There are a lot of accepted practices when it comes to running a small business, and for good reason – these are tried and tested methods of getting things done. Unfortunately, technology has a habit of moving forward, so while what worked before may still function, it’s often not the best way to do things anymore. Since efficiency is a big part of being profitable, it’s in your best interest to figure out which parts of your human resources department need updating.
1. Embrace Flex Time
Flexibility is the new buzz word when it comes to employee work environments, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Old-fashioned thinking says that it’s impossible to be productive from home, but that’s not true anymore. Technology allows certain jobs to be done from home or a coffee shop because it allows deliverables to be sent in from anywhere, so embrace it.
Let employees incorporate some form of schedule flexibility in their jobs whenever possible. Your small business can win some workers just by offering them more control over their time and thus, improve their work-life balance. If done properly, it’ll keep employees happy and may even increase productivity.
2. Fully Train Your HR Department
Human resources isn’t just responsible for hiring and handling turnover, they’re responsible for answering problems your employees have. If there’s a complaint, it’s often lodged with them. If they can’t handle those complaints well, employees will leave by the bucket load.
Don’t just hire and forget human resource personnel. Train them, not just in local laws, but in company policies. They can’t do their job well, no matter how skilled they are, if they don’t know the context they’re working in.
3. Automate Your Business
Part of running a small business involves streamlining any and all systems contained within. For example, the payroll system is an often overlooked part of the company. If not updated, it can eat up a lot of time your people could be spending on more important issues. Automatic deposit systems, for example, can not only save time, but it can also help keep records in order.
It doesn’t end there. Even something like a cloud service that automatically updates documents live as people edit them can smooth the work process and increase productivity.
4. Keep Recruiting and Scouting
Turnover is unavoidable, no matter how well your small business treats your employees. One of the worst things that can happen to your company is an employee leaving during crunch time with no replacement in sight. To keep that from happening, keep your human resources team on constant recruitment.
You don’t need to hire everyone they find the moment they’re found. All you want is a list of people you can call in for an interview should a position open up. This will save you a lot of time not just when somebody leaves, but for when new positions open up when you inevitably expand.
5. Have Them Look for Freelancers
Traditional employees will always have a place in any small business that wants to grow, but that doesn’t mean freelancers are beyond your use. Freelancers and contract workers are much more affordable, which is important when you’re a small business with a tight budget. Looking at freelancers broadens the scope of who you can hire, which can open doors to specialists you would’ve missed otherwise.
However, this doesn’t mean you should replace all your employees with contract workers. Some tasks are best left in-house, or at the very least, require personal vetting due to the sensitivity or importance of the task.
These changes should get your small business’s human resources department in tip-top shape, but don’t settle. Every day, new things are being discovered. Keep your finger on the pulse of employee care, and you’ll develop a strong, loyal, and productive core team.