Just the other day I was asked “what does HR ACTUALLY mean”? For many small business owners it’s an elusive practice, the privilege of larger corporations and not relevant to the size of their business. Yet the consequences of ignoring some basic HR principles can be very costly for SME’s in the longer run. It is a given for a SME to have an IT specialist and an accountant for example, so why not an HR consultant? Someone who can tangibly boost your company morale, direction and profits. If that sounds interesting, then here are some ways you can reap the benefits in 2018.
Be proactive, not reactive
While HR are often the go-to team when things go wrong (more of that later), where we really add value is in the planning stages. You will have a vision and a strategy for where you want your business to be – HR’s role is to help you get there, in a cost-effective manner, with your whole workforce by your side. We do this by
- helping you recruit the RIGHT people with effective selection and interview techniques
- helping you identify skills shortages and then upskilling your current employees so they are ready for what lies ahead
- helping you share that vision with your employees so that you are maximising productivity
This last point is so crucial and often falls by the wayside as an SME accelerates in its success. With recent reports that productivity in the UK is stagnating, giving some thought to how you can engage your employees is not time wasted. An engaged, productive employee has a clear line of sight between their individual role, the company’s strategy and in turn the reward they get for doing their job well. We can give you some practical ways to bring your strategy to life for each and every employee.
And I presume you want to retain those star performers in your company? All of the above points need regular reviewing and renewing to keep them on board.
Deal effectively with the issues
Employment law is something all companies must familiarise themselves with, large or small. We can help you avoid inadvertent law-breaking and costly procedures. An audit of your current practices can enable you to set up solid employment contracts, job descriptions and performance management procedures, all of which will protect you in the future.
The current climate means all employers should be knowledgeable about the risks of unfair dismissal, equal pay, sexual harassment and data protection. If you do end up with a grievance being raised, we will guide you through the correct investigative processes to ensure that you do not end up with costly legal action. Don’t ignore the warning signs and fumble through this one – far better to have a clear framework that protects both you and your employees.
Streamline Your Systems
There is an app for everything these days and you are most likely already using finance and CRM packages to automate your routine tasks. You can do this with an HR system too. While it is easy to keep track of a handful of employees when you start out, as your number grows, the handling of employee data can become unruly. We can help get you set up with a package such as BreatheHR, where you can centrally manage all employee aspects like recruitment, holiday planning, absence and performance management.
So in answer to the question “what is HR?” – well, ultimately, HR can be the lynchpin that pulls together all the pieces of your business: your strategy, your goals, your brand and most importantly, your people.
As you start 2018 this is the perfect moment to think about how we could help you this year. If you would like to have an initial consultation, get in touch with us.