Updated: Jun 21, 2019
AUTHOR: PATRICIA LOTICH | SOURCE: THETHRIVINGSMALLBUSINESS.COM |
Let’s be real – managing people is not why an entrepreneur goes into business.
Small business owners often lack the interest or skill-set to manage their most valuable asset – their human resources.
This art of managing people is complex and a science of its own.
There are entire degree and certification programs to teach the experts how to deal with the often complex issues that come with managing a work force.
Managing people is much more than hiring and scheduling workers. It is creating an environment that employees thrive in and get excited to be a part of. And, that takes focus, strategy and tireless effort.
6 Areas of HR That Every Organization Should Manage
1. Compensation and Benefits
Successful organizations understand the importance of providing competitive compensation and benefits to its employees. Staying current on salary trends is critical to attracting and retaining top employees.
In today’s job market, good employees will look for a position down the street if they think they will be better compensated.
A total compensation package should be part of a comprehensive compensation strategy and should include base pay and any other employee benefits – health, life, dental, disability insurance, paid time off, etc.
Employee compensation and benefits should be budgeted and managed through an annual budgeting process.
2. Recruitment and Staffing
It can be challenging to find the right employees for your organization. Recruiting and screening applications can be a tiring chore but with electronic screening programs, it can be very manageable. There are many software programs and websites that can help with this.
There are many vendors that can help with payroll services but also can help with the application process, screening and employee background checks. Often the fees for these services are reasonable and very affordable.
3. Training and Development
Training employees is key to maintaining high levels of employee performance and is considered an important benefit for employees. Employees need to learn the culture of the organization, their specific job duties and continuing education to maintain changing job skills.
a. Organizational Orientation
Orienting employees helps them get acclimated to the new work environment. The structured process answers important logistical questions that the employee might have.
For example, the orientation will share information like building keys, access codes, review of employee manual, how to operate the phone system, computer system, copy machine, fax machine, standard procedures for requesting time off, who to call when sick, how to confront and address internal issues.
Taking the time to orient new employees helps to eliminate problems that arise as a result of them simply not knowing or understanding something about the work environment.
b. Department Orientation
This next level of orientation allows the new employee to get acclimated to the specific department they will be working in. There are cultures within cultures making it important for employees to get to know co-workers, the culture of the department and basically “how things are done around here”….
c. Job Training
Whether an employee is learning how to answer the telephone for their department or how to operate a piece of machinery, it is critical to have a documented, very descriptive job description outlining:
who the employee reports to
specific job tasks and responsibilities
individual SMART Goals with due date
d. Continuing Education
Job skills are changing rapidly making it important for organizations to invest in the continuing education of their workforce. Employees should be required to maintain skills and develop new ones.
This can be done by in-house training, local seminars or industry conferences. A highly trained work force helps to ensure high quality products and services for your customers.
4. Employee Relations
A workforce of engaged employees can have a high correlation to increased productivity and improve the bottom line.
This suggests that having a plan to develop and sustain good employee relations is an important aspect of the HR management function.
It is important to have a process in place to deal with employee issues that will inevitably happen.
Effective conflict management in the workplace is important to successful work teams.
We all have issues in our personal lives so it is also important to have a process in place to help employees deal with these types of issues to ease the burden and stress that personal problems bring to the workplace.
For example, allowing an employee to work a flexible work schedule while caring for an ill family member can take some of the stress off the employee.
5. Employee Satisfaction
Monitoring employee satisfaction is important to understanding the employee perception of how well the organization is managed. It asks the question, “how are we doing managing the operation?”
Employees on the front line do the work and have a unique perspective of not only how things are done, but also how the customer views the organization’s products and services. By simply asking the question, managers can learn a lot.
And, if what is learned is put into an improvement plan with SMART goals, an organization can make great strides in improving how they operate – resulting in higher levels of customer satisfaction.
There are lots of survey software available. Google Docs has a great survey tool that is free. You can learn how to use it here.
6. Labor Laws and Legal Compliance
There are countless laws that govern how organizations manage operations and labor. The DOL is a great resource for many of these laws. Staying compliant is an important part of business management. SHRM is also a great organization that helps business owners keep updated on changing employment laws.
Healthy and successful organizations spend the time and resources to develop a strong HR program that supports employees. Employees who understand what is expected of them, are given the tools to perform the job and get rewarded for doing a good job make customers happy. And, happy customers tell others of their great experience and come back.
But most importantly, the customer pays the bills so employers need to take care of the people (employees) who ultimately take care of the customers! That is what human resource management is all about!