If you run an SME, the likelihood is that you don’t have a large HR team to tackle all of the areas of HR that are essential to support your business.
Many SMEs don’t have an HR function at all; they have an office manager who does a great job juggling all of the business support tasks that you send their way. Of course, the challenge with this is not to drop a ball. Then, when SMEs grow to about 50 employees, they start investing in the function and hire an HR professional. This is usually someone who is experienced enough to be autonomous but not so senior that they’re put off by the more administrative parts of the job.
The inherent issue with the early steps of introducing an HR function within a business is that the role is extremely busy dealing with a wide disparity in people practices across the teams and having to create everything from scratch for each new activity to undertake. This leaves no time for the job holder to reflect and take a step back to look at the bigger picture. As a result, this role is often reactive and what is urgent and important takes priority over checking that every part of the function is developed to the level it should be to better serve the interests of the business and its employees.
One tool that can help taking this step back and assessing what needs doing is an HR Audit. These can be wide ranging or focus on specific areas of HR and tailored to the level of maturity of the organisation. The outcome of your audit enables you to make informed decisions as to current risks, needs and the future direction of travel for your HR function.
Whilst working within organisations, one of the areas that I often come across is employee retention. Many companies look at it as the provision of benefits and do not engage with their staff to understand what they value or need.
It’s really important for every company to clearly define why they want to introduce a new benefit and what their goal is. Most companies look at benefits provision to decrease staff turnover or to attract talent. There are other reasons but let’s focus on these, as they are definitely the ones I’ve come across most often.
The good news is that retention doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money on wonderful benefits. It often starts with understanding what your teams value and what they would like from their perspective. Some benefits don’t even involve spending any money! Indeed, flexible working and remote working are becoming increasingly popular and are two such examples.
Let’s see below how you can implement the right solutions for your teams so you get the most out the initiative.
There’s something special about this time of year as people’s spirits are lifted with the ambitions and dreams of fulfilling their New Year resolutions. As well as personal goals, Business Leaders may have been reflecting on New Year resolutions for their Business. If improving employee engagement is one of these resolutions, please keep reading as we’ll help you make the first steps. And, if employee engagement isn’t top of your list or if you haven’t considered it yet as a key to your business’s success, it’s even more important that you keep reading!
Employee engagement has been extensively researched by many in the last decade. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has summarised the findings and defines it as a win-win situation in the employment relationship for employees and their employers, where typically employees display discretionary effort, going the extra mile, whilst feeling valued and passionate about work. Isn’t this just what every Business Leader want from their staff?
Hands up those of you who have sat through completely pointless meetings at work. There’s no clear agenda, people are rambling on about stuff that doesn’t affect you and most of your colleagues are surreptitiously checking their emails rather than focusing on what’s going on.
You’re not alone. Research suggests that 67 per cent of us think meetings are a complete waste of time and fail to result in any concrete actions or conclusions.
It’s frustrating for those who are taking part – but it’s also a serious issue for organisations and Business Leaders. Unproductive, poorly managed meetings take time, cost money and take employees away from more important tasks. Part of the problem is that managers often convene meetings without thinking first about whether one is really needed. They hold a recurrent meeting without fail, even if there isn’t really anything new to say, or set up a formal meeting with a colleague or team member when a quick phone call or email would do.
Of course there are times when a meeting is necessary. So what is best practice when it comes to making sure the meetings you hold are purposeful and effective?