The start of each year is a time for many of us to set New Year’s Resolutions for ourselves and our businesses. We are ready and willing to do what it takes to create a better us or company. But as the weeks creep by, things might slip and suddenly we are back in our old patterns again.
Well there is always next year, right?
When it comes to HR foundations, business owners really can’t afford to push them off into the future with a “one day I’ll get around to it.” Described by some as boring or too hard, these three little things will give you compliance and peace of mind.
1. Record Keeping
You probably didn’t even notice as the Federal Government changed the laws to protect vulnerable workers in 2017. “No big deal, it didn’t really apply to my business” is what I hear regularly from clients. But that is only the case if there are no issues. If there is an issue and you haven’t kept the required records for 7 years (including time, wages, leave, etc.) the penalty is now a whopping 100% more. For many of us, there is now technology to assist with the boring aspects of this process, but so that you can sleep peacefully at night, know what information you need to store and start doing it consistently.
2. Refresh People’s Memory on Important Policies
Many of us have ticked the boxes to have a WH&S Policy or a Bullying Policy in place. As I’ve been meeting with my clients’ team members recently, I’ve asked the simple question “What does your Bullying Policy say?” – try and pick the response I get most regularly from this list below:
A) I know it off by heart, go ahead and quiz me
B) Oh, I don’t know. Something like…
C) What? Do we have one of those? Where is it?
That’s right. C is the clear winner.
Don’t be complacent and think that a document stored on a server is enough. Getting your team up to speed on your policies doesn’t have to be hard. Send them to the team to re-read, turn them into a quiz competition with small prizes for people who answer them correctly, put them up on your noticeboard, go through them briefly in team meetings, if you can afford it buy some online training or speak to your insurance provider and see if they can provide it for free. All simple ways to make sure your team know what the policies are and how to comply with them.
Not doing this will limit your ability to performance manage poor behaviour or even terminate employment for non-compliance and that can cost you more than providing training.
3. Confirm What You Expect of People in their Roles
At the start of the New Year, we often hear business owners and managers saying “I’m going to have that difficult conversation that I put off at the end of last year” or “This year I’ll be tougher on people delivering to my expectations”.
As we are starting February, now is the time to take a hard look and see whether that has resulted in the change needed and wanted?
No one enjoys managing poor performance, so let’s put that aside just for the moment. Let’s have a conversation about what you need from the person in this position in your business and why. What behaviours would you like to see, what actions and tasks would you like them to do? You might ask them what the problems are with completing the tasks if they are struggling? Your position description should guide you through this conversation and the person in the position should be crystal clear about what you want from them going forward.
This might seem basic but once everyone is on the same level you will have the ability to manage performance more easily and because you started things in this way, it won’t be so challenging in the future. Our blog post about creating high performing teams will help. Not tackling the poor performance of your business can cost you clients, money and your best team members who can easily find work elsewhere.
So, with the knowledge that we are one month into 2018 already, it is time to dust off those HR resolutions and recommit. This could be your best year ever, but we need to get the foundations in place.
Impact HR can assist you to create the solid HR foundations required to make your business compliant and achieve the goals you have for 2018. Call us for an obligation free discussion on 0410 605 936.
The truth is that if I slip into using “Corporate Talk” of workforce planning with some of my clients, they break into a cold sweat and think I’m about to make managing a team really hard. The reality is very different. Workforce Planning doesn’t have to be hard.
It is just as important in a smaller business as in a big business – possibly even more important. In a big business, you always have someone to cover a role and more than one person with the skills, but in an SME life isn’t always like that. So before your heart starts to pound and you feel queasy, let me explain what I mean by Workforce Planning.
In simple terms, it means ensuring you have the right people, with the right skills in your business to deliver your business plan or goals.
Most of us don’t deliver everything in our business ourselves, we employ a team to make it possible. Workforce Planning is about making sure you have the right combination of team and technology to achieve your goals and should take into account some or all of the following things:
Current and Future Workloads
An honest picture of what is happening in your business is essential to a workforce plan.
Market & Technology Changes
Is there new technology change that will fundamentally affect how your business operates? Are there new products or competitors that you will need to adjust your business to compensate for?
Team Performance & Skills
Who are your employees (age, salary, skills) and what do you need in your business? Do you have what you need to be successful? Do your employees like working with you and how many employees leave your business in a year
Are your clients or their expectations changing? What do you need to do to ensure the clients are satisfied with your work?
Once we have the answers to these questions we can start planning so your business is always ahead of the competition, with the right number of skilled people to have your clients singing your praises. This process will make sure that the focus is where it needs to be instead of playing catch-up after something has gone wrong.
The start of a new year can be a strange time in an SME. For some, it is the busiest time of year and for others, it is slow as we wait for people to make decisions in the post- Christmas lull. Regardless of what it is like for your business, it is a great opportunity to look with fresh eyes at what positions and skills are needed in your business for it to thrive.
If you would like help to Workforce Plan for your business call us now, or send us an email. We would love to support you through this important process.