The Australian Small Business Blog

Friday, September 29, 2017

Avoiding the HR Minefield

by Dr Greg Chapman

One of the most daunting things for a small business is taking on new employees. It’s a major commitment. Will the cashflow support the new employee? What must the new employee do to pay their way?

When small business owners do recruit, they often do this themselves to avoid the costs of agencies. There is nothing wrong with this, but it’s easy to make mistakes, particularly if you don’t recruit very often. I’m not just referring to following the latest rules, of which there are way too many, but also just knowing what best practice is in managing people. If you are intent on doing this yourself, there are free resources available to use from Fairwork Australia at their new Learning Center. This includes free online courses on topics such as Hiring New Employees, and Managing Performance. What I particularly like about the Learning Centre are the tools, checklists and letter templates that are provided to help you do everything from hiring to firing employees.

Often difficulties arise in businesses because rules for staff are arbitrary and often ad hoc. The resource centre will also enable you to create your own staff employment policy manual so you can avoid the grief that often arises in workplaces. So when you do hire a new employee, they will know right from the start what is expected of them, and what their rights and entitlements are. For older employees, I recommend these new policies and practices (many of which may have been informally applied in the past) be explained and their questions answered. For any business to grow, it needs both people and systems to manage them. Over time this will reduce the firefighting in your business and allow you to spend more time on growing it. I highly recommend this free resource to any business owner who would like to do just that.

May Your Business this Year be - As You Plan It.

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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Lea ding Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.

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