Running a small business comes with a significant amount of juggling. You spend a considerable amount of time handling most tasks yourself or finding the right people to manage them for you. One of the key, but often neglected areas, you must manage is Human Resources (HR). Many business owners do not fully understand the critical role HR plays in a company. They view the responsibilities as one of those things they just have to get done.
If you look at Human Resources as a strategic, integral part of your business rather than a chore, you might find that you end up giving your staff exactly what they need. A productive team usually means a CEO can spend more time working on new products, new services and of course running things.
So where do you start when it comes to managing your HR? Here’s are a few things you need to consider…
Good record keeping is much more than just the basics. You do of course need up to date records of contact information, address, name, and phone number changes. However, the better your files, the more information you’ll have if you ever need it.
You might be required to show your compliance with specific employment laws, these records keep you and your employee protected. In general, you should aim to have four files per person that you hire.
- Payroll file – this covers wages, and tax forms, deductions, deposits, and any information needed in regards to pensions
- Personnel file – Hiring documents, awards, training, performance issues, and complaints
- Medical – Accidents, illnesses, absences, benefits, life/health insurance documents
- Emergency contact – name, phone number and email of who to contact in case of an emergency
While keeping records is essential, it is no good if you aren’t paying attention to what’s going on with your team. Using HR analytics, you can see how often people are late, or calling in sick. If you aren’t tracking your personnel data, you might be paying people for the time they aren’t actually working. The data can also provide information that helps you assess the overall morale of your team. For example, when more and more people start to call in sick, it can be an indication that something has your team not wanting to come to the office.
Other areas you consider tracking are sales, complaints, and praise received. This information can help when it comes time to quarterly or end of year bonuses.
Hire slowly, and fire quickly. Many companies choose to do this the opposite way. A manager will hire someone very quickly and fire them slowly. You want to take your time to make sure you bring the right people on board. People who align with the culture of the company and support the companies vision.
Make sure that nothing about the hiring process breaks any laws. You shouldn’t have any questions about race, gender, religion, nationality, age or disability. You want to have a fair hiring process based on one’s skill sets and the ability to perform in the role. If the position requires specific skills and knowledge that may restrict who you can hire, make sure that you are well within those legal boundaries. An example would be a position that requires someone to a certain type of drivers license, able to lift 60 pounds and must be on their feet for a significant part of the day.
Don’t Make it Harder
Sometimes small business owners can make everything slightly more complicated because they do try to do so much by themselves. You may think you don’t need to hire someone to serve as your HR Director but as your company grows you will. They have the background and knowledge to analyze the personnel data and track the information you need to be aware of. Include them in your strategic planning so they can advise on what is needed to continue to grow and expand your business. They can also help you when it comes to drafting policies and staying compliant with local and federal hiring and personnel laws and regulations. If you can not afford to bring someone on board full-time, consider outsourcing the role or hiring someone part-time until you can.
Managing Human Resources within your small business will help you understand your team much better. Just as you want to keep your clients and customers happy, you want your team to be happy too. If they are, they will be dedicated to the company and strive to perform well every day. In return, your business will be around for years to come. Here’s to YOUR success!
Carolyn R. Owens has over 25 years of proven experience and serves as a Career Strategist, Executive and Leadership Coach. She is the President of Infinity Coaching, Inc. where she can help you up-level your skills, so you can up-level your income, career, business or life. Infinity Coaching, Inc. provides coaching, organizational training, personality assessments, and a signature program, the Infinity Coaching Inner Circle. Carolyn is certified to give both The Energy Leadership Index Assessment and Myers Briggs Type Indicator Assessment. You can find out more about both assessments and other products and services at http://www.infinitycoaching.net.