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How To Automate Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business

Technology sure has grown since the start of this industry. In the 90s, we were doing everything with paper and pen.Paper schedules, our flip phones, if we even had that… and websites were just coming on the scene. Social Media wasn’t popular and the only real type of marketing and advertising was good old fashioned print mail.

Take a minute and think about this for a second. If you started a business in the 90s or even earlier 2000s, the way we get business and provide business has 100% changed since then.

Some might argue that it has gotten more complicated since then, but technology has actually made it so much easier to get instant data coming in and going out of your business that you can make real-time decisions. We can make pivots without waiting for publication cycles or a meeting with a bookkeeper.

Automation is something that many businesses need to adopt to make their processes run smoother. Proper automation could actually yield higher profit margins, while improper automation, or lack thereof, could really add to the stress of owning and operating a business and cost the business owner a lot of money.

 

Woman holding phone and coffee cup with words like "social", "tweet", and "network" coming from phone screen.

Today, I am going to show you all the ways you can automate a pet sitting and dog walking business.

Listen up! If you are a solo sitter, this is especially important because there is only one of you and you need to make every minute of your day efficient.

If you are in the process of building and scaling your business, it is even more important. You want to make sure you have as much automated as possible so when you hand the baton to an office manager they will have the most efficient workflow.

So here is the list, in no particular order, and how you can use it in your business.

GSuite: 

GSuite has so many advantages that your business can be using. First, is the email. Here, you can assign everyone their own email so that all the company info is sent to that email and when they leave the company it is all absorbed back to your company. If you do not do this, consider yourself to have a security breach where clients sensitive info is stored forever on someone’s email account.

Another advantage to GSuite is the ability to have canned responses. These are responses that you or your staff might type all the time, but being able to populate the message inside the email with one button really saves a lot of time. It also ensures that the messaging from your company is consistent.

Screenshot of Boomerang website, showing that you can add Boomerang to Gmail to send emails late and get email reminders.

Boomerang:

This chrome app allows you to schedule emails to send and also will remind you to follow up with other emails that you indicate. The beauty of this automation is when someone emails or calls you after your office hours, you no longer have to:

A. Email them back and break the boundaries of office hours essentially showing them that they can reach you at all hours of the night. 

B. Try to remember to reply to them in the morning and sleep with one eye open because you don’t want to forget. You know that feeling? Like something is hanging over your head?

 

Pet Sitting Software:

This might sound like a no-brainer but do you even know how many pet sitters and dog walkers are not using this the right way?  Make it mandatory that every client needs to schedule online. They need to update their notes online. They need to change their schedule or cancel….. make them do it all online! Make sure that your entire staff if using your software to the fullest capabilities. You can even turn on notifications for GPS in case some don’t arrive or check in at the right time and this has been a lifesaver and peace of mind to so many.

Loom website showing that you can record videos, sharing your computer screen, to send a message rather than using email or text.

The most common question I get asked around software is, “Which one should I choose?” It is a very personal question, but I think there are certain things you should consider:

1. Accounting

2. Customer service

3. Software updated?

4. Mobile version or app?

5. Communication

6. Credit Cards

More explanation about how to come to a decision on this here.

Loom:

This goes hand in hand with software. Whenever anyone has a question about the software (clients or staff), record a short video explanation. Loom is a free Chrome extension where you can record your screen. By doing these videos, and then properly naming them and storing them, this will allow your staff and clients the ability to make a difficult situation easier by way of the video. You could even create a video and add it to your FAQ on your website so it is at the user’s fingertips. This will also decrease the number of problems you have to solve.

Agore pulse homepage, a social media management tool allowing users to post to multiple social media websites.

Agora Pulse:

Ever struggle to know what software to schedule your social media? Agora Pulse really checks ALL the boxes. They post to every relevant platform, have a way for you to keep up on your social media notifications and inbox all in one place, and also will recycle your content so it never “dies” after you post it the first time. This is a necessity for any small business who wants to have a killer social presence. If you’re ready to get started, you can sign up right here for a free trial and 2 months free!

