As we have outlined before, the people within a business are the most important assets. With employing staff comes great responsibility. Not only would you need to define a job role, department, equipment, induction, training, duties, salary, bonus or commission, management to name a few, but you have the upfront cost of recruiting that person in the first instance. So, having invested that valuable time and money in to bringing them on board, what is the plan? How can that employee develop? What could the future look like for them? By aligning your HR ‘’People Plan’’ with your business plan the situation can become a lot clearer. Now, the business plan does not need to be War and Peace, but every business owner should have a plan for where the company is going and how it will look in the future. When employing people on a whim or on a project basis, because you have a large contract to fulfil, it in fact can be costlier and more damaging than you might think.
What can happen when you don’t have a plan for your workforce? There are consequences for both the employee and the senior management of the business which could be detrimental to how the company can operate going forward.
Implications to the Employee
Put yourself in the shoes of the employee. You have just landed a role you are well suited to and can challenge your abilities. However, 3 to 6 months in to the job you have had no appraisals, no mention of passing your probation and no plans for future training or development. In addition, colleagues have come and gone, and you feel uncertain as to whether your job is at risk. This is a sure-fire way of becoming disengaged with what you are doing. There is a risk of becoming less productive and ultimately unmotivated to perform your job to the best of your abilities. Being unhappy in your role could also lead to looking for another job and going through the upheaval of another change. All because you do not feel part of the plans, communication is poor, and motivation has hit rock bottom. Not an ideal situation for you or the business.
Implications to the Company
Using the same scenario as above, the business leaders will eventually cause themselves an unwanted headache. This employee is right for the job, you hired them in the first place after all, and you are happy that they will just continue to do what they do, regardless of how you treat them. As there is no clear plan for this person, you leave the situation until it is too late, and they leave. You are left with the costs of recruitment, a staff member down, the time invested in to their induction and initial training and you are back to ‘square one’. Having a high staff turnover in your business is not only costly but is very disruptive to the day-to-day running of the business. Constantly recruiting has obvious implications on the bottom line but can instil a culture of negativity and short-termism. More importantly, you are losing talent. Talent which may now be going to work for a competitor. There are well reported skill shortages in some industries, so by recruiting again you are not guaranteed to find the same level of skillset within a new employee. There was no plan for the future and it was not clear how those staff members fitted in to that plan.
Overcoming These Issues
Running a business is not easy but being strategic will make life a lot easier and impact more positively on what you are trying to achieve. By putting in place a firm HR plan to nurture your talent pipeline could be one of the most important things you do on your journey in business. Once you have that clear vision you will be able to:
- Be proactive with employees
- Include staff in the future plans
- Communicate effectively
- Follow a process to develop talent
- Focus on creating a positive culture within the business
- Find and retain the right people
- Commit to your staff
- Create advocates for your business
If you do not have an employed HR professional, our advice is to seek it externally. In our experience, simply asking someone from within to undertake the HR responsibilities for you is not sustainable. Finance Directors, for example, running HR exercises can lead to viewing employee’s as costs rather than valuable assets.
We are fully qualified to take the lead in this area and can become a go-to for all HR needs. If you are truly motivated to make a difference for your company and your staff but don’t have the skills, time or expertise then speak to us and we can show you where we make a true difference to your business through our reliable, enthusiastic and dedicated approach.