business owner

Over 80% of the businesses in The Bahamas do not have the benefit of on-staff Human Resource Professionals. Literally thousands of Bahamians are operating without a buffer between them and management.

Here are the first three questions and answers to some of the Human Resource issues facing the small business person:

Question 1.

What is the easiest way to fire an employee?


There is never an easy way to terminate an employee. No matter how egregious the infraction, or how much the organization cannot financially support the employee, we must always remember that we are dealing with human beings. The three crucial rules that must be respected when severing ties with an employee are:

  • Consult the labour law. Know exactly where both you and the employee stand in light of any challenge to the company’s decision. Sometimes, the employee is unfairly dismissed, and the company is forced to pay.
  • Communicate the message with tact and precision. It becomes more painful to the team member when there is delay and wandering around the process. Swift and decisive action after deep contemplation is always best.
  • Be as kind and respectful as possible throughout the process. Give the employee as much as you can in terms of severance pay, references, words of advice, an exit interview and anything else that will give them closure.

Questions 2.

How do I keep my staff motivated without many opportunities for upward mobility?


Most small businesses don’t share the luxury of having hierarchal structures and managerial roles for star employees to aspire to. The small business owner then must find ways to incentivize the diligent employee, encouraging them to remain even in a line staff position.

Some of the ways we suggest include:

  1. create a family environment where people feel a part of the organization. People do not leave what they are vested into.
  2. involve them in decision making. Sometimes people don’t need the title, they just want the opportunity to lead.
  3. compensate their commensurate with their level of productivity. Give them the performance bonus as your company continues to thrive.

Question 3.

How do you now when social media has become more of a distraction than a blessing for employees?


In this digital age, no progressive company operates without taking advantage of technology including social media. On the same token, many employees seems engrossed in WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets. There are any number of security controls that employers can use to ensure that social media is not abused by any employee. The organization’s policy manual must speak clearly to social media use and ongoing training efforts must be directed towards encouraging compliance. The best way to ensure that employees do not over use social media is to give them meaningful work assignments. When employees have clearly defined deliverables that they are held accountable for producing, they will find less time to be idle.