Screenshot of Payroll Experts website, providing payroll solutions for businesses.

If you get into the habit of batching your social media, you can do it all in 1-2 hours a month to set it and forget it. then you will be getting told that “I see you everywhere” when it really took minimal effort!

Payroll:

The thing I LOVED about working with Payroll Experts was that it was easy. Here is how this worked:

  1. My staff knew what days they needed to email me their payroll by.
  2. I would gather all the names and amounts and email it to my specialist.
  3. Done! The company took care of the rest and direct deposited it all.

Having a company take care of all the necessary payroll “stuff” is very helpful. Percentage change and laws change and honestly, there is just too much to keep up with. Certain forms need to be filed at certain times and when you can hand it off to someone to take care of, it will free up a lot of your time and headspace.

For a great company, take a look here

Credit Cards:

Did you know studies show that if you don’t see it, you will spend more money? It always makes me chuckle when people think credit cards COST money because they see it coming out but don’t realize that the mere fact of having credit cards will cause people to spend more with you… because they don’t see it! It happens all the time.

If you have a software system you can automatically set it to charge clients at a certain time or you can go in once a week and click, click, click, CHARGE…. and off it goes to your bank. Using credit cards saves SO much time over collecting the checks and going to the bank.

You won’t ever have to sit down and search through Paypal to see if someone paid you, be folding laundry to find that you WASHED the check that was in your jeans, or just try to keep track of the cash you have been given.

Sure, credit cards cost (typically less than 3%) but the time that you save and money made by not seeing it is astronomical.

Guess what? I have people that do this too. Email me if you want the hook-up!

JazzHR homepage, a website for tracking applicants and recruiting software.

Hiring:

Most hiring methods are de-funked and I get it. You have a lot of other things going on and when an applicant gets back to you it isn’t always easy to stop what you are doing and reply. Let alone understand what to say or remember which applicant you said what to.

It is difficult when you need an employee you have to post a job opening, then wonder if your hiring ad is good enough, and then find out if anyone applies… etc.

What if I told you over 70 pet sitters found the solution to that through automation and are using software to solve this problem?

Did you know the job market is shifting? Do you realize that people aren’t just applying to your job? Do you realize it is like dating and you have to appear attractive to them? What better way to do that then responding fast and having an entirely automated process? A company I work with (and sponsoring the retreat!) has done just that for over 70 pet sitting companies. I explain how here and you can get your own Bella hook up and discount here.

 

Quickbooks website with pricing for their accounting software for small businesses.

Quickbooks Online:

Most people I know have a bookkeeper because they understand that there are just too many chances to make mistakes that will take money out of your pocket at the end of the year. In order to get fast reporting, Quickbooks online is a must. Now, feel how you may about the company… but once it is set up the rest is really easy. AND if you have a bookkeeper this is something they can do for you. Having a bookkeeper and QBO allows you to get reporting fast because you don’t have to pass reports back and forth. It also allows your statements to be downloaded automatically from your bank and credit cards. I highly recommend this set up. It is what I do and I only have to look at my numbers when my bookkeeper sends me her monthly report and I have full knowledge of what I am spending money on, profit, cash flow, and what I can afford.

 

Project Boards:

Like Asana or Trello are great project management tools or even a great place to store a checklist with your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Here, your office staff (or you) can do a brain dump and organize the cards into categories that make sense to you. You can add people to the boards and you can share your thoughts and plans in an easy way.

Google Analytics:

If you don’t check this weekly, you are missing out. It will tell you how people arrive on your website, where they go, what they read, and even what you need to add to your website. This is a highly powerful tool and we actually have a lot of trainings on it in the Jump Mastermind. Plus, Google Analytics is free!

So as you can see there are lots of ways you can arrange your business to flow. In the end, it is all an individual choice but we have to understand that we need to use tools to help us because there just certainly isn’t enough time in the day to do “all the things.”

