There are always jobs that you know need doing. They’re vitally important and you are in no doubt about that but somehow these tasks get pushed backwards further and further. Eventually you’ve put off fixing the bottom step for two years and one day your father in law falls over it on his way down the stairs and knocks over your priceless antique vase in an attempt to break his fall. Now in the place of what should have been a stable and nicely carpeted hallway you have the shattered remains of your most prized possession and an angry old man threateningly removing damp stalks from his cardigan. These situations happen all too often – in home lives and at work, there are issues that you know you need to address but you simply don’t get around to it. There’s a good chance that the wobbly bottom step in your business is your HR policy.
HR is the kind of thing that can sneak up on a small business. One day you are a dynamic team of one, operating out of your back bedroom and before you know it you’ve got a team of seven working underneath you. One morning you realise that you never quite got around to organising formal contracts for your fifth and sixth employees and your very first employ got inappropriate at the Christmas party and now all those HR problems that seemed like a small job for a quiet day have come back with a vengeance. Of course you think you have a great team, you recruited well and you create a great working environment and yes you probably do have a great team but that doesn’t mean things cannot go wrong. It is a better choice by far to get your HR act together from the beginning than to end up paying out to a disgruntled former employee after a stressful tribunal procedure.
Your employees deserve to work in an environment with a properly co-ordinated HR policy and if you don’t provide one you could end up in a sorry state indeed when they leave you for a business that does tick the boxes properly. The Winchester Business Centre recently hosted a networking seminar with Jan Sargent of the The HR Department who had plenty of tales of small HR niggles turned to full blown nightmares for our businesses. In a quiet moment ask yourself – Do your staff all have a formal contract? Are they all appropriately trained? Do you have proper review and disciplinary process in place to adequately encourage and protect your staff? Are you doing the best for the people on your payroll to ensure that they are doing their best for you?
You can use the Law Donut on the current situation in regards to employment law. At some point in every business’s growth it is time to realise that you may need to either outsource your HR or bring a professional on board who knows exactly how to handle things. It’s much better to spend some money on getting it right from the beginning than it is to face the HR equivalent of your damp and angry father in law picking himself up from your hallway floor.