The challenges of running a small business are very different to large organisations with plenty of resources. Larger organisations typically have inhouse HR Advice, this enables the business to get on with business.
Being a small business often means the owner or staff cover multiple roles, finance, HR, IT, Administration, H&S. All important but these often take us away from our core business, or from working with our clients and customers. For many businesses this can often mean dealing with things after hours, so all business hours are dedicated to revenue generating activities.
What are some of the HR things a small business should do?
1. Know and understand employment law.
Understanding employment law is by far one of the most important HR tips for small businesses. Regulations cover nearly every aspect of hiring, retaining, and terminating employees, including factors such as compensation, benefits, and safety. MBIE have a lot of information about many of the day to day employment law especially requirements around leave, minimum entitlements, hours and wages and employment mediation. https://www.employment.govt.nz/
2. Provide a legally binding employment agreement.
It is a legal requirement that all your employees need to have an employment agreement. This can be confusing, what type of agreement for the work, what clauses you should include. Or should you go to the expense of getting a customized agreement drawn up by an employment lawyer? A good place to get a lot of this information for free is MBIE who have an excellent employment agreement builder https://eab.business.govt.nz/employmentagreementbuilder/startscreen/
3. Manage payroll the right way.
Mismanaging payroll is a fast track to losing your employees’ trust. Every pay must be correct. It can be surprising how complex pay can be, understanding the Holiday’s Act and how to correctly apply it. The right rate of tax PAYE for the type of payment. Even calculating the accrual and entitlement to various different types of leave. Paying them on time is critical, too. Set a strict payment schedule and stick to it.
4. Ensure you have good H&S procedures in place.
There are significant penalties for failing to follow safe practices if any of your employees, contactors or any workers are injured during work. This could easily put a small business out of business. There are some things you can do specifically around your work to ensure you not only have safe practices, but also have adequate documentation and training to keep employees safe. Worksafe have some information on the documents you will need as a place to start.
5. Hire and retain good talent.
Focus on what matters most to your employees, such as compensation and opportunities to move up. Develop competitive compensation and an attractive benefits package. Then work on creating a positive and supportive culture, where your employees can grow and advance their careers. Build it and they will come (and stay!).
6. Build a network of other small businesses to share knowledge.
You’re not the only one navigating the HR scene. Join a professional organization or chamber of commerce to network with other small business owners. When you create a community, you can share your experiences and learn from each other’s successes and mistakes.
7. Monitor changes in the law.
HR Employment laws are changing constantly, and if you don’t keep up with them, they can cost you. Staying on top of the ever-changing climate can help protect you and your business.
8. Get some help when you need it
At times HR Advice can be put to the back of your mind as you deal with more pressing day to day issues of running your business. The risk is these things can build up to the point where they can become a real problem and start to impact negatively on the business.
You can ask Peopl3 for help, we have the expertise to provide you with HR Advice for any part of your business. We can provide bespoke services tailored to your needs without the expense of employing your own internal HR Advisor – contact us anytime if you would like to discuss your needs further.