Human resources for a small business

Small business owners have a lot on their plate. They face a variety of challenges on the daily which require their absolute attention. In and amongst the daily grind tasks is the hiring and firing of staff and in between that they have to ensure their team of employees is happy all the time.


Creating a solid company culture and ensuring your staff members are happy and satisfied is not an easy task. What’s more, it doesn’t always mean supplying them with great coffee and drinks on a Friday. It often means you need to have some secure processes in place, you need to create a space in which they feel they are heard and you must comply with what the law says they need. Your employees need to feel secure and safe in their positions. If they don’t, there is no amount of great coffee or drinks after work that will make them feel happy.


It’s not just for those in the big leagues


Small businesses employing people are not in any way exempt from Human Resource requirements and compliance. But this is simply another part of making sure the office environment and the staff remain content. Setting up your human resource programs though, that’s a whole new ballgame for your average small business owner. But understanding the ins and outs of the human resource process is not easy for the layman. Knowing about business, knowing how to start one and having holistic knowledge of human resources are completely different things entirely.


From the minute they arrive they are your human resource concern


From the minute your new employee steps into the building on their first day, there are human resource laws and policies governing their presence there. As a business owner and boss you need to have your human resource processes and documentation in order. In fact for each hire you make you need an employee file that is split in two. One part of it is a personnel file and the other is a confidential file. The personnel file will house the likes of your new employee’s Curriculum Vitae (CV), their job application form or cover letter, payslips, reviews and any disciplinary action. The confidential file will house their medical records, leave applications and reference checks.


You must create an employee guide that clearly indicates exactly what your business’s policies and procedures are. This should also indicate the company culture including dress code and outlining any company activities that occur regularly. Include guidelines on things like sick leave, applying for annual leave, maternity or paternity leave and so on. In this way the employees won’t feel lost as to what to do should they require assistance outside of their job description.


Having proper human resources in place positions your company as a good choice


A company that offers their staff a secure human resource process and procedure offers their staff security. In today’s economy where jobs are scarce and money is tight, finding a company that has a transparent approach to their hiring process and offers their employees a set of clear standards and parameters is rare. If you want your business to be one where people are desperately wanting to work then you should consider employing a robust human resource process.


Where to begin


As a small business owner, setting up your human resource department might sound like something outside of your skillset. What’s more, you don’t want to end up in a trial and error situation where you’re constantly trying to get it right. And outsourcing your human resources to a consultant can cost you a fortune, a fortune you cannot afford considering you’re still a small business or a startup. The better idea is to educate yourself before you enter the hiring process. There are an abundance of human resources and legal courses that you can sign up for. If you choose a reputable institution to study at, you will find the courses are quick and easy enough with a bunch of resources you can turn to if you get stuck. Taking a course that unpacks the laws around human resources you will find setting up your department far easier.


People are your company’s biggest asset. You have to be ready to take care of your employees in the correct manner and in a way that makes them want to continue their career in your company. After all, a small business will only grow substantially if you have a high-performing team.