Effective HR processes are vital to the successful running of any business, as an independent HR consultant advising small businesses, I should know.   As well as managing payroll and holiday allocation there is recruitment, performance management, grievance and disciplinary, dismissal, sickness absence, maternity and family friendly processes, payroll and holidays. 

All processes that relate to staff management should be supported by robust paperwork.  Employees should be given an employment contract within eight weeks of commencing employment ideally coupled with an employee handbook that contains lots of policies providing guidance on employment procedures within the business.   Everyone should have a regular payslip.

The employee handbook should be the “bible” in how things are done in the management of employees.  If closely followed, the procedures offer protection against costly employment tribunal compensation.

For example, a procedure for managing sickness absence improves efficiency by providing clear guidance on holding meetings, undertaking investigations, monitoring and ultimately making a final decision on dismissal if things do not improve.  Managing sickness absence can be costly and time consuming if not handled well and without a procedure.   Similar guidance for managing poor performance is essential as most small businesses can ill afford to put up with its negative impact on productivity.

Grievance and disciplinary situations need to be carried out quickly to avoid low morale setting in, which can indirectly affect profits.  Efficient recruitment provides quality staff, which can make a business successful and profitable and should follow a written down structured procedure that will avoid discrimination.  Effective redundancy procedures ensure efficient downsizing cuts costs quickly yet within the confines of employment law.

If HR has a strategic focus, it can help to support the business’s long term aims and encourage efficiency.  

Efficient HR processes can save a small business time and money helping to support demonstrable growth and profits.