Even if you don’t have an HR department with a professional in charge, it’s important to focus on your employee-related processes so that you can hire and retain the top talent, support team success, and boost company morale. Forming good habits and establishing solid processes can help you build a productive team.
Here’s what our very own Director of People Operations believes: “Culture is not built in a workshop or whiteboard session, it isn't top-down or bottom-up, it is the holistic approach of weaving who you are and who you want to be into every aspect of your people/talent program.”
Check out some best practices from the Human Resources industry that you can use to guide your strategy and decision-making as you grow your small business, bring on employees, and develop your company culture.
1. Hire the right people
Creating an organization starts with building a team that brings value to the table. It’s not about hiring just anyone—you’re looking for the right fit when it comes to skills, attitude, and expertise. As you’re going through the hiring process, get to know the candidates behind the resumes. Their technical skills might be the perfect fit, but if they’re not team players, it could harm your business’s productivity in the long run. Key qualities to look for include not just ability, but willingness to learn, passion, and dedication too.
2. Set expectations and goals
The job descriptions you craft and provide to your candidates serve as your opportunity to define various roles in terms of their functions and the performance expectations that come along with them. Once you’re on the same page with your employees, meeting with them regularly can help you give feedback, align on goals, and work together to address any concerns or roadblocks to success.
It’s all about communication. Don’t assume a new team member will hit the ground running right away—putting in the time as early as possible to be transparent about your vision can lead to more dedication and commitment within your company. Your employees will have their sights set on the future and feel like they’re making an impact.
3. Offer fair compensation
If you’re hiring the best candidates, you should be compensating them accordingly. That means a competitive salary, benefits, and room for growth. The potential cost might prove to be worth it when you show your employees that you really value their contributions to your business.
On top of base pay and benefits, have you considered offering performance-based rewards? By matching individual progress with personalized gifts, you’re incentivizing top performance and empowering employees to take control of their own results.
4. Invest in trainings
Once you’ve recruited the top talent, you’re in charge of setting them up for success within your company. Especially as technology continues to advance faster and faster, employers should stay up to speed for higher efficiency, faster growth, and a competitive advantage. At the same time, though, make sure you’re not requiring the same training for everybody. You should tailor the education you provide to specific roles so that it’s worthwhile and helpful in the long run.
5. Provide valuable feedback
Learning doesn’t stop at formal classes—there’s plenty of opportunity for professional development in the workplace too. Increasing your focus on feedback, whether that comes from managers or peers, will provide your employees with a more fulfilling experience that has a lasting impact beyond their job responsibilities.
Through challenging assignments, co-worker shadowing, and team-wide education, your employees will be ready to perform at the top of their game. By providing life-long learning, you’re developing stronger relationships with your team and probably reducing employee turnover at the same time.
6. Build a healthy company culture
With a great company culture, you can really stand out from the crowd. A business that promotes positive interactions, strong teamwork, and open collaboration is one that most likely has more engaged and satisfied employees. This means a more productive environment with clearly defined expectations and alignment on common goals.
Once you’ve put in the resources it takes to bring a talented team through the door, continue building a healthy company culture to achieve your business dreams. Looking for inventive, thoughtful ways to recognize your employees? Visit the SmartBiz Small Business Blog for some of our top ideas.
7. Boost morale
With a strong, positive environment at work, your employees will be more engaged and in tune with the bigger picture. Open lines of communication allow you to set actionable goals and stay on the same page on their progress. Employees feel the impact their contributions have, which means they’re held accountable for their work.
At the end of the day, satisfied employees usually stay longer. Keep your team happy and they’ll be loyal advocates not only of your brand and mission, but of the employee experience too.
8. Conduct surveys
Let’s face it: it can be awkward to ask for honest employee feedback in the middle of everyday conversations, and encouraging team members to volunteer their suggestions might not lead to a high response rate. That’s where data collection and surveys can help. Giving your employees a platform where they can easily and comfortably provide their suggestions, comments, and questions can help you keep your finger on the pulse of your company culture.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re working with real people, not metrics. An occasional satisfaction survey can give you the quantitative insights you need to improve, but one-on-one conversations should take precedent over anonymous submission forms or online feedback templates.
9. Promote equality and diversity
Equal employment opportunity is critical for employers. You’ve probably come across this requirement as a compliance-related factor, but an egalitarian and diverse work environment is so much more than a legal checkbox. It starts from within—if these are a central part of your company values, you can actively provide support and resources to your employees as you grow.
A great place is to start is with your handbook and onboarding materials. Make sure you communicate your policies around equality and diversity. Once your team is in the loop, provide trainings, organize talks and workshops, and start conversations to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard.
10. Create synergy
These HR best practices are meant to work in conjunction, not on their own. Evaluating these strategies as part of your overall HR efforts will involve putting the pieces together in a way that makes the most sense for your business. With a high performing team, a positive company culture, and a fair compensation system in place, you’ll be on your way to HR stardom in no time.
At SmartBiz, we’re proud of our amazing team. Even when we’re working hard to solve real problems while delighting our customers, we’re having fun in and out of the office. Check out this short video to see what we get up to when we celebrate our wins!
Looking for more helpful recommendations and tips? Search for “Employee Management” on the SmartBiz Resource Center and you’ll find articles covering topics from payroll tools to icebreaker activities and everything in between.