It’s a question that owners of all growing businesses will have to face at some stage: do I need to establish human resources policies and procedures? You may have got away with “winging it” for a while, but eventually you will have to face the question head on; after all, the longer you put it off, the more you might be digging yourself into a hole.
The standard reply to this question is often “when you reach 10 employees”. However; there really is no “magic number”. Often, it’s crucial for growing businesses to have some level of HR structure right from the very start. Certainly, when HR issues start to take up more than a small fraction of your time, having HR policies and processes in place will help you manage your staff more effectively.
But how can HR policies help your business?
Formalising policies gives structure, guidance and helps to shape both the business and its beliefs – acting like a framework to govern employee relations. HR policies help staff understand what is expected of them, which prevents misunderstandings of how the organisation expects things to be done. With clear and robust policies in place, employees will know exactly where they stand in various situations and it will ensure employers treat their staff in a fair and consistent manner
HR can certainly contribute to cost savings. A good HR strategy will be able to support business goals by making the organisation run more efficiently through the planned management of their staff. For the employer this would mean a reduction in absence associated costs, the avoidance of employment tribunal costs, improved productivity, retention of happy employees. All of which saves the company money.
HR policies shouldn’t be static – they should be revised and added to regularly to ensure they are addressing your business’ evolving goals, as well as being aware of the latest legislation and changing workforce trends.
Employment law can be a minefield for growing businesses, and it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-changing rules. It’s HR’s job to keep up-to-date in order to provide you with practical and credible advice – ensuring that these updates are well communicated to employees.
Bespoke HR policies have the ability to shape the culture of a growing company, and can be tailored to seamlessly fit with the preferred way of running your business. Additionally, HR policies will send a message to your employees that you are taking people management seriously, communicating the values and expectations for how things are done at your organisation, and promoting an open and honest approach in the workplace.
If you think your growing business might need HR policies and if your business is growing, chances are you do!), You want to be sure that any policies you bring into the organization address a real need and are in line with what your company values and how work should be accomplished. You also need to ensure managers have the skills and resources to be able to implement and monitor the policy.