If you need help in any way, let me know in the comments below or in one of my free groups. I am here to help.

pet sitting facebook group

pet business hiring

Recruitment vs. Reactionary Hiring In Your Pet Business

One of my clients called me frantically last week. Two of her dog walkers quit on the same day.

She was freaking out. It was going to cause her to get back into the field and she knew that she wouldn’t have as much time to work on her business.

Ever feel like that before?

I know I have.

You get caught in the conundrum of feeling like you don’t have enough business to hire, yet if you don’t, you feel like you are living on the edge.

You know that if the perfect storm comes (and enough people leave the company at the same time) you will be back in the field just like my client above.

Hiring pet business

 

Today, I am going to help show you how to never be in this position.

How to stop that conundrum and take control over your business so you aren’t living in slavery to your business at the drop of a hat (or a resignation letter).

There is a major shift happening with hiring pet sitters; It is the difference between being reactionary versus responsive.

The ones who are acting responsively are scaling their companies at record times.

Allow me to explain.

Reactionary Hiring Happens Only When You Have To Hire. 

Reactionary Hiring is when you start posting ads because you:

1. Just had someone quit.
2. Want to hire someone to replace a bad apple.
3. You have so much work that you need more help.

This is hiring for a specific reason. You are only trying to fill the funnel when you have a need . . . which makes you already behind the eight ball.

 

When you are constantly behind the eight ball, it can lead to a lot of stress in your life.

You don’t get to consistently work through projects because you have to keep stopping to jump in and help get walks and visits covered.

And don’t even think about your social life!

You are the friend or family member who is always rushing off, never there, or too tired to attend.

And, you know what? You just can’t last longterm living like this.

Responsive Hiring Is What You Need To Do To Solve The Hiring Problem

Responsive hiring is when you’re constantly looking for great people to bring on your team.

You are always feeding the funnel by keeping your hiring ads fresh. You are constantly sifting through all the applicants and putting them into warm & hot categories.

How you organize this or keep track of these applicants is hugely important. You want to have a system that can track it all, sort it all, and not distract you in the middle of your regular working day. You don’t want to lose sight of all the good applicants out there- even if you don’t want to hire them today. You don’t know what tomorrow holds.

The important part is being able to recall all of the qualified applicants right when you need to and have the right type of software can help you with just that.

Are You Able To Email A Pool of Qualified Applicants Today?

Which one are you?

Ask yourself this:

Right now, are you able to email a pool of applicants that have already passed the first or second round of vetting for your company?

Are you able to ask them on a “date” (interview) and get them up and hired in the next week?

If the answer is no . . . and you have to start from scratch by posting an ad . . . then you are reactionary hiring.

This causes a lot of sleepless nights.

It causes anxiety that . . . “if one or two people quit on the same day… your business wouldn’t exist”

Feeling of helplessness when your office manager is telling you . .  . “I am posting all the time but not getting any applicants”.

It is like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you are about to collapse!

 

This Is Why I Always Say…

This is exactly why I say to “always be hiring” and “hire more than you need,” because you just never know!

I have been there personally with my former company.

I have had the pit in my stomach, the worry, and as a coach I have been dreaming and searching for something I could pass along to you to help take all that fear and anxiety away.

sign up for jazzhr
I have seen vacations be ruined because the business owner had to stay back and take care of the business because they were understaffed. I have also seen business owners look forward to a dream vacation, spend a fortune, count down the days, only to spend the entire time working and putting out fires.

This is not why we started our own business and we must keep that in sight.

Getting ahead of the hiring challenge will help you to grow a business that you desire. It will help take you from solopreuner who really just has a job to someone who is the boss in charge that can multiply themselves for the masses.

To grow, to achieve your goals, you have to get really good at putting yourself out of a job. But in order to do that – you must have someone to replace you.

If you don’t figure out how to hire for your business you will eventually stall out. Don’t let this be you.

