4 reasons why small businesses should invest in HR…

When starting up a business, spending money on HR initiatives and policies can easily slip to the bottom of the to-do list. The general focus is to drive immediate returns, and so it can take time to see a real return on investment of HR. As a result, HR is being thrown in the mix with ‘business admin’ and is reduced to a mere box-ticking exercise.

In place of an effective HR strategy, small business owners frequently try to encourage friendly and informal relationships, working under the implied promise of trust and  casual compliance with ‘this is the way that we do things around here’.

Many of the start-ups that began life this way, in a burst of enthusiasm, optimism and sheer hard graft, do not make it past their fifth birthday. Unfortunately, relying on their inherently goal-orientated and collaborative start-up culture to support people management requirements is not an effective plan for growth and longevity.

Small businesses need to strike the balance between managing ground-breaking innovation and challenging the status quo, with ensuring that they have streamlined processes in place that pave the way for long lasting growth. HR is not there to squash these cultural ideals, it’s there to form the foundations on which a successful business can grow and thrive.

So why should small businesses invest their time and money in HR from the beginning and ensure they get a return on their investment? Here are four reasons why small businesses should invest in HR.

1. HR adds value

Small businesses see little, if any, distinction between the strategic and transactional elements of HR. As a result, it is systematically undervalued and under resourced. And yet there is plenty of evidence to show that strategic HR delivers real dividends – especially among disruptive companies that are challenging the status quo. Netflix is a good example of fresh thinking about people management and how centralising and prioritising the employee experience can deliver exceptional results. This innovative culture has been a key factor in the company’s success.

2. Small businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable

With their relaxed attitude to people management, small businesses are leaving themselves exposed to claims that they may struggle to defend in an Employment Tribunal. By investing in HR and developing policies and best practice they will have a fundamental framework to fall back on.

Employee handbooks are essential in today’s workplace as they help set out core Company expectations in terms of general conduct and integral UK policies and employment legislation, take a look at HR Revolution’s employee handbook template designed to cover everything your business requires to remain compliant.

3. It will come back to haunt you if you don’t

The value of HR is often downplayed in the early stages of a business and this can come back bite them, just look at Uber. And they are not alone. There has been no shortage of news stories revealing issues within larger businesses that could have been avoided if even the most basic of HR procedure was in place. Unfortunately, these companies thought about it too late and it rebounded back on them ten fold because by this time they are no longer a small start-up.

4. Managing HR admin is a misuse of individuals’ skillsets

As a small business, you probably don’t have a dedicated HR person – this is typically because at this early stage, survival is the biggest business priority. As a result, the management of HR administration such as approving holidays, managing sickness, and approving expenses, is landing in the laps of busy senior employees by default.

According to recent research, CEOs of small businesses are spending, on average, eight hours a week on all HR-related tasks. That’s more than office or operations managers who spend seven hours a week and might more realistically be expected to spend time on administrative activity. To put that into perspective, the median average cost of CEO time spent on HR equates to £18,700 each year and is an absolute misuse of individuals’ skillsets.

This is where HR Revolution can help you save valuable time and money by automating your all consuming HR tasks…  with breatheHR, an online HR information system starting from as little as £9 per month.

It has been shown that dedicated HR software saves small businesses, on average, four hours a week on HR admin with the use of software that can assist you with your day-to-day tasks.  Take a look at breatheHR below and manage your people, not paper!!

Summary

It’s no longer acceptable for small businesses to allow HR due process to fall by the wayside, prioritising new business over their people management. In the current business economy, where 40% of businesses fail within the first five years, enthusiastic entrepreneurs need to change their tact. Whilst your investments may not bring about immediate returns, your return on investment will be clear when your trained, supported and rewarded employees grow with you.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit http://www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

A version of this blog first appeared on breathehr.com

Why you need HR…

Lets face it, in an ideal world, we’d never have to worry about firefighting people issues within a business. We’d have perfectly crafted policies, highly skilled line managers and engaged employees who are passionate about helping business operations reach their full potential.

I did say in an ideal world, however, things have a tendency not to work out that way. Pretty much every business owner would have experienced some tricky HR issues during their career, and most would probably agree that they can sometimes come out of the blue.

Let us help you identify any potential people issues in your business, until the end of August we are conducting obligation free Audit’s worth £750 free of charge, email info@hrrevolution.co.uk and enter FREEAUDIT in the subject line to book.

In the meantime, if you’ve found yourself with a complex and confusing people issue that you’ve had to deal with, you need to be focused on finding the solution.

Here, we explain in 3 steps how you can take control.

  1. Use the law as your first port of call

Employment legislation exists for a reason. It’s there to protect workers and ensure that standards are upheld. It can be confusing to navigate at times, but it’s imperative to recognise that ultimately, it can help you. If you’re handling an HR problem and you’re not sure what to do, the first thing that you should consider is your legal responsibilities.

