Small businesses can often make human resource blunders that hurt profits and prevent them from growing, which is crucial because statistics show that only half of start-ups will survive long enough to celebrate their fifth anniversary. When it comes to HR support for small businesses, there is a lot more to consider than just creating a safe and happy workplace for your employees. Of course, you want to build an environment where your employees enjoy coming to work, but the HR world is a little more complex than that.
There are best practices involved in setting up a proper HR system for your business. In many instances when people start smaller businesses and when they start to grow, they don’t give thought in the forefront to things that will affect them in the long-term. Once is such thoughts is Human Resources.
To Increase the chances of survival expert offer small business HR Tips :
Develop an employee handbook.
A lack of a written policy and an employee handbook can be costly. Every business needs an employee handbook. Consider it your safeguard in case of any disputes. In the manual, outline your employee expectations and your company’s operating procedures. Require every employee to sign it on first day of work and once again each year following. It’s also good HR practice to review and revise your handbook at least once a year. Employee handbooks should include workplace policies that are easy to understand, fair and consistent.
Small businesses waste time and lose business opportunities by not prepping employees before the first day of work. Get new employees business cards, a telephone line and benefits forms before their first day of work so they can hit the ground running. If it is possible small and medium businesses automate collecting paperwork to ensure that new employees complete and hand in all needed documents on their first day at work. It is also important to let new employees know what tasks they need to complete before their first day.
Comprehensive benefits package.
Benefits packages are not one-size-fits-all. The more you know and understand your employees, the better you can meet their needs. Generous packages include competitive (and affordable) health insurance plans, paid sick leave, paid time off and transportation allowance. A strong package will add value to your employees’ overall compensation.
Mismanaging payroll is a fast track to losing your employees’ trust. Every pay day must be correct. Paying employees on time is critical, too. Set a strict payment schedule and stick to it. Also, make sure you are compliant with the rules around correctly classifying your employees. Some small and medium business employers classify employees as independent contractors to avoid having to cover them under Workers’ Compensation Insurance and pay payroll taxes. If employees are misclassified, then small businesses could end up having to pay back payroll taxes and benefit costs on top of fines and penalties from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). Violations of Labour Laws can lead to costly fines and penalties.
What kind of information belongs in an employee file and how do you keep it confidential? Remember there are rules for that too. It is important to document your employees and learn how to properly maintain and secure their files. This kind of documentation comes in handy in case a situation with an employee arises.
The reason for evaluating employees is to measure job performance and to help employers determine whether an employee’s skill set is matched to the job description. It is important to understand their strengths and weaknesses, provide training and development and recognize and reward good performance.
Many small companies hire and fire talent based on “gut feelings” and then live to regret the decision. Employees who are discharged on a whim can sue for unfair termination or file a claim of discrimination at National Labour Commission (NLC).
Employment-related lawsuits can be costly, and small business owners can do themselves a favor by crafting a performance contract for employees and putting a job performance evaluation plan in place.
It is important to regularly schedule performance or evaluations meetings between line managers and the employee (for example, at 30 and 90 days for new employees) and provide Line Managers questions they should ask during these meetings so they can more easily measure performance. Documentation is important, too. Many small employers tend to think that if they do not document employees’ relations situation, liability will be reduced as the employees will not have anything to use against them. However, this is actually the opposite. Documentation of employee relations situations allows the employer to prove that proper action was taken, especially in the event of disciplinary for poor performance. This will prove that the employee involved was informed of the need to correct the behaviors, improve performance and warned of the potential for disciplinary action up to termination if need be.
HR Legal Compliance
Understanding employment law is by far one of the most important HR tips for small businesses. Regulations cover nearly every aspect of recruitment, retaining, and terminating employees, compensation, benefits and safety. The Labour laws have not changed, not even during COVID-19. Any business that breaches the law will be held accountable. Therefore, SME’s should start familiarizing themselves with employment law. It is also advised to engage the services of HR Consultants and lawyers to support them. Mistakes happen and employment issues may arise in which you may need a good lawyer to help. Having a reliable lawyer for your business can help protect against lawsuits or any employee issue that is not within your control.
Join a network of other small and medium businesses.
You are not the only business navigating the HR situation. It is advised that small businesses join a professional organization or chamber of commerce to network with other small business owners. When you join a community, you can share your experiences and learn from other’s successes and mistakes. Successful small business owners know the importance of forming partnerships, and those that fail often try to do too much on their own. Partnering with HR Practitioners can help recruit, retain, manage, and grow a small or medium businesses’ workforce, while employees can concentrate on the business and focus on their customers, products and services.
These tips for HR professionals should help small businesses get started on the components that are most important to your organization’s success. It helps employers navigate and prepare both themselves and their businesses in the world of human resources. Managing HR, especially in a small business, can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, with the support of HR Practitioner and / or consultants everything will be ok.
These HR tips for small and medium businesses are just a guideline of what you need to do as a business owner and an employer. It helps you navigate and prepare both yourself and your business in the world of human resources.