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Last Updated November 29, 2022

Set your business apart with a best practice approach to Human Resources 

To successfully manage your workforce and to meet the demands of clients you need to have the correct, best practice, human resources strategy, focus and support in your business. 

Small Business Society breaks Human Resources down into five simple, easy to follow areas – Planning, Attraction, Management, Engagement and Conclusion.  Review these areas of your business to set up a best practice approach to Human Resources. 

Planning; the current and future staffing, process and system needs of your business.

The first half of the planning phase is to understand the current and future staffing needs of your business.  This involves understanding your current workforce; their skills and their capabilities. It is also important to know your current leadership’s capabilities.  Document all of this information. From here you then need to understand what the future holds for your industry and ensure your workforce can meet these future needs.  It is also important to have a succession plan in place for key employees and leaders. 

The second half of the planning phase is to understand and plan for the process and system needs of your business.  You need to check you are business compliant and have up to date policies and procedures. Also, ensure you have adequate human resource technology in place and business reporting tools, not just to assist you for the demands of your business today, but into the future as well. 

Attraction; and introduction of the right people

The attraction phase of the employee life cycle is about the recruitment and onboarding of your future employees and then having a successful induction and probation program for these  employees.

To attract and retain the best employees in the future, take the time to develop and design your overall recruitment and attraction program.  This includes having processes, policies and templates for position descriptions, advertising, the interview process itself and finally the employee contract and new starter paperwork.

It is next important to create an induction program.  An engaging, welcoming and informative induction process will set the business and new employees up for success.

Management; of employees formal and informal development, expectations and performance.

The management phase of the employee life cycle is described in the following sections.

Upon signing a new employee, the importance of a well planned out and executed induction and probation program becomes the focus. To set you and your new employee up for success take the time up front to train and inform your new employee, meet with them regularly and discuss how they are going in their new role.  Feedback and coaching is important to assist the employee to be successful as quickly as they can.

You need to have a performance appraisal program in place for your business.  That is, have a documented process with associated templates that you utilise on a regular basis, describing how you will identify, evaluate and then develop the work performance of your employees. 

Next, to manage your employees’ development, and assist them to continuously perform to meet their job requirements, you will need to provide formal and informal learning and development opportunities. 

Finally, it is important to have a well defined and documented performance management process. It is important to follow fair and consistent performance management practices when managing employees’ performance or behaviour. Procedural fairness is critical to how Fair Work Australia decides unfair dismissal cases.

Engagement; of employees in the work and the business.

There are many elements involved in attracting and retaining the right employees for your business. 

An important first part is remuneration.  The base rate of pay, overtime rates, superannuation and tax, plus additional elements above these such as additional leave, allowances and salary reviews, all contribute to the engagement levels of your employees.

In addition to remuneration, there are other employee benefits to consider to assist with employee engagement.  These include professional development, reward and recognition, supporting your employees health and wellbeing, flexibility and the working environment. 

Finally, your business’ culture is a reflection of the environment, behaviours, values, office rituals, and the language of the employees working in your business.  A positive work culture results in effective employee engagement and long term employment.

Conclusion; of employment by the employer or employee.

There are many different reasons why an employee or employer may conclude employment with a business.  This includes, amongst others, redundancy and redeployment, under-performance, end of temporary contract,  retirement and resignation.

It is important to define your exit process.  The exit process should include final pays, business security, notification of key employees and customers and exit interviews.

Your exit process should include final pays, business security, notification of key employees and customers and most beneficial, an exit interviews. Ensure an employee departs with a respectful and where possible positive experience as you never know what the future may bring.

Values – know your business’ Human Resources values

By understanding each stage, you are able to design and define what your business will offer its employees from a Human Resources perspective. These are your Human Resources values

They need to be relevant to your business and if possible unique, to help you stand out as an employer of choice. They should be the things that set your business apart from other businesses. 

For example, will you invest in ongoing training and development for your employees, will you celebrate birthdays and employment milestones or will you offer flexible work practices.

Take the time to list of the benefits that your business offers and that you want to be known for. These can be separated into tangible benefits such as additional superannuation contributions, ongoing professional development, additional leave options; and intangible benefits such as working from home, self managed working hours, and team building activities.  It is also important to define how these benefits will work and why they are a good thing for your employees.

What is going to help your business be the best it can be to enable sustainability and growth?

The importance of best practice human resources is easily overlooked in the busy day-to-day workplace. However without contributions in each of these five areas of human resources, your business would be less successful and potentially at risk.

Take the time to set up your business’ systems, processes and employees correctly. Develop a Human Resources strategy as you do with your finances and marketing and make sure that you are working towards this plan, monitoring it and making adjustments as the needs of your business, customers and industry changes.

Small business society can assist with a range of templates and useful blogs to guide you in the right direction for a best practice approach to Human Resources for your business, or we can work with you closely to develop each stage and your strategy.

Contact Small Business Society today.

The information provided in this document is for your guidance only and is general in nature. It does not constitute as legal advice. It is the responsibility of the individual to seek legal advice where required.

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About Kate Tongue

Kate Tongue is the founding Director of Small Business Society.

She is a qualified and experienced Human Resources professional with more than 10 years of experience across the private and public sectors.

Her particular interest and experience is in managing the employee life cycle, delivering process improvements, and Human Resource strategy.

Looking for more information on the various stages of the employee life cycle or Human Resources in general?  The following may interest you.

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