5 Challenges That Can Become Opportunities for Small Business Owners

By Tiffany Castagno, Transformative HR Curator of Culture; CEO & Founder, CEPHR


We’ve all seen some level of challenges throughout the Pandemic. How we respond to them is the differentiator. We can choose to leverage the challenges as opportunities or to allow setbacks to suppress decision-making. Last week, I operated my business via Mobile Phone because my computer experienced some issues that made it inaccessible to me.

I maintained my regular schedule of activities (including being a guest on SLG Impact’s “THIS” Podcast. I adjusted around the technological inconvenience I was experiencing as was necessary and as best I could (with Grace to myself, just as I’d afford others in a similar situation). We are more resilient and adaptable than we think.


As Business Owners, a lot comes at us, but we can choose to see it as a Learning Opportunity and a chance for Continuous Improvement. Let’s take a look at some current challenges facing Small Business Owners today and how to leverage them into opportunities.


Hiring and Retaining Diverse Employees

  • Celebrate your Current State- Take a look at the Rockstars already in your organization!

  • Have a diverse Hiring Panel representative of your Community and those you’re trying to hire but don’t Tokenize folks to meet a Quota- Hire for skills and potential

  • Make objective hiring decisions

  • Diversify your Outreach to diversify your talent pool

  • Employer Branding is key- Get Social on LinkedIn!

  • Have an On-boarding Plan for at least the first two weeks- best practice is first 90 days

  • Do a proper Job Analysis and update your Job Descriptions at least once a year

  • Update your salaries to market on a regular cadence

Evaluating and Measuring Performance

  • Increase feedback loops so that Performance Management isn’t treated as a once-a-year event but an ongoing conversation

  • Give constructive feedback, even when it’s tough

  • Ask your employees what type of feedback they need and how often

  • Have a regular forum where feedback occurs on a consistent schedule

  • Make sure that employees know how they will be rated for their performance, when they can expect any salary adjustments, and what the process is

Ensuring Equitable Policies, Procedures, & Practices

  • Have an Employee Handbook and keep it updated

  • Survey employees and take action

  • Focus on your Mission, Vision, and Values to shape your Culture

  • Share your Values with employees and get them involved in shaping them - Culture is everyone’s responsibility!

  • Live your Values

  • Provide Pay Equity- Review Internal Equity and review the external Market

  • Be transparent and have a Compensation Philosophy to share best practices and how your organization approaches pay

Navigating COVID

  • Balance organizational health & safety with providing proper, equitable flexibility

  • Seek to Understand how EEs feel and take action on the data you obtain

  • Have and communicate policies and procedures- update regularly

  • Be willing to embrace uncertainty and change/adapt quickly

  • Decide what’s best for you and your business vs solely relying on what others are doing

Preventing Turnover

  • Know your folks and share time with them- Actively Listen to best support them

  • Give employees a voice

  • Have a firm understanding of your current state with data and your turnover data (reasons, tenure, etc.)

  • Conduct Exit Surveys

  • Provide Role Clarity

  • Make sure employees have access to Conflict Resolution resources

LISTEN TO TIFFANY ON THIS. with Shauna Griffiths


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