Small Business Saturday Blog

Having the right HR system is crucial for your business

Monday, January 12 at 10:16HR

Whether you employ 1 employee or 1000, having the right system in place is vital for you to get the best out of your employees, and for your employees to get the best out of their employment.

Where should you start?
The starting point is very simple – make sure you have all the correct documents and systems in place to comply with employment law. Employers usually find it much easier to get the documents drawn up for them as this saves a lot of time, hassle and cost. As long as the correct procedures are followed, you will protect the business.

What HR documents should you give to employees? 
We would always recommend issuing the following documents as a minimum for your HR system:

Contract of Employment
Company Handbook
Health & Safety Manual
Confidentiality Agreement
Holiday Policy
Email and Internet Use Policy
Social Networking Policy
Equality and Diversity Policy
Training Policy
Sickness Absence Policy
Bradford Factor Procedure
Company Vehicle Policy

There are many more HR documents, but these would usually be used as and when required (e.g. maternity documents, disciplinary documents etc.).

However, HR is not all about formal documents and policies. The difference between a great HR system and an adequate HR system is how you treat your employees over and above the legal requirements. Remember, we’re all human and everyone likes to be treated fairly and respectfully.

How can employers build a great relationship with employees? 
The key to a great relationship between an employer and employee is communication. Most problems within businesses occur because of poor communication. Strong communication should be built on all layers of the business, from general staff through to the Managing Director.

The best companies have open communication policies where staff and management share ideas, problems and solutions. This kind of company culture leads to happy employees, happy employers, happy customers, happy suppliers… you get the idea!

What’s the best way to handle HR in a small business? 
Once a business has handled the compliancy side of HR (by having correct documents and procedures in place), it should look at how it wants to interact with employees. In a small business, it’s vital that every employee is efficient, productive and capable.

All employees should buy-in to the company culture so everyone is working to the same end goal. Having a strong team is crucial to the success of the business – any disharmony will be felt to a much greater degree in a small business than it would in a larger business.

Management should set the right procedures from day one, with all employees being treated equally and with respect. HR is the same as any other function in a business – you get out what you put in! If you put in no effort, that’s what your employees will put out.

A good HR system should add profit to the bottom line - if it doesn’t then you’re not doing it right!

By Liz Strama of HR Protected - www.hrprotected.co.uk

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