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How Small Businesses Can Deal with HR Issues

June 4 2020 - Medium and large businesses are usually made up of many departments, and most of them have a dedicated HR team. Therefore, when people have issues with anything such as pay, a dispute with another employee, or a question about their holiday allowance, they can go to HR and get it sorted. However, smaller companies often don't have a dedicated HR person, so how do they deal with these issues?

Put procedures in place

Before you hire your first employees, it's worth sitting down and writing out HR policies and procedures, which cover some of the most common issues that arise in small businesses and how to deal with them. You may need to work with an HR consultant to ensure that the policies you put in place are legal and non-discriminatory.

Your HR procedures will need to cover things such as:

  • The employment process
  • How to deal with poor performance
  • Disciplinary processes
  • Dealing with disputes
  • Flexible working policies
  • Social media and IT use

You should think about your fledgling business culture and what you want things to be like. Will you be corporate and strict, or will it be a more relaxed, informal place? Having things written down helps you follow procedures and ensure you stay within company policy.

Create a simple system for enquiries

Another thing that can be frustrating for small business owners is having to deal with small enquiries such as, "How many paid days off do I have?" "Am I being taxed correctly?" It takes time out of your day when you need to do other things. It's worth choosing HR software that's user friendly, so both you and your employees can quickly look up information and any questions can be quickly answered. This saves you lots of back and forth e-mails.

Try to deal with complaints objectively

The problem with small businesses is that employees often work directly with the owner and the team is usually small and close-knit. If you get along, great, but if your employees have issues with each other, or complain about something you're doing, then things can get awkward. Try to deal with complaints objectively and be open to criticism so that you can deal with things fairly.

Hire the right people

One of the best ways to avoid HR issues within your business is to make sure you hire the right people who are good fit for your business, and don't be afraid to get rid of people if things aren't working out. Small businesses have a big advantage during the hiring process; they aren't stuck conducting bland, tick-box interviews and asking the same questions of each candidate. You can create your own interview process that really works for you.

HR is not easy to deal with when you don't have a specialist on your side. That's why it's important to create processes and procedures and to make it easy to answer queries. You should also foster a pleasant work environment where people get along well, so you are less likely to deal with serious complaints.



Insider's Guide to Culture Change

Insider's Guide to Culture Change

Siobhan McHale
  The secret to the success or failure of any business boils down to its culture. From disengaged employees to underserved customers, business failures invariably stem from a culture problem.
  More information and prices from:
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The HR Answer Book

The HR Answer Book: An Indispensable Guide for Managers and Human Resources Professionals

by Shawn A. Smith, Rebecca A. Mazin
  The HR Answer Book addresses 200 questions that every employer needs to deal with, from recruiting and hiring to discipline and termination, compensation and benefits to training and employee relations. Accessible and concise, this on-the-job companion offers expert guidance on all types of "people" issues.
  More information and prices from:
Amazon.com - US dollars
Amazon.ca - Cdn dollars
Amazon.co.uk - UK pounds
Amazon.de - Euros
Amazon.fr - Euros

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