 

mastermind pet sitting

You Deserve To Be The Boss In Charge

I want you to think back to when you started this business. Why did you start it and at what point did it start running you? Staffing is 50% of the challenge that you will always have no matter if you are just starting or been around for 15+ years. You must stop trying to save the same problem again and again and start solving it systematically.

So what are you going to do?

Are you going to consider creating a process where you can have QUALIFIED applicants always on hand?

Over 70 pet sitting and dog walking companies have trusted my partner, JazzHr with their hiring needs and have been able to take charge of their business and their life because they now have control over the hiring challenge.

Whatever you choose, know that this is something you will need to address so you can take some of the stress away from running a growing business.

 

via GIPHY

 

Get a Jump Start with Jump & Scale

I am inviting you to attend my 3 part FREE webinar that will help you scale your business by attracting & hiring the right people for your business.

This program is ideal if you have high turnover, feel hostage or you just don’t know where you are going wrong in the hiring process.

To register for this FREE training (valued over $500!) go to JumpConsulting.net/scale

Jump & Scale Your Business

 

 

What To Say To The Applicants That Weren't Select For An Interview

Ten Things You Need To Know About Being A Pet Sitting Employees VS. IC

Good help is hard to find, as any business owner knows. With the variety of web-based services which offer Independent Contractor (IC) opportunities for aspiring pet sitters and dog walkers, why would a pet lover choose to work for a traditional business as a pet sitting employee rather than working independently and possibly bringing home more cash?  

Becoming an employee of an established company offers lots benefits for folks who are interested in caring for pets. When considering how to proceed, it’s important that an individual consider several things. Below are the top 10 differences in working for an employer versus working for one’s self.

Ten Things You Need to Know About Being A Pet Sitting Employee VS. IC

pet sitting employee

1. Instant income

Possibly the most obvious benefit of working for someone else is the instant stream of work! Rather than posting a profile all over the internet, handing out business cards and hoping to meet people at the dog park, an established company already has visits lined up and ready to go for employees. There’s no need to hustle.

2. Overhead

All of the marketing and client retention is completed by the company, which takes time (and money!). If a client is unhappy, employees are still paid. If tools or supplies are needed, it’s covered. An IC is financially responsible for all things related to the care they provide during visits they are contracted to complete.

3. Insurance

Beyond covering overhead costs, a professional business will be insured and bonded by a reliable insurance company. Although some of the web-based services offer insurance, there have been several questionable situations where insurance refused to pay out – it can leave an IC open to liability.

4. Personal liability

When working under the umbrella of insurance and bonding provided by a corporation, employees are generally insulated from lawsuits claiming negligence or other civil suits; this is not the case when working as an IC.

5. Workers comp

Did you know many health insurance policies will not cover workplace injuries? Most professional pet care companies carry workers compensation insurance; this means, if an employee is injured while caring for a pet, there isn’t a reliance on private health insurance — or the employee’s personal bank account! Self-insurance for workers comp as an IC is available, but it can be very, very pricey.

6. Safety

With a professional company, clients are screened ahead of time for pet temperament, neighborhood safety and accuracy of information provided in advance of the first visit. Employees won’t go into a job blindly and just hope for the best.

7. Taxes

An employer covers roughly half of taxes owed by an individual, plus they file the employee’s portion automatically each quarter. An IC must pay the full amount of taxes on all monies earned at the end of the year – and that bill can be unexpectedly large.

8. Protocols

Most established companies have specific rules for how to handle uncomfortable and emergency situations. No need to make up a solution on the fly!

9. Education

Beyond having established protocols, many companies teach technical skills on how to best care for pets including body language, avoiding bites, etc.

10. There’s Always A Back-Up

Feeling sick? Have an emergency? By being employed by a company, there will be someone who can pick up the slack when you’re unable to perform your visits.  As an IC, you and your clients may be out of luck.

