Small businesses often forgo a formal HR department as long as their operations are running smoothly. Unfortunately, this could cause issues in the long run as an organization expands and hires more employees. Some of these include higher rates of employee turnover, burnout, peer conflict, and even litigation.
As a small business, it's important that you stay on top of your HR operations by establishing a proper HR department. This will help focus and organize the efforts of your HR team. Together, they can create an organizational culture that nurtures employees, giving them the tools they need to thrive. If your employees are not able to put their best foot forward because they lack support, then your company will have a harder time innovating and staying competitive within its industry.
Here are some tips on how your HR department can grow your small business:
Recruit the right people
As a small business, your growth is completely dependent on the people you hire. The values of your new employees should align with the organization's vision and culture. They should be excited about contributing toward your organizational goals. That's why you need to create a candidate experience that is simple and straightforward about your organization's culture and expectations.
While creating job postings, be clear about the job responsibilities and what you want from your "ideal candidate." Screen resumes very carefully. Don't just focus on hard skills but also on intangible ones, like self-motivation or leadership. Interview questions for shortlisted candidates should be consistent with both the skills and personality traits you're looking for. If your organization is all about teamwork, you could ask how they would deal with a difficult coworker or how they would support the team. Keep your candidates well-informed at every stage of the process. Once you make a selection, deliver a great onboarding experience to help them understand their job and get familiar with your company culture.
Stay on top of employment laws
Labor laws change all the time, and they affect employee work hours, time off, benefits, workplace safety, and more. Maintaining compliance with the laws governing your region will help you avoid litigation. It's up to your HR department to define your organization's policies on working hours, attendance, time off, payroll, benefits, safety, anti-harassment and discrimination, resignations, and termination. It's useful to outline these policies, along with your company's vision, mission, and goals, in a company handbook. You can also include how you expect your employees to behave while working. Be sure to circulate the handbook among your employees and give it out as part of your new-hire routine.
Step up employee performance management
How your employees perform can make or break your small business. Before anything else, be sure your employees have all the tech tools they'll need to work efficiently. Conduct performance reviews and give feedback regularly to help employees know where they stand and how they can improve. Be sure your feedback process is a two-way street and that you're also willing to make changes based on employee needs. When employees do well, be sure to appreciate and reward them. It's also important to consistently update employees about organizational goals and the role they play in achieving them. Lastly, organize training programs to help employees gain new skills and perform at their best.
Manage employee payroll effectively
How you manage your payroll operations can have a huge impact on employee satisfaction and morale. Keep your payroll operations compliant with the payroll laws in your region, and process salaries consistently on time without any errors. Create a pay policy and help your employees understand why they are paid the salary they have. As a small business, it's better to go for payroll management software that uses automation to reduce errors and manual labor. This will help your organization expand without risking payroll issues down the line.
Make work more enjoyable
As you begin to grow your business at a faster pace, it's essential to create a work environment that employees can enjoy. It fosters better workplace relationships, encouraging your employees to be there for each other and work as a team during challenging times. Introduce fun activities and invite employees to participate. This can be something like organizing a group dinner or lunch every month or having a small party whenever a major milestone is achieved. Create fun awards and badges to celebrate victories, big or small. You can also add areas with foosball, table tennis, or board games at your workplace so that your employees can have fun together whenever they're free. These little activities can go a long way toward making work more fun for your employees.
As a small business, you may be inclined to cut HR costs to focus more on product development and enhancement. However, as your business grows, this can have some serious consequences for your business and damage its growth. By developing a proper HR strategy, you can take care of your employees, inspiring them to take care of your organization in turn.
What are some of your favorite HR strategies as a small business? Let us know in the comments below!