For those of you who know us and have visited our website you’ll know we pride ourselves on being straight talking and pragmatic in our approach. We know that small businesses, owners and managers can be fearful of Human Resource or people issues. We are proactive about taking the fear out of HR. Often it feels scary and mysterious, making small business managers feel they need a law degree to manage people. In reality it’s people skills and the ability to have human conversations that keeps you safe in people management.
We quite often establish long lasting relationships with clients who come to us in a panic. Many don’t have HR processes in place. But that’s fine we can always help. There’s no need to feel silly or embarrassed, you’d be surprised how many companies have nothing in place, not even contracts of employment.
We pride ourselves on taking the fear out of HR. You certainly don’t need to feel it’s a mystery or complex. Cases can be complex at times, but that’s why you should reach out as soon as you think you have a HR issue emerging.
As a small business, you don’t have all the resources of a larger company to deal with HR issues”. At first it’s all about growing the business and focusing on the customer, product or service. Sometimes you bring people on board to help out and before you know it you have a whole team.
Some people see the customer and sales as their main priority. But unhappy staff are not going to covey great customer service or perform well to sell to or retain customers. Managing your people well is still critical for your success.
Taking the Fear out of HR
Here are some common HR issues small businesses can face:
- Not having contracts of employment in place. Since 2020 there has been a requirement for employees to have a contract of employment from day one.
- Not varying staff contracts when there is a change of role or in the terms of the contract, reducing or increasing working hours for example.
- Not having any formal policies or procedures – This can lead to inconsistency, legal risks and employee dissatisfaction.
- Not documenting performance issues – When issues eventually issues escalate there is no record of discussions, target measurement or improvement plans that may have discussed verbally.
- Not having termination processes in place. These include not completing a probationary period successfully, disciplinary and performance terminations, and redundancies. – Letting employees go can be extremely stressful it’s important to have clear guidelines and templates prepared in advance.
- Not giving regular feedback – Employees appreciate knowing where they stand and what they can improve. Without consistent feedback, issues can fester and escalate.
- Not setting clear goals and expectations – Ambiguity breeds rumour and frustration for employees who don’t know what’s expected of them in their roles. You can’t measure success if there are no measures in place. Goals should be specific, measurable and time-bound.
- Not providing training or development opportunities – Employees feel stagnant and unmotivated without chances to learn and advance. Think of the process of germinating seeds. If there’s no water, sunshine and feed they whither and die.
- Only focusing on problems, not strengths. This often happens when there is pressure on sales or finances. – When reviews only list what employees are doing wrong, it damages morale and motivation. Praising strengths and progress keeps staff engaged.
- Not communicating regularly – Without weekly or monthly updates on company priorities, changes and financials, employees feel disconnected from the business. Transparency boosts clarity, engagement and ultimately loyalty.
These are common HR issues that stem from fears of what appears to be complex processes, time constraints and lack of HR expertise. But even implementing a few simple, practical solutions in these areas can drastically improve employee management and motivation. A quick chat with us can relieve so many unnecessary worries and becoming overwhelmed.
Give us call whilst it’s still on your mind 0191 303 7775.