Ceridian's Thought Starter is intended to provide expert comment on some questions that face the small business arena. We'll be posting a weekly thought and encourage readers to comment and provide their own ideas.
Q: What are some of the common HR challenges growing small businesses may face?
A: Submitted by: Susan Kennerknecht, Director Human Resources, Client Partnerships - Ceridian Canada
1. Attracting the right talent: Timely hiring and retaining of the right talent is one of the most common HR challenges facing growing small businesses today. In an already tight labour market small business owners are additionally facing the challenge of competing for the same talent as well-established larger firms. As a business owner, you may need to rethink previous recruiting tactics, and develop innovative ways to showcase your company as an employer of choice for new talent. Calling upon an expert in the field of recruiting is one option to satisfy short or longer term recruiting needs.
2. Developing managers: Many small businesses manage employees by exception. As the business grows, the owner gets bogged down trying to manage the growing number of exceptions. If employee situations are not dealt with in a consistent fashion, employees can become disengaged, which can lead to unhappy departures, or even legal complaints against the employer. Having an HR professional on staff, or choosing support from a third-party HR services provider can save the company money and avoid aggravation in the long run. The HR team, whether internal or external, can establish appropriate policies and practices to guide employee and management behaviour toward achieving company goals.
3. Implementing HR policies and practices: Companies often promote the technically best employee to manager and expect that person to suddenly become a highly effective leader. This quite often ends in disaster, with a disengaged manager, frustrated staff and a business leader left wondering what went wrong. New managers need training and coaching in order to be effective. Learning the basics about what drives performance, setting clear objectives for employees to work toward, giving regular feedback, recognizing and rewarding employees, as well as the proper process of applying corrective measures will go a long way in creating a productive, engaged work force.
The HR profession has evolved far beyond the administrative tasks of hiring and benefits of years gone past. These tasks certainly still need to be completed today. However, certified HR professionals, whether part of your staff or part of a third party HR services organization, will provide guidance, support and expertise to help ensure you have an engaged workforce truly committed to your company's success.