 

Ultimately, both approaches have their perks. It comes down to what’s most important to an individual when deciding how they would like to pursue a career with pets! By properly presenting the information above, an IC for an internet company may be persuaded to instead join a professional team.

pet sitting

Robin Brown is the owner and founder of Manhattan Mutt Company, LLC in Manhattan, Kansas. She is a Yankee-born, Southern-bred, Midwestern transplant. Her life revolves around her husband’s Army career, a sassy toddler and the dogs who inspired her to launch MMCo.

 

pet sitting beginners guide

Ways To Overcome Problems With Pet Sitting Employees

Many people think that when you have employees, you will always have problems.

But that isn’t always the case.

There are just a few things you have to accept and understand in order for pet sitting employees to be the best decision of your life.

  • Trust
  • Cost
  • Interviewing/Hiring/Training

Ways To Overcome Problems With Pet Sitting Employees

pet sitting employees

Trust

One of the biggest challenges I see with business owners is being able to trust their employees. There really is such a fine line between being an involved business owner and micromanaging. It’s up to you to find your balance and stick with it.

So how can you overcome these trust issues?

It lies in your training process. You’ll need to train your pet sitting employees extremely well to give both you and them peace of mind. Most employees WANT to do their job well – you just have to provide them with the resources to be successful. This also makes them feel like a part of the company. When you do a good job of training your employees it shows them that you are invested in their success – it makes them feel good!

But don’t get comfy. It’s imperative that you stick to your rules, but you don’t want to come across as a dictator. It’s all about balance.

Cost

Try to see your employees as an investment rather than an expense. If you have the proper pricing structure and strategy, your employees will increase your revenue as well as the value of your business.

In fact, every employee can bring you $20,000 to $60,000  in revenue!

If you invest in people working for your company, your company will grow and so will your paycheck. The typical expenses are insurance, background tests, uniforms, training, etc.

If the cost of employees makes you think independent contractors are a better route. Know that independent contractors actually cost more!

Interviewing/Hiring/Training

The process of hiring, interviewing, and training is one that many business owners find challenging. It’s easily one of the biggest problems with having pet sitting employees. My advice? Wrap your head around the fact that you’re going to be doing this your entire business career.

Become one with it.

Perfect it!

If you’re worried about tackling these processes on your own, consider hiring an HR representative. Having this kind of help can help you overcome the burden of having to figure all of this out on your own.

In the pet sitting businesses, I see so many capable business owners NOT growing their business due to people problems. If you can learn to overcome this, then the sky is the limit! There are so many resources out there for you – you just have to look. 🙂

Employee Handbook and Training Manual

 

How Much Will It Cost To Create My Pet Sitting Employee Manual?

An essential to component for any pet sitting business with staff is an employee manual. Creating one is definitely a daunting task but it is all too necessary for your pet business and the cost of making one comes in many forms.

Developing a pet sitting employee manual is going to cost you:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Resources

It’s important to know all of the costs when sitting down to create your own pet sitting employee manual, thus, I have them all laid out for you.

How Much Will It Cost To Create My Pet Sitting Employee Manual?

Pet Sitting Employee Manual

Time

One of the biggest costs of creating a pet sitting employee manual is easily your TIME. Before deciding to make your own manual, consider how many hours of your time it will take. Then, think about how much your time is worth per hour.

If you find that after considering these factors, it isn’t worth your personal time to create one, you may want to think about outsourcing.

As business owners, it’s easy to get into the mindset that others cannot perform tasks as well as we can. We always want to do everything ourselves to make sure it’s done right! And while creating an employee manual is definitely important for your business, it’s critical to prioritize. You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin. It’s important to not only dedicate the necessary time to your clients and staff, but also to yourself.

Answer this question:

My Time Is Worth $_______ Per Hour.

Money

Creating your own pet sitting employee manual can be expensive. Even if you decide to make your own, it is not a one-man or one-woman show. You’ll need multiple individuals on your team to ensure it is complete with all necessary information and looks professional.

