Many managers and business owners are turned off by traditional HR practices because they don’t understand the importance of the strategy for business growth. If you’re launching a start-up or only have a small workforce, you may think that a HR strategy isn’t for you – but you’d be wrong.
Of course, huge companies which are world renowned for their cultures such as Apple, Facebook and Google have a lot more resources and available budget to spend on HR. These organisations will have large teams of people focused solely on employee engagement and company culture – resources that SMEs simply don’t have.
However, a large HR department isn’t necessary. Small businesses can hire a HR consultancy firm to do all the strategy planning and management training needed. If you don’t tackle HR from the start, the business will be unable to grow successfully. Here are five reasons why HR is for all organisations, not just the big players.
1. Your people are your most important resource
Whether you have one member of staff or one thousand, your people will always be your business’ most important resource, as they directly connect with your customers. With this in mind, you need fit for purpose HR strategies and techniques to develop your employees and ensure everyone is working towards the same business goals.
2. Staff more vital in small companies
In SMEs with a small workforce, it’s even more important that each employee delivers. If productivity drops or there is a conflict issue, it can have a bigger impact on a smaller company than a large business.
3. Be compliant with employment law
The law is the law, once again if you have one member of staff or one thousand. There are many aspects to get to grips with, from the recruitment process to the termination of employment, and it’s important as a business you stay compliant – or you could face consequences later. You probably won’t have anyone within your small business with this expertise, so it’s best to invest in HR support.
4. Attract and retain talent
It’s very difficult for small businesses to attract the highest level of talent, as they often can’t offer the same salaries or career paths as other companies. An HR strategy will address this problem and work to create a company culture that educated and skilled workers want to work for.
5. Use HR to drive growth
If you’re spending too much on staff turnover or failing to engage your staff do they are productive, you’ll never be able to boost profits and grow. Modern HR strategies can be used with a primary objective of business growth, and growth is what the majority of small businesses aim for.
Nine times out of 10 when I take a call from a small business owner it’s because something has gone wrong. Through the course of the conversation they inevitably say, “I wish I phoned you sooner”.
And 10 times out of 10 their answer is they thought they were too small to need HR.
The most common myth I come across in the SME market is that only large companies can afford HR.
Out of all the ‘HR myths’ in the series this is the one I’m most passionate about dispelling for three reasons.
First, large companies and small companies have one crucial thing in common – their people. Big businesses don’t mobilise HR teams just because there’s a line in the budget saying they can. Instead, they have an HR function simply because they have people.
Small to medium sized businesses should too. Now if you’re a company of 15 people, you might not need your own HR department. We tailor our level of support to your own company’s needs. So whether you need 10 hours of support each month or would like a member of our team based in your office two days a week, we can provide the right HR solution.
Second, HR is a strategic business tool, not a just a department. It’s so much more than just a few standardised documents. Small businesses sometimes have to compete with the bigger purse strings which some of their industry counterparts can pull. This is where HR comes in.
We can devise people development and training plans to help bolster your competitive standing. We’ll also work with you on a one-to-one basis to carve out an attractive corporate culture, helping recruit and retain the best talent. These are just two of the strategies at our disposal. For every business goal you have for your company there’s most likely an HR tool to facilitate its success.
Finally, the most expensive HR is the last minute kind. If you wait until you have a problem to enlist the help of an HR expert it might be too late and you could be forced to go down a legal route. Or you could end up spending thousands pounds trying to undo a situation which orginally had a very simple solution.
You don’t have to be a big company to afford HR. Like business, HR comes in all shapes and sizes.
Updated: May 2018