It’s a common mistake to consider human resource management as something that only applies to large corporations. Small businesses also need to do their due diligence and incorporate practices that will make their employees feel valued, reducing the cost of turnover.
Implementing HR practices isn’t just about finding the right hris software for small business, it’s about showing your people that they’re valued and making your job easier during the daily grind. Here are the best human resources tips for small businesses.
Keep Open Lines of Communication
Your employees should feel comfortable coming to you with their problems. Whether that means a conflict with a fellow employee, a scheduling issue, or a problem from their home life that may be impacting their work. By maintaining an approachable, trustworthy demeanor, your employees will feel alright with having difficult conversations.
If you do not have a human resources professional within your organization, your managers and yourself will likely have to deal with the issues that would usually be handled by someone with that training. Consider having communications training for your high-level staff.
On the flip side of having open communication is maintaining boundaries between you and your staff. This can be a challenge for small businesses, as there are fewer individuals with which to interact on a daily basis. Friendships can form (as can cliques) and can impact your impartialness as well as your authority as a leader.
To maintain boundaries, try to keep your interactions with your employees to business-related events. You may decide to let loose at a holiday party, but going to a bar every weekend with your staff is not advisable.
Be Aware of Your Biases
Unconscious biases are an epidemic in the workplace, whether you work in a Fortune 500 company or a family-owned restaurant. Bias doesn’t only apply to race and religion, but it can also apply to seemingly innocuous things like age.
For example, if you have millennials working for you, you may be subject to preconceived notions about their values and work ethic. On the other hand, you may avoid hiring someone from an older generation out of concern that they won’t be able to handle the technology you use. Being aware of your biases can help you work around them and consider things beyond one’s appearances.
Adhere to the Laws
Depending on where you are in the world, there’s a good chance that there are laws in place to protect your employees. To effectively run a small business and avoid any lawsuits, you must first know the laws and then adhere to them. When in doubt, speak with an HR consultant so that you understand exactly what is expected of you regarding vacation time, maternity leave, bereavement, breaks, etc.
Have Clear Harassment Policies in Place
We live in a world that is hyper-aware of the issues surrounding workplace harassment. Get ahead of the curve and ensure you have a solid harassment policy in place, posted in a visible area, signed by all employees. Be quick to handle issues as they arise, and don’t make exceptions for anyone.
Over the next decade, there will be a paradigm shift in legislation regarding employee rights and employer responsibilities in the event of a reported incident. Be vigilant and create a safe workspace for all.
View the Whole Person
Whole Person Development is a concept abolishing the myth that people should separate work and home life. An employee having a hard time at home will inevitably carry that over into the workplace, just as an employee who had a hard day at work will take that home with them.
Look at your employees as a whole person. Take the time to find out their goals and interests. Who are they and what do they hope to achieve? Where does their time with you fit into their overall goals? Following this practice will result in engaged, productive employees.
These are just a few HR practices you can implement in your small business to make it successful. If you’re ever in doubt, hire an HR consultant to conduct an audit and help you manage better.