The HR department is under a lot of pressure. As a small business, you won’t have the same resources as big companies but you still need to fight for the talent to succeed. What do you do?
The good news is that you don’t need to be a big firm with a lot of money to have a superb HR department. It’s possible to attract a lot of talent, be productive and to improve how your business operates with simple HR changes. Indeed, there are five ways to improve your small business HR and its effectiveness.
1. Developing a comprehensive HR strategy
The first thing is to ensure you are following a proper strategy. It’s easy to just have an HR department and allow them to work their way in hiring, firing and managing employees. But you should have a strategy behind this – a comprehensive approach to how you want to hire, when you want to do it and how you want to do it, for example. The same kind of extensive thinking also relates to managing and the moments when employees leave or they have to be let go.
The big picture goals and strategies every small business needs are:
- Training programs and development paths
- Motivational schemes to support employee wellbeing
- Systems to reward and to retain talent
- Succession planning
- Performance measurement
2. Consolidating HR software
Small businesses can benefit from HR software and the market is full of good small business HR software to respond to various business needs. But instead of applying a scattered approach to using software, i.e. adding one software to this function and another to this, you should focus on consolidation.
Disparate systems can make it harder to gain the benefits of data and technology. You will only have islands of information rather than a single database to draw information from. This can cause your small business HR professionals to waste time looking up information or result in bad decision making.
By consolidating small business HR software, you unleash better use of data and you save time as well. You will only need to do single data entries, as the systems are all aligned.
3. Sharing responsibilities
It’s also important to share responsibilities in terms of HR functions. This means transferring some functionality away from the shoulders of the HR personnel and engaging everyone in the workplace to work together. A big help in this is HR software, which today allows multi-access and self-servicing.
It doesn’t have to be the HR professional’s responsibility to input holiday requests, for example. In fact, the team can manage this on their own with the right HR software and everything will seamlessly integrate with payroll and so on. Responsibilities are shared, but not dodged. You allow the HR team to focus on other issues and the more meaningful aspects of employee management and allow the rest of the team take a bit more part in some HR functions.
4. Being more pro-active
A good small business HR shouldn’t be a reactive force but pro-active. With limited resources and small teams, it can sometimes be hard to focus on prevention rather than solutions but this shouldn’t happen. It’s important you focus on understanding the biggest problems you might encounter and how to prevent them from happening. You don’t want the majority of your focus to be on solving those issues after they occur.
How to become more pro-active? You will have to consider mapping out the most common HR problems you might have. These include things like losing an employee and having an internal problem with the team. After, you need to look for those preventive steps, such as comprehensive benefit packages, team meetings and bonding exercises and so on. This allows you to prevent problems from happening rather than just have strategies to solve them.
5. Asking for outside help
Finally, small businesses should not be afraid of external help. Your small business HR doesn’t have to be fully internal. It can be cost-effective to consider outsourcing certain functions, especially if you simply don’t have the right professionalism to solve those jobs yourself.
Outsourcing certain functions of HR can allow your current team to focus on the areas they have the most expertise in. For example, having a proper expertise in the recruitment process might not be cost effective for a small business that might only hire once every two years. You don’t need to invest in this area – it’s more important the HR team you have has expertise in employee management and retention. By outsourcing recruitment, you are saving money and time.
Improvements in HR mean improvements across the business
By improving your HR with the above five strategies, you’ll end up boosting your business’ functionality across the board. Teams will be happier and more effective. These small changes ensure your small business resources can focus on other important things like protecting assets. By solving HR, you end up solving a lot of things!