Some examples of people you’ll need to work with are:

  • A lawyer
  • An HR representative
  • A technical editor
  • A typesetter

While these individuals will all be able to provide you with crucial information to create your manual, it comes at a financial cost.  In fact, the lawyer alone would likely be around $500 to review. This team is easily a few thousand dollars.

Resources

I can tell you first-hand that gathering and securing your resources in place can be difficult. Finding the right people to help work for you is HARD because there are a lot of flakes. Thus, putting together the perfect team to assist you in crafting your employee manual will take a lot of time and effort. While this isn’t necessarily a reason to give up altogether, it is absolutely something you must keep in mind before starting the process.

Also keep in mind that for every moment you spend trying to compile your team, another moment goes by where you do not have an employee manual and are potentially creating bigger problems for yourself.

Conclusion

Adding up all of the time, money, and resources spent easily comes out to a few thousand dollars. It is clear that creating your own pet sitting employee manual is a massive project, but one that can be done given you have the correct mindset and outlook. If you feel that creating your own manual isn’t the right choice for you after considering all of these factors, consider taking a look at outsourcing the task or purchasing a pre-made employee manual. In the long run, it might end up being the better choice for your business.

Employee Handbook and Training Manual

 

fire a pet sitting employee

How Do I Fire A Pet Sitting Employee?

There comes a time in every pet sitting business where an employee or employees is just NOT performing up to standards, even after several warnings. Then you’re faced with a dilemma: Do I fire this person? If you feel like it’s the right thing to do, then YES! I am officially giving you permission. But keep in mind that when choosing to fire a pet sitting employee there is a specific process that you want to follow in order to cover yourself. Today HR expert Niki Ramirez, discusses the steps that pet sitting business owners should follow when you fire a pet sitting employee.

  • Be straight forward about it
  • Close the meeting with a strong message
  • Always follow up in writing
  • Follow through with progressive discipline
  • If they aren’t a keeper, don’t keep them
  • Compliance note

How Do I Fire A Pet Sitting Employee?

fire a pet sitting employee

 

Question:

“I have a pet sitter who said she was available the shifts I needed but has increasingly become less and less available. She is always making excuses why she can’t work, asking for certain clients, and really bad at communication. I know I am a right to work state, but can I just fire her? She isn’t performing what I hired her for and honestly, I don’t want her representing me anymore. I feel like I am trapped. Help!”

 

 

Answer by Niki Ramirez, MBA/PHR/SHRM-CP

From time to time we have all had that employee who seems to be more trouble than they are worth, so to speak. Issues can really pile up, and may affect your relationship with your employee. This is pretty common.

Before you decide to fire an employee, employee relations best-practice is to provide them with verbal and/or written performance feedback so that they have an opportunity to fix the problems. Surprisingly, sometimes employees don’t know that what they are doing is causing a problem.

First of all, it is important to handle each issue one at a time. Also, in order to limit liability to the company, as well as create a culture at your organization where employees trust you to deliver feedback when it matters most, consider laying it all out for your employee before you decide to separate employment (“fire them”).

Be Straightforward About It. 

Pull your employee aside (in a private location) at a time that is convenient for both of you. Now, approach each issue separately.

You can open the conversation like this: “Thanks for taking time to speak with me today. What I need to talk about is very important. I am going to share feedback on your performance in a few key areas including: attendance, client service and communication.”

Attendance…

Whether you employ 1 person or 100 people, you’re going to run into attendance problems at some point. To get results, consider something like this:

“Let’s start out with attendance. I count on you to be on time for every scheduled shift. When you are not available at the times that we have previously agreed upon, we cannot service clients and we let our team members down. Is there something that is preventing you from following through with your schedule that I can help with?”

Wanting to Cherry Pick Clients…

“We are so grateful for all of our clients. I understand that you have your favorite clients. I do too. However, I’m sure that you can understand that for the success of the business, we need to be ready and willing to jump in and service whichever clients need us when they need us. In order for me to keep you on the team, I need to know that you’re willing to work with all of clients that are assigned to you. If there is ever an issue with a client, please let me know. Aside from that, can I count on you to help out any client assigned to you for services?”

