I know you don't normally associate HR with an alcoholic drink but SMEs need such an accompaniment. Did you know that gin has many health benefits (as long as drunk in moderation) and HR can have that same impact. "How?" I hear you cry.
Gone are the days when HR is renowned for cracking the whip. It's now about getting the best out of your people. Yet I still hear some SMEs say that they can't see the benefit in HR - certainly in the early stages. I would argue that this is when it's most beneficial.
Obviously I am going to say that HR is important because that's what I do but this should hopefully help you to see why (with the odd gin and tonic mention for good measure).
Impacting on the bottom line
"How am I making savings when I'm paying for a HR resource?" Simple - you won't be using your valuable time. One of the health benefits of gin is helping to calm joint pain woes. The same with HR: give those woes to someone else and focus on what you wanted to do in the first place - concentrate on your business.
If you set out your policies and procedures from the word go, you won't have to spend any time consulting with employees over changes. You are clear what kind of employer you are and this will help you recruit the right kind of people.
The right HR support will work with you to make sure that everything people related is for the good of the business - to make you an employer of choice, to keep issues to a minimum and to make everything run smoothly.
Acting as a sounding board
Running your own business can be a lonely affair. Gin can definitely help with this! As can having a HR person on the end of the phone to provide extra comfort, you're not in this alone. You might just need to vent but it's not the best idea to do that to the person you're most annoyed with.
You're too invested
You spend a lot of time with the people you employ but for a small/medium employer it's often more than that. You're trusting them with your baby. If people let you down, you take it very personally. Also, because you've invested so much time and effort - you may shy away from tackling an issue - because you don't want to upset the apple cart. Employees may want to offload to someone impartial too, rather than let you see that they're unhappy.
External HR support can look at any issue with a fresh pair of eyes and without the emotional ties which you hold. Yes, we have to take into account the full facts, but that won't involve knowing about every bad week the person has ever had. This allows us to impartially review and recommend a course of action, which is right for the business.
Impacting knowledge and experience
I have heard many times "I am sick of trawling through Google for answers". This is so time consuming and how do you know you've definitely got it right? People matters can quickly get out of hand if not handled correctly and can result in bad press, tribunal costs or just a mass exodus. Having a HR professional on the end of the phone can be invaluable. A quick 10 minute call can allow you to offload the issue and receive advice which you know is spot on and up to date.
Most small/medium sized companies don't need internal HR but they need some HR support - just like tonic needs gin. Gin helps you to relax and the right kind of HR support can do that too. There are lots of options out there - from helplines to on-site consultants. If you want to explore how HR can help you, please message me on LinkedIn.