HR for a small business and where to start

18 November 2016

p dir="ltr">From my experience smaller businesses often either neglect, forget or underestimate the importance of Human Resources (HR) and the impact HR can have on a business. The term ‘HR department’ seems to suggest HR is autonomous and can exist with little or no interaction with what the business produces/supplies, and vice versa. It also indicates you need an actual ‘department’. So I’m purposely steering clear of the term. There is more to HR than hiring, firing and payroll. Yes these functions need to be fulfilled but if you can streamline these areas, there is an opportunity to apply HR as an inclusive tool that will align all the areas of your business, and form a flexible and innovative support system.

HR, used strategically, can promote and support a collaborative working environment, which maximises the mutual benefits for both the employee and employer. Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM) incorporates both the traditional HR function and business strategy. As opposed to the more traditional functions SHRM is concerned with attracting, developing, rewarding and retaining employees. It is a crucial factor in setting and nurturing the tone of the business; how you manage the people in the business (both employees and clients), the quality of the end product/service and ultimately improving business performance.

In comparison to the traditional HR department this might seem overwhelming but you can simplify some of the conventional HR responsibilities. Here at BBD we use HR software KIN. It streamlines the traditional HR functions, freeing up time for the process, policy and strategy side to HR.

By adding a few details you can create an online HR resource, which any of your employees can access, using their personal login, at anytime. Features include:

  • Personalised onboarding

  • Company profile

  • Employee profiles

    • Job descriptions

    • Bio and personal files

  • Time off policies

  • Calendar - which you can sync with Google apps

  • Reviews

  • Payroll

Plus they are always updating and adding new features!

The time off policies are so easy to setup. You can add any customised leave policy, for example, annual leave, sick days, maternity and paternity, and apply them to the relevant employees. The best thing of all, both you and the employee can access this information at any time, and it is clearly displayed (see below). So no more employee requests asking how many leave days they have left to take and no more spreadsheets tallying employee time off. Phew!

There are a couple of things that I absolutely love about KIN. Firstly, the employee review feature. I’m fond of this feature because I have, like I’m sure many of you, experienced reviews that are awkward and not particularly useful. KIN sets out the review format for you, and prior to the review meeting KIN prompts the reviewer to add comments to which the reviewee then adds their response. You then meet, discuss and add the final notes. Simple yes, but very effective.

Secondly, KIN creates an online team hub by centralising employee and company information. Employees can update their personal profile, manage their time off and access company policy as required. So no more repetitive emails, for example, requesting emergency contact information.

It is the inclusive nature of KIN that makes it a great foundation for SHRM. It is a great place to start if you’re thinking about how developing HR within your business.

I’ll speak more about SHRM, and the ISO 9001:2015, in my next post.

You can sign up to KIN here. All new accounts come with a 7 day free trial.