Human Resources: Tips for Small Business Owners
Owning a small business often means you and members of your upper management wear many hats. Under this model, who’s in charge of human resources? This important department handles your employees and treats them as assets. Since you don’t want your work force to feel underappreciated or cheated, here are some tips to handle human resources without dedicating an entire department to it.
Consider Hiring an HR Consultant
When your business is still small, it’s difficult to rationalize the cost of having a dedicated human resources department. However, on the local, state and federal level, there are certain laws regarding human resource practices that your company needs to be in compliance with. Hiring a firm that specializes in HR consulting means you gain the benefit of expert knowledge without the expense of training a new department.
Have Clear Anti-Harassment Policies
When your anti-harassment policies are clear and accessible, employees can feel more comfortable about to handle a potentially hostile situation. It also prevents favoritism when an allegation comes forward as there are clear steps outlining how to proceed. Having such policies in place can increase productivity, decrease turnover and let your business avoid reputational damage.
Encourage Regular Feedback
There are many ways to solicit feedback from the old fashioned “suggestion box” by your door to high tech processes using the latest technology. If you use multiple methods, make sure at least one is anonymous. This gives employees the confidence to say something negative without fear of retribution.
If you find your suggestion box is always empty, that doesn’t necessarily mean everything is great. It could be employees don’t feel comfortable offering feedback. You can encourage feedback with special events or prizes for the most interesting suggestion.
Use Quarterly Reviews Instead of Yearly Ones
While performing reviews four times each year takes more time and resources than performing one, regular feedback lets you and your employees know whether certain expectations are being met. To avoid a work overload, it’s best not to do these all at once. Set up a rotating cycle where a few employees are evaluated each month.
By following these tips, you can improve the culture of your workplace without having a dedicated human resources department. It’s important to treat your employees as the valuable resources they are, if you take advantage of them then you might find your retention numbers dropping. As a small business, you can’t afford constantly hiring and training new employees, so make sure the ones you have understand their value.