Poor Communication…

Addressing poor communication is important to preserve the image of your company.

Communication skills include:

  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication (email, letters, memos, text messages, etc.)
  • Listening

Depending on the particular communication issue that you’re having with your employee, you may say something like:

  • “The way that we communicate with our clients can make or break the success of our relationship with them. We want to maintain excellent relationships with all of our clients. In order to ensure great communication with clients, I need you to please: ___________________________. Can you agree to that?”

Close The Meeting With A Strong Message

In order to ensure you and your employee are on the same page, close the conversation with a strong message.

Consider this, “Thank you for taking time to discuss these concerns with me. I know it can be tough to receive constructive feedback, and I’m sure you understand that I’m sharing with you hoping that you understand clearly what your job expectations are. I need you to understand that if I do not see improvement in the areas we discussed, your job is in jeopardy. What can I do to help you be successful?”

Firing Pet Sitting Employees

Regardless Of The Issue, Always Follow Up In Writing

Your employee discipline program may be loosely organized or might be more regimented.  Either way, follow up in writing.

This could be a quick email or typed note to say: “I appreciate your openness during our conversation about your attendance today.  Please let me know if you have any questions about our attendance and punctuality policy; or we can assist you in any way so that you can make it to work on time, every time.”

If you made any verbal agreements, for example, modified an employee’s schedule so that they could come in later or leave earlier on a regular basis, outline that in the written summary of the conversation. Try to end the meeting on a positive note, offering to help them as much as possible.

Follow Through With Progressive Discipline

If the employee understands what is expected of them but continues to fail to meet your expectations, formalize the counseling process with a “written warning” or something of that nature.

Remember to outline what happens next: if they indeed continue with the poor behavior or performance.  Put them on notice when it is their final warning; and only do this when you will absolutely follow through the “next time” – for example: “if you are absent or tardy again in the week, you will be terminated immediately.”  However, only make that statement if you know you have the willpower to follow through.

If They Aren’t A Keeper, Don’t Keep Them

You know when you think and employee is a “good fit”, and if they aren’t working out, you know that too!  Only keep employees who want to be on the team, and who can meet your minimum expectations.

If employees are allowed to continue working but exhibit behavior or performance problems, they can disrupt the good work and commitment of other employees. I know that choosing to fire a pet sitting employee is tough, but be reassured that there is someone even better waiting just around the corner!

Compliance Note

All termination decisions should only be made after carefully considering your employees’ rights under various rules and regulations. Such as, anti-discrimination laws, including the American’s With Disabilities Act, which protects employees who have qualifying medical conditions. This is a really important step when choosing to fire a pet sitting employee. If you’re unsure, be sure to contact your HR representative.

What’s Next?

As you navigate the employee coaching, discipline, guidance and termination process, you will develop a style and process that is right for you and your company. We reviewed just a few important considerations when moving toward involuntarily terminating an employee. However, there is a lot to consider each and every time you decide to fire a pet sitting employee – and how you approach it can either create or limit liability for your company. We hope you contact us if you have additional or specific questions that we can address!

coach

Today’s blog is brought to you by HR expert, Niki Ramirez. She is the Founder and Principal Consultant at HRAnswers.org a firm dedicated to providing impactful yet practical human resources advice and organizational development support to businesses of all sizes. Niki is a dual-certified HR professional with experience spanning over 20 years, including: serving in operational leadership roles, adjunct business faculty member, and as a human resources executive. Niki carries with her a strong desire to educate and empower employees and their leaders to work in partnership to design and implement meaningful human resources programs that drive the success of their organizations.

Be sure to connect with Niki at https://www.facebook.com/hranswers.org/

Employee Handbook and Training Manual

2 Of The Most Important Requirements To Establish With New Pet Sitting Employees

How exciting! You just hired a new pet sitting employee for your company and now comes the training period. But how exactly do you teach someone and ensure that they not only understand but will agree to all the policies and procedures you have created for your business? How do you make sure they respect the boundaries that they are working in and your position as their boss?

