Guelph HR Consultant Solves The 7 Common HR Issues That Small Businesses Face

By Nicole Carter | July 26, 2021 | Human Resource Templates, Strategic Planning Resources

Small businesses are not exempt from following and executing sound HR practices just because they have fewer employees. However, many small businesses often face HR problems they don’t know how to solve. Guelph HR consulting company, HR Factor, has worked with many small businesses and has compiled a list of the top 7 HR issues that many small businesses face, along with suggestions on ways to overcome them.

1. How Do I Make Sure I’m Following Employment Laws?

One of the most common HR issues that small businesses face is making sure that they are following the necessary employment laws – provincial or federal, exempt or included. The first step to solving this problem is getting your house in order and establishing a solid HR foundation. This means having the right employment policies in place to help guide managers and employees. Policies are developed in accordance with the needs of your organization and help to mitigate employment issues by making working guidelines clear.

Furthermore, they provide direct and understandable rules of engagement, inclusive of employee handbooks and employment contracts. Having these items in place will keep your business running smoothly.  

Guelph HR Consultant: How Do I Make Sure I’m Following Employment Law

2. How Do I Attract The Right People For My Business?

Having employees that believe and reflect your brand is extremely important. There are many strategies that businesses can use to make sure they’re attracting the right people. Establishing progressive recruitment and selection practices is vital. This will set the foundation for all other phases of the hiring process. Businesses can also consider implementing applicant tracking software, tailored interview guides, and employee referral practices to help get great results. 

Additionally, before you start looking for new hires, ask yourself these types of questions. “what personality trait do I most care about?” or “do I want someone who is more experienced and independent or someone with less experience who is more moldable?”

Finally, it’s essential that you understand your brand, what you value, and what sets you apart from your competitors – that is your value proposition. In other words, know why someone would want to join your team. 

Guelph HR Consultant: How Do I Attract The Right People For My Business

3. How Do I Know If An Employee Is The Right Fit?

Understanding your business’s brand, vision, and value proposition will help determine if an employee is a good fit for your team. Integrate your vision into your interview process. Determine what behaviours and skills are essential to your company’s vision and ask questions that are aligned with it. Dig in deep to find out more about the candidate’s motivations, aspirations and what really drives them to be successful.

You will also want to consider their previous work experience and transferable skills. For example, it’s good to know if a candidate has worked at large corporations, prefers to work alone and is motivated by the idea of climbing the ladder quickly. Your company, on the other hand, could be more about more about small teams, collaboration and slower growth which might not be the best fit. 

Guelph HR Consultant: How To Know If A Employee Is Right For Me

4. How Do I Set Clear Expectations For My Employees?

Performance and talent management should be top of mind for every conscientious and proactive employer. Once you get the right employees, making sure to properly develop them is the next step. With your employees, set goals, measure, and reward them accordingly for their success.

Talent management plans track the career path of the high potential employees and highlight gaps in career pathing and progression. Having simple and effective performance strategies in place makes setting expectations for employees easy and increases your chances of having a highly engaged and committed workforce. 

Guelph HR Consultant: How Do I set Clear Expectations For My Employees

5. What Are The Best Strategies To Retain Employees?

One of the most difficult HR issues that small businesses can face is employee retention – hanging on to good talent in a competitive market. You’ve hired good people, and evaluated their performance, but now you need to keep them happy. Benchmark your compensation programs and perks against the market and your competitors and ask yourself things like ‘am I paying appropriately for the work being performed?’ and ‘what other benefits can I offer?’.

Total Reward strategies are about figuring out what other perks besides base salary make working for you attractive. Do you offer a flex hours? Remote work options? Benefits? Bonuses? Health insurance? Determine what makes your workforce tick and make sure integrate those things into your plans.

Guelph HR Consultant: What Are The Best Strategies To Retain Employees?

6. How Can I Keep Employees Motivated And Productive?

Besides compensation and other benefits to help keep employees motivated, employee engagement surveys and strategies can be used. The first step is to improve communication with employees and ensure there is always clear communication of expectations and business direction.

What kind of things do you need from your employees and what kind of things do your employees need from you? Employers often don’t communicate enough, especially when it comes to company goals, results, and how everyone’s role plays a part in achieving company success.  In other words, help employees understand what’s in it for them.

How Can I Keep Employees Motivated And Productive?

7. How Do I Make Sure I’m Creating an Atmosphere Of Inclusion and Openness?

Finally, the last HR issue small businesses face is DEI, otherwise known as diversity, equity and inclusion. This is on the radar screen of progressive employers. On the flip side, candidates are making it a requirement for their employers to have some sort of DEI strategies and practices in place.

Workplace analysis and putting strategies in place to address gaps and shortcomings with direct communication of plans to implement change will create a workplace culture of inclusion and openness. 

How Do I Make Sure I’m Creating an Atmosphere Of Inclusion and Openness?
If you find yourself any of the above situations and need help from a Guelph HR consultant, HR Factor can help! Take advantage of our HR on demand services. 

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