I am often asked, so what do you HR lot actually do? Don’t you just hire and fire people? Sometimes these questions come with a roll of the eyes, as the person asking the question has memories of when HR was known as Personnel – the ones in charge of creating compliance among the staff, and making sure staff kept to the rules, and clocked into work on time.
Today HR provides much more than just compliance, hiring and firing. We are a key part of any business, helping businesses to find the right people, keep them and grow them. We are a strategic business partner helping to reduce a lot of headaches for business owners, adding some serious value to your bottom line.
Below are some of the key aspects we regularly help business owners with to make sure they can help their people, their business and keep the headaches to a minimum!
Hiring Your People:
Getting your people’s stuff right starts well before an employee walks through the door on their first day. To get the scene set in the right way, always make sure you’ve got the following up and running for any new employee:
- An Employment Agreement: Always have this ready, checking that it is current, relevant, and legally compliant. Get the agreement to your new starter before they start, so they have time to review it, seek guidance and get it back to you a few days before they commence work.
- Job Description: Every employee should also have a detailed job description and be aware of what HR policies your company has. This is a great way for you to stop and check that you know exactly what you want them to be focusing on when they enter the business. This kind of direction can save a lot of hassle in the long term for everyone involved.
- Inductions: This is a key step often missed or simplified to just pairing up the new starter with a buddy for the first day and then the new starter is left to just “figure it out”. Taking the time to work out a decent induction plan, with reviews set for weeks one, three and five, can help to keep the employee on track and receiving the support they need at this crucial time. It might sound like a lot of work, but it significantly reduces a lot of tidying up later on.
Growing Your People:
Most team leaders, managers or business owners want to have a high-performing team. They might have a few key staff who regularly go above and beyond, taking initiative and going the extra mile. So how do you get the rest of your team to be like your top workers? Again, this is where HR can offer some great guidance to bring everyone up to the same level of performance and get your business continuously humming. So what can you do:
- One-to-One Meetings: Take the time to have a one-to-one meeting with each employee and talk about what they want to do. Book this in for a regular occurrence, and you’ll be amazed at what you discover. One key tip with these type of meetings, you’ll only find out what they really what if you focus on listening more than telling. Recently when speaking with a client, Jacob, he told me in no uncertain terms “I know what they want!”. He didn’t – he knew what he wanted for them. When I encouraged him to go back and just focus on listening, he discovered a whole range of things he didn’t know about his people.
- Development Plans: To make sure you collect your team’s thoughts and insights, create individual development plans, that include each employee’s wants and goals while reflecting the needs of your business. We did this for Jacob, creating a simple development plan for each of his staff, keeping it simple while focusing on a plan that built morale, motivation and increased productivity. The result – a happy client, and an engaged team!
Skipping the ‘HR’ stuff
When things get really busy, sometimes it’s easy to overlook all of this ‘people stuff’- the ‘HR’ stuff. We might start off with a hiss and a roar with getting the contracts right, having a great induction, and setting development plans, but then it gets near to Christmas, and we start forgetting or cancelling the HR stuff.
If you’re lucky, your people will be forgive you, but if not, often it’s just another piece in the puzzle for them, and chances are they will walk or start sabotaging their work environment in their own unique way. I have a client, who due to him being so busy, would often forget development meetings he had set with each of his team, and they had to keep reminding him. After a while, this wore his team down and it started impacting their attitude, behaviours, and yes, productivity started to drop away. I have had to mediate in many situations and employees have told me that communication and being let down was a key factor in why they no longer feel engaged or inspired to go the extra mile and why they decided to just leave.
Always keep your people’s promises. They matter.
Get Your HR Stuff Right
Often to get your HR stuff right, it’s about getting a decent plan in place, with some easy-to-use tools, such as clear and simple Development Plans to use with your people. Or it can be having some time to practice how to listen to your people right or make sure that a new starter has a clear path forward into your company. At Tradie HR we have not only the key tools to help you get your people stuff right, but we’re also a strategic partner that walks alongside you in your journey to grow your people.
This article is not intended to be a replacement for legal advice.