An example, an employee came and told you that they feel that they need a pay rise. As long as you’re paying your employees the minimum wage, you aren’t obliged to reconsider your benefits package.  Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you should just brush the comments under the table. Exemplary employers move past compliance, and consider the bigger picture and the future of their business.

  1. Bring in the specialists

Sometimes, knowing the law isn’t enough to cut it. If you’re dealing with a particularly sensitive or complex issue, you might need a little extra help. It’s vital that HR concerns are dealt with in a timely manner, and that you get it right first time, so working with an experienced professional could give you that extra peace of mind that you really need.

HR Revolution deal with people issues every day, so we have the knowledge and expertise to cut straight to the heart of any situation to deliver the very best solution.

  1. Stop repeating the same mistakes

You’ve handled your HR issue, and come out the other side breathing a sigh of relief.   Back to business as usual… actually it’s a great time to take a step back and assess your current position and opportunities.

What lessons have you learned?  How can you prevent the same thing from happening again?

In many cases, if you decide to work with an HR consultant, you will be left with a detailed action plan so you can raise your game and become a better employer.

Ultimately though, never forget it comes down to you. Are you serious about nurturing your employees in the best way possible?  Issues are sometimes inevitable, and come hand in hand with running a business. What really matters is the ability to handle the situation in a way which best serves your employees and your business.

Get in touch with HR Revolution and let us conduct an obilgation free HR Audit, where will carry out a full review your current HR, including HR documentation, employee files and processes. We will provide a detailed report to summarise the areas that need attention, especially anything critical required to keep your business compliant with the most up to date employment laws and practices.

Please give HR Revolution a call on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution – www.hrrevolution.co.uk

 

There is no room for hate in the workplace

We’re currently living through some very uncertain times and there seems to be a story in the news weekly detailing the terrible things that are happening all over the world including acts of violence, racism, terrorism the list goes on. Sadly there is clearly a lot of hate around and that can sometime creep into the workplace, with people passing their opinion and judgement or just because some people stereotype and judge people unjustly.

So what exactly do employers need to be aware of, and what are your responsibilities as we navigate our way through what’s going on around us? Read on for advice and guidance.

Take a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination and harassment

If you witness hateful incidents in your workplace, it’s your responsibility to take action. Leaders should never turn a blind eye to such situations, and if you were to take this route, you’d be likely to find that everything very quickly escalated out of control.

Many of our clients employ diverse workforces and enjoy the many benefits of doing so, but it’s important that you have a plan in place when problems arise. Act fast, and in line with your existing people policies. Be firm, and lead by example. This is no time for waiting around or being ambiguous with your actions.

Contact the appropriate authorities where necessary

Some problems can be nipped in the bud immediately with some clear communication and a firm stand. Sometimes though, there are deeper issues at play, and things can very quickly spiral out of control. It may be the case that you need to involve the police.

This may seem like a big step to take, but it’s vital that you remember that you have a responsibility as an employer. The authorities will be able to give you advice on what to do next, and will be able to take any necessary steps to ensure that the situation is managed in accordance with the law.

Our advice for handling such issues is short and to the point. Take action quickly, and take a stand against any such behaviour.

If you suspect that your discrimination and harassment policies may be outdated or no longer fit for purpose, then now would be a great time to complete an audit of exactly where you are, and what challenges may be ahead.

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Dealing with negativity in the workplace, take our advice.

In the workplace, negativity can spread like wildfire. So how exactly should you approach the situation if you have one employee who’s bringing down the rest of your workforce? Here, we share practical hints and considerations.

Listen!

Sometimes, people simply need a sounding board for their frustrations and concerns. Burying your head in the sand and hoping that things will fix themselves is very rarely a sensible strategy. Instead of just paying lip service to the concept of having an open door policy, make sure that you live by it.

Get to know your employees. Work out what makes them tick. Find the real issues that are at play. This is what makes the difference between a manager and a leader.

Challenge negative thinking

There are always external influences that you and your business can have no control over. No one’s expecting you to solve the worlds problems.  However, if comments are being made about internal issues, you need to tackle them.

If they’re true, take the time to explain the reason why things are the way they are, and how employees can play a part in improving the situation. If false statements are being shared, speak up immediately and put the record straight. Sometimes, a little strong leadership is what’s needed to get things back on the right track.

Recognise the difference between a bit of negativity and serious mental health problems

Most of us are guilty of letting negative feelings take over now and again. Some might say that it’s all part and parcel of living in the modern world. As a leader though, you have a responsibility to know the difference between this, and mental health issues amongst your employees.

If you suspect that there are more serious problems at play, you have a responsibility to ensure that your staff are supported and given the professional assistance that they might need. In this situation, your first port of call should be to speak with an expert. Remember that discretion is key, and you absolutely must honour the confidentiality of your employees.

The feeling and mood in many workplaces goes through peaks and troughs. It’s your job to make sure that your employees are motivated and productive.

If you’re experiencing problems, it may be worthwhile to have a chat with us about your challenges. Get in touch today www.hrrevolution.co.uk | info@hrrevolution.co.uk | 0203 538 5311

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