HR for Small Business: How to Set Yourself Up for Success
small-business-growth

HR for Small Business: How to Set Yourself Up for Success

As anyone who’s started their own business knows, building an accomplished company doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes hard work and dedication to create the right foundation and sustain success.

Think about the businesses you admire. Chances are they understood the importance of human capital and instituted HR best practices that would support them while they were small and as they grew.

The key to maintaining a successful business is developing excellent HR practices from the start. Doing so will help your business avoid costly mistakes and litigation, improve employee retention, and lead to company growth.

3 Human Resource Tips to Avoid Costly Mistakes

1. Develop Your Employee Handbook

An employee handbook provides the foundation for what employees should expect when working for your business. From introducing new employees to your brand, mission and values, to communicating key company policies and showcasing the benefits you offer, the handbook is the go-to resource employees depend on for answers to their most pressing questions.

How to Structure the Handbook If you need help creating your own employee handbook or are looking to make updates to a current version, here’s where to start:

  • Company background, mission and culture
  • Employment
  • Employee classifications
  • Conduct and behavior
  • Discrimination and harassment policies
  • Harassment compliant procedure
  • Pay policy, vacation, and time off
  • Hours, breaks, and overtime
  • Benefits
  • Use of company property
  • Performance expectations and reviews
  • Workplace behavior and safety
  • Privacy policies
  • Access to computers, email, and the web
  • Drugs and alcohol use
  • Confidentiality
  • Complaint procedures
  • Termination of employment

Important Note: While a handbook is a key component of your business, simply having one is not enough. In order to prevent employee litigation down the road, be sure that every team member both reviews and signs your handbook. Keeping this documentation on file is a critical piece in the event an employee tries to bring a lawsuit against your business.

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*Did You Know? *

Paycor’s HR Support Center On-Demand solution offers fully-customizable handbook templates to support your business? Whether you’re creating a handbook from scratch, or making updates to a current version, our team of dedicated experts can review your policies to ensure you’re steering clear of potential compliance mistakes.

2. Know What To Keep In Employee Files

Properly maintaining employee records is another important step businesses must take to mitigate risk. In each employee’s file you’ll want to keep things like:

  • Original job descriptions
  • Employee’s resume and application materials
  • Your job offer
  • Required legal documents, (W-4)
  • Signed document stating employee has read your handbook
  • All performance evaluations
  • Employee and emergency contact data
  • Any complaints issued by customers or coworkers
  • Attendance records (including any concerns)
  • Record of completed trainings
  • Any performance warnings or disciplinary action taken
  • Signed contracts or agreements
  • End of employment (reasons for employee’s departure)

3. Now Here’s What NOT to Keep in an Employee’s File

Some data is considered confidential and must be stored separately, or not at all. Federal privacy laws prevent employers from sharing employee medical files with certain entities. Be sure you check with your state as their requirements may differ.

Making Employee Retention a Priority

Establishing the proper practices is the first step to maintaining human resources compliance, but don’t overlook the impact they can have on retaining your best people.

Acknowledge and reward employees

It may seem obvious, but don’t ignore an opportunity make employees feel valued. Acknowledging them for good work, and even encouraging employees to recognize one another can boost morale and help inspire a culture of achievement.

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Want top performers to feel valued and engaged?

Prevent top talent from leaving by inviting them to share their opinions about projects, processes, even business strategy. You’ll not only make them feel more involved in the company, you’ll get input you may not have received otherwise.

Recognition can also come in the form of reward. Close early for a long weekend, a special lunch outing on the company dime, cash rewards, anything from small tokens to tickets to the big game are all tangible ways you can let people know their contributions are appreciated.

Invite company feedback

You can’t improve performance if you don’t seek input, internally and externally. Feedback can come from one-on-one discussions, facilitated group meetings, company surveys, and exit interviews. Everyone should have the chance to be heard. Companies achieve more by listening and acting on feedback from employees and customers.

Encourage work/life balance

Find ways to convey to your employees the importance of work/life balance. Review your family and medical leave policies and make necessary adjustments. Invite families to select company events. If possible, offer flexible work schedules.

Develop effective leadership

Lead by example. Let your employees experience the effective communication practices and people skills you’d like to see. Provide training to managers and supervisors to help them develop into the kind of leaders your company needs.

Create training and personal development opportunities

Consider the different ways you can support employee development. What training would help employees develop skills that would help them to grow with the company? Can you connect employees with mentors? Do you have long term employees who can serve as onboarding mentors to new hires? Inviting employee involvement at conferences and association memberships enhances their understanding of your business and industry, cultivates connections, and can serve as a great motivator.

Companies Built For Growth

HR practices that support a positive workplace lead to company growth. For example, employees that want to be a part of your company and are invested in your mission are more productive, create better relationships with customers and are great brand advocates. Creating a culture that helps engaged employees thrive will only increase retention and create an environment that job seekers want to join.

Improve Your Hiring Process, Change Your Outcomes

The process of hiring and managing talent can create a few headaches. There’s a lot of information to digest, and legal consequences can impact growth. But how do you know where you stand and what to change?

Start by Assessing Your Current Practices:

If these areas need attention, a change in process may be the solution. It’s possible you’ve hit the tipping point where the ways things used to be done no longer support your current and future needs.

Simplifying and streamlining your processes while maintaining strong HR practices will free up you and your team to focus efforts on other ways to grow your business.

How Paycor Can Help

For nearly 30 years, Paycor has led the way in keeping businesses compliant by offering the right technology plus valuable expertise. We’ve cut our teeth in one of the most complex regulatory environment, and more than 30,000 clients trust us to protect their business from costly mistakes. If you’re struggling to keep up with the wide array of compliance regulations, or you’re looking for a partner to support your needs, we’d love to help. Contact our team today so we can get to know your business.


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