Hiring a team is an exciting part of business ownership. Whether it is an intern, event planning assistant, or full-time employee, setting clear expectations is a key component of a healthy working relationship.
Here is what you want to have in place for your staff:
The most important thing you can have for your employees and contractors is a contract. This should outline everything from their pay schedule to duties they will be expected to perform. You also want to be clear on what training you will provide. Your contract is what you can go back to when an issue arises.
What are your hiring them to do? Be as specific as possible, this is you and your employees guide to your working relationship. You can always expand it later. The more you can define their duties, the less room there is for misunderstanding.
Your code of conduct (or employee handbook) should guide your employees on all your behavior expectations in the office and at events. Some of the areas you can include are:
Interacting with Clients and Guests: Both in the office and at an event, how do you expect your employees to speak with clients? What is the attitude you expect from your staff? Do you have procedures for handling problems with clients and guests?
Dancing: What is your policy on your employees dancing at events? Once the party gets going, guests may try to get you or your staff involved in the merriment. Have a defined policy.
Drinking: A clear drinking policy is a must! Not only will there be guests who offer you a drink, but other vendors may offer your staff an alcoholic drink. Make sure your staff knows what the policy is for your company.
Cell Phone Use at Events: Everyone has a phone and it is likely how you will communicate with your staff during events at times. Define what is acceptable phone use and what is not. Do you want your employees to be out-of-site from guests when they are on their phone? Is there a no personal phone use policy at an event or in your office?
Posting Pictures of Events: Having your employees snap photos at events can be a benefit for you as a business owner. They may be able to capture things you are too busy to get a photo of. A strong policy on social media posting is key. My recommendation is to only post on your business accounts. You can give your employees access, or have them send you all their photos for your review so you can be sure to only share your best work online.
Acceptable Clothing: Whether you have a uniform you provide for your team or you expect your employees to dress all in one color, make sure you outline what your employees should wear, including their shoes. When you have new employees, you do not want them showing up in heels and a formal dress for setup. Be very clear!
What is your policy for calling in sick? Do you pay mileage for travel to events? Do you do quarterly or annual reviews with your staff? This is where you can get all those small details outlined.
Finally, your employee agreement should include the consequences of not following your requirements. Do you have a process for the discipline of employees and in the worst-case scenario how the termination of employment would occur? Make sure it is clear and defined so you can refer to it when needed.
Outlining everything in your wedding planning contract and in your employee handbook will set clear expectations to set you and your staff up for a great working relationship.
This is a guest post from Amber Peterson. Amber is the owner of Cheers Consulting Group and Cheers Wedding Planning & Design in western Washington. She has a Masters Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and consults with wedding professionals about their marketing and business challenges. Amber is also the co-founder of the Skagit Wedding Society.