Every day you’ll fight an uphill battle if the rules and boundaries of your pet sitting company aren’t properly set up. That means having a training program that teaches your staff members the employee handbook and training manual.

If you don’t have these things, prepare for your foot to hurt a lot – and often –  as you’re basically shooting at it as soon as you pop out of bed.

Just having rules isn’t enough, though.

They need to be clear, constantly updated and taught in a way that ensures employees
A) understand and
B) agree

 

 

Requirement #1 When Employees Understand:

For new pet sitting employees to understand rules, you’ll need a few different things during training such as:

  • Funny videos, pictures, and good personal stories stressing the importance of certain policies.
  • Handbook and policies are written in language that is simple, easy to read, and to the point.
  • An effective shadowing process to tie up loose ends at the culmination of training.
  • A process of about 1-2 weeks. It should be drawn out over a few days (and up to a few weeks) and may include shadowing in the field too.
  • Ultimately, the best way to make sure they’ve satisfied your company’s “understanding” requirement is that you could administer an employee-exam covering important policies and things employees frequently mess with.


Requirement #2 When New Pet Sitting Employees Agree:

When it comes to agreeing, we aren’t just talking about signing on the dotted line. When your employees don’t just know the policy, but truly agree with it, you’ll have an easier time offering them constructive criticism and giving out consequences.  It’s your job to make sure they agree. You’ll want to go out of your way for this one.

 

Include Your New Pet Sitting Employee To Get Them To Agree

During training, let them engage with you about policy and keep open the possibility of you tweaking or changing the rules based on their advice. Verbalize to them that you’d truly do something like that.

Create multiple opportunities like this to give them skin in the game. Hear their concerns and make them feel as comfortable as humanly possible to offer such wisdom back. Stay strong when you must.  

Be ready to defend and explain the reasons why certain policies mean so much to you. If you write policy with a strong moral and safety background, you’ll have little to debate.

new pet sitting employees

Create and Discuss Hypothetical Scenarios To Get Your New Pet Sitting Employees To Agree:

You should make sure that you go out of your way to ensure they agree with all the policies. Help your new pet sitting employees come up with issues they might experience.

Come up with separate hypothetical examples of employees where mistakes were met with constructive criticism,  

A) getting a strike

B) being suspended

C) getting fired

Show them how, in each example, you didn’t get upset, but simply gave the consequence. Ask them if this type of system they can be happy operating under. Get them, beyond all doubt, to say “I 100% agree to how this company runs.” Then, you can finally have them sign on the dotted line of your company’s employment agreement (that was looked at by your employment lawyer!).

 

The Business (You) Will Come Out The Good Guy:

When you get your new pet sitting employees to understand and agree, you preserve the relationship; the system does the consequence giving, not you.  Giving consequences are already awkward enough.

Giving consequences in a, non-confrontational manner, with as little words and interaction from your part, is how it’s done right. Do, however, tell them to please voice their concerns if they have any – and hear them with unconditional empathy and a refusal to argue.

Don’t offer any more than you must on your end though – let the system do the talking.  When you do it this way, you simultaneously preserve your relationship and boundaries. Then, the only thing you’ll have to focus on is giving the rewards – something that is much more powerful and wayyy more fun anyhow.

 

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David Steinberg is the owner of David’s Pet Services (DPS) – a Dog Walking & Pet Sitting Co. based out of West Hartford, CT. In his last profession, he was a certified psychotherapist where he worked 1-on-1 with children and young adults and provided psychoeducation to adults on parenting.

David feels the transition from therapist to dog trainer and business owner was seamless – with lesson learned including conflict resolution, positive reinforcement, and relationship building, he now feels equipped to ensure obedient doggy-clients, satisfied human-clients, happy employees, and a healthy business.

If you love adorable pictures of puppies, check out his Instagram Also, here’s his website, facebook page, twitter!