In order to be a successful small business owner, you must get used to the task of wearing many hats. The job description itself requires equal skill in accounting, sales, management, customer service, operational efficiency and human resources. Don’t forget that you also need to be adept at whatever it is that your company does. If that realization doesn’t give you a headache then nothing will. Still, every day, millions of small business owners mess up HR as soon as they feel their feet hit the floor in response to the alarm clock.
When you are trying to manage multiple hat wearing, one tends to focus on the things that are critical at the moment, putting out whatever hat is on fire. Unfortunately for the business, things that are not volatile tend to be put on auto pilot to manage themselves until they start to spark. Add professional firefighter to the list of skills needed for small business owners. This is the primary reason that small business owners mess up HR.
Human resources is one of the most neglected tasks by small business owners for the predominant reason being that it tends to just be running in the background until they need to hire, fire, or deal an employee is unhappy. When either of these situations arise, many small business owners scramble to deal with the influx of demand when rusty (or even non-existent) HR skills are needing to be used. HR is the hat that tends to pinch at the temples at just the wrong time.
There are some ways that small business owners mess up HR in ways that can and should be avoided at all costs. This will also require some reading off-hours and a decision to apply oneself to the discipline of keeping up with HR skills and labor laws in order to avoid fines and lawsuits. No one wants to wear that hat, believe me.
How Small Business Owners Mess Up HR In Big Ways
Have you committed any of these acts of ignorance against your small business? Taking heed to avoid these faux pas will go a long way in making HR less cringe-worthy for your small business.
They unwittingly make hiring a nightmare for everyone – There are actually a couple of different ways that hiring runs amuck at a small business. Both can have devastating consequences. Either of these should be stricken from your hiring practices in order to keep your current and future employees feeling good about working for you.
- Hiring too soon in the process will get you in trouble more times than not. Sometimes it is out of the desperation of relieving overworked staff, other times it is out of an under confidence in knowing when you are making the right decision. Either way, not taking the time to get to know your candidates and possibly get more than one opinion can result in being stuck with someone that isn’t fitting in well with your team. This makes not only the new employee but everyone else working with them miserable.
- Taking an endless amount of time to make a hiring decision about a candidate is just as bad for equal but different reasons and is a frustrating way that small business owners mess up HR for everyone involved. Sure, you should do more than one interview, but 5 with various office members is a bit much. One of the ills of over-interviewing is what is known as candidate fatigue. Candidates that are asked the same questions over and over and over again have markedly less enthusiasm and detail in their answers. Candidates that are waiting weeks through rounds of interviews grow underconfident in their success in being hired and will continue looking for employment, leaving your opportunity in favor of a company that has an efficient hiring process. Being too cautious will cost you time, money and talent going elsewhere. If you are frustrated by not being able to find the right people, this may be a reason.
The best policy for a hiring policy is to have one. Take the time before you need to hire to write down how you will do hiring at your company. Familiarize yourself with how successful companies you admire go through their hiring process. Understand the importance of writing a great job description. Make sure the process of writing a job description for your organization makes it into your hiring policy. Most of all, like every other policy, stick to what you decide. It will give you greater confidence in hiring and also keep your candidates and team in the loop about how it gets done.
They Don’t Do Reviews Well Or At All – As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. Such is the case with employee reviews. If you don’t create a written policy on how and when an employee gets a review at your business you won’t do them. Trouble is, employees, especially today’s millennials, require employer feedback now more than ever. You can’t get away with a haphazard employee review plan any more. One major pitfall with failing to do employee reviews is also not having a legal and successful termination plan. Not having an employee review done or proper performance improvement documentation completed before you terminate someone can wind you up in a courtroom. Don’t take any chances. Do the employee reviews and do them at least yearly.
They Don’t See Value In Employee Training – Employees who are provided with a means to grow their skills have greater job satisfaction than those who don’t. Technology changes all the time and with it so do the ways that jobs get done. Today’s employee is always concerned about falling behind and having antiquated skills. Not investing in your team increases your likelihood that they will leave in favor of a company that will. There are many affordable ways to provide employee training that will increase their productivity and keep them with your company longer.
There Are No Written Policies – If there is nothing else that you do for your HR issues this year, make it a point to at least put your policies in a written format. This must be done in order to avoid ugly HR issues at your company and mitigate the circumstances that could land you in hot water with employment regulations and lawsuits. You can’t hold employees accountable for policies they don’t know about. Not having an employee handbook and signed proof that your employees have read it is just leaving the door wide open for HR issues and one of the biggest ways small business owners mess up HR in such a huge way.
How To Hang Up Your HR Hat In Confidence
Many small business owners are realizing that managing HR is not for them. We can’t blame them, it is a lot to keep track of when you are wearing lots of other hats as a small business owner. Many entrepreneurs are turning to HR outsourcing solutions like PEOs to manage HR so they can get more focused on growing their businesses in the right direction. The truth is, a PEO can help with all of these issues. Oftentimes, they realize what a savings a PEO actually is when they learn how a PEO can manage all aspects of HR, including payroll, tax filings, full benefits packages that don’t crush budgets.
It is time to take these ways that small business owners mess up HR seriously. Find out more about how PEOs can help today.