Running a business keeps you busy, but don’t skip on the HR; for small business, it's the key to a positive work environment.
There’s a lot to love about running your own business. You even get a rush out of the crazy days of working a shift that seems like it will never end. There’s something you don’t enjoy, though. It seems like your most recent employee might be stealing from the register. Unfortunately, you don’t have a protocol for this kind of issue in HR. For small business owners, this scenario is trickier than ever.
HR for small business owners and managers has changed substantially in recent years. Employees and business owners both have more information available, and while handling HR issues can still be a challenge, there are steps you can take to make it easier.
HR for small business: Don't let it lead to heartache
1. Plan ahead for HR
You can’t plan for every possible occurrence, but there is a lot you can get a jump start on. Get familiar with state and federal labor laws. Find out what records you need to keep and what you can expect to pay in things like unemployment insurance or social security taxes.
2. Create an employee handbook
An employee handbook is an ideal way to keep everyone on track. It lets your employees know what your expectations are and what they can expect from you. This is the place to outline things like your attendance policy, sick days, vacation time, or dress code, as well as your sexual harassment policy and any consequences of failing to follow company standards.
3. Hire a payroll provider
Running payroll is a complicated process. You have to account for federal, state, and local taxes, overtime pay, benefits deductions, and so much more. That's a lot of time and stress you could hand off to someone else. Companies like Gusto and Intuit are just two of many options that make it easy to take care of payroll.
4. Use patience in hiring
Hiring the wrong people does nothing for your business, and especially bad hires can diminish morale all around. Recruiting and hiring may be one of the most difficult parts of HR for small business owners. It's also one that deserves attention and focus. Don't just hire because you need a warm body. Hire based on need, skill, and cultural fit, and hold out for the right person.
5. Onboard your new employees quickly
When you take the time to hire the right person, you want them to stick around. One of the most immediate ways to do that is to get them onboarded and trained quickly. The faster you can get your new team member ready to go, the faster they'll start adding value to your business.
6. Terminations and layoffs
Terminations and layoffs aren't the highlights of anyone's day, but still, you have to follow certain regulations. The laws vary by state, but for the most part, you and the employee both will need to sign a termination acknowledgment. You may also need to provide health insurance information and provide a final paycheck.
7. Offer feedback
Writing for the Society for Human Resource Management blog, Greg Wright suggests that one way to help your business grow is to give feedback and motivate employees to take "ownership" of the business. Verbal feedback, as well as rewards like staff outings, can go a long way in building camaraderie. And we all know that happy employees lead to happy customers.
8. Keep your data secure
One potential disaster in HR for small business owners is letting private employee data out. Whether you keep paper files or have everything online, it's your responsibility to ensure the security of that information. That means a locked file cabinet, a password-protected computer and cloud login information, and keeping encrypted backups of the information.
9. Get help
HR is a lot to keep up with, whether you have a few retail employees or a distributed team of 50. There are any number of options available, from hiring someone full- or part-time or doing it yourself with the help of HR software. Namely, BambooHR, and Zenefits are three of many options available.
10. Employee training and satisfaction
As a small business, your employees are some of your most valuable assets. It's your job to make sure your team is happy and energized. Offering feedback is important, but so is the opportunity to train and improve. People love the chance to learn and get better at what they do. If you run a coffee shop, give your staff a chance to learn more about the coffees you serve. If you're heading a software startup, offer a subscription to a service like Lynda.com. Remember, happy employees are more productive, more loyal, and create happy customers.
One other thing you can do to protect your business is make sure you have the right business insurance policy. Get in touch with your local Pekin Insurance agent today to learn how we can help you keep your business on track.