Archive for February, 2009

Small Business HR

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

People often tell me “we’re too small to need HR”.  Let’s explore this further, keeping in mind organizations with under 20 employees. Human Resources practices and tools are not reserved for medium-large organizations. Whether HR practices are formal or informal, they’re critical to your business success. As a business owner of a small business, here are HR practices that will help you hire, motivate, and retain staff that are productive and engaged on your business’s success.

  • Communicate the values, mission and value proposition of your organization’s service and/or products. People need to feel informed and included before they can commit. As a leader, you set the direction and need everyone on the same ship, staying the course. Hold regular meetings and provide business updates, and welcome employee ideas and input. Be a great person to work for.
  • Put job duties in writing, with non-negotiable service and behavioural standards. Then, develop specific objectives so they can focus efforts to achieve and exceed those expectations. You’ve shared your value proposition; these standards and expectations put ideas to action. Only then can you manage their efforts and provide constructive feedback, and praise. 
  • Hire the right people with strengths and skills aligned to each specific role. I often see smaller organizations hiring through friends and acquaintances and they forego a critical recruitment process. Employee referrals are great, as they’ve told others your organization is a good place to work. Just do your due diligence in aligning skillsets to your needs.
  • Develop employees. They’re in the right role; they understand your business value proposition; they work on a team with shared values. Help them develop skills that will build their confidence, expand their abilities, all aligned to your business needs.  These could be customer service related; furthering technical skills; expanding professional abilities.  People want to grow and succeed.
  • Recognize and praise a job well done. Whether an employee is developing your business, maintaining excellent administration support, or working directly with customers, they all have goals, objectives, and strengths. Praise and appreciation is motivating. And, motivation plus a focused effort equals productivity, satisfaction and retention.

Succeed through sound people practices

Human Resources practices are simply put the people practices that will sustain your business. People are the intellectual power that fuels your success. All your product, services, and internal processes only succeed through aligned people power. Show you value the power in your business.