5 Common HR Mistakes Every Business Owner Can Avoid

Often described as the key mediator between employees and you, the business owner, your HR department relies on your leadership to steer the ship that is your company in the right direction. However, the process of hiring, training, and retaining your employees is a fluid and ever-changing one, especially considering the same changing nature of the laws on which you base your collaboration.

With so much on your plate already, it’s no wonder that many business owners, no matter the size of their company, let a few key HR steps fall through the cracks. More often than not, these issues can be easily avoided, so let’s see which HR pet-peeves you should keep an eye on, and how you can make sure they never affect your business again.

Hasty dismissal

Unless there was a flying copier incident that jeopardized the safety of your employees, you cannot fire an employee on the spot without properly investigating the situation. If you are not satisfied with that particular employee’s performance, there should be a written record of your attempts to help them overcome any issues, followed by a proper training protocol, and an account of why you are not satisfied and how that has affected your business.

Sometimes all it takes is a few training sessions to help your employee perform better, but even if that is not the case, the least you can do is save yourself an unfair dismissal claim from a disgruntled employee.

No hiring strategy in place

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a single person to handle your social media, or an entire team of graphic designers to build your brand, every company needs a reliable onboarding process. It serves to test the candidates on several levels, filter out the unsuitable ones, and help you focus on the ones with the most potential to fit into your company culture.

In fact, a single mismatch can cost your company as much as $50,000 in the long-run, according to this 2013 study. So, take your time to refine the hiring process, it will be worth your while, as well as your budget.

No binding contract

There are no exceptions to this rule: even if you are hiring remotely or choose to work with freelancers only, every collaboration requires a legal basis. While online platforms such as Upwork have their own pre-defined legal terms of each contract, every employee should have a clear idea of your expectations, their rights, and the scope of work involved.

All of these essential bits of information can be included in your employment letter, but they should be further elaborated and agreed upon in a legally-binding contract. That way, both parties involved kick off the partnership knowing what to expect and what is expected of them.

Lack of training

Another common HR issue is offering regular growth opportunities to your employees, but not just in the form of a simple title. Every team needs a chance to improve their skills and master the latest techniques in their field of work, which is an investment that benefits both your employees and your entire business.

This is one of the key factors that contributes to the happiness of your employees, because they will recognize a chance to grow out of their current role without leaving their post at your company. Consider visits to various conferences and seminars, as well as in-house mentorship programs for employees of all experience levels.

Not matching skills and pay

Complying with the basic Modern Awards and the National Employment Standards is another pivotal piece of the employment puzzle that often gets neglected. As a consequence, many businesses end up with significant back pay claims, and even more importantly, with a severe blow to the reputation of your business.

Even if you do comply with the essential provisions of Modern Awards such as paying the needed rates for the specified position, you also need to ensure that other details of the contract are in accordance with the law. Are they getting paid for working after hours? Are they aware of their leave rights and other benefits? All of these and many other details should be regularly checked and updated depending on the position, seniority, and advancement of your employees.

No matter the size of your business and how long you’ve been in the game, keeping your HR practice up to date and in excellent working order is crucial for your entire company. There will always be roadblocks to tackle during the growth of your business, so make sure this aspect of its operations works smoothly so that you can devote your attention to other, more pressing matters of your company.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.

Devious Dealings: Handling An Errant Employee Properly

Providing a comprehensive security in your business isn’t just relegated to your IT infrastructure, you have to consider the human aspects too. There are some industries where this can be low down on the priority list. But, there are personal issues that are very difficult for a business to deal with. An errant employee, either one who isn’t pulling their weight, or is even committing fraudulent activities on site, is something that every entrepreneur and business owner can have a struggle with. Firstly, it reflects poorly on the business if any employee does anything to undermine the company, but also, dealing with the person can be a very sticky situation. So, generally, how can you deal with the person, but also, how can you make sure that this doesn’t happen again?

Astute Observation

For something like an employee committing fraudulent activities on site, you need to make sure you gather enough evidence. Nowadays, there are so many different approaches to collecting this data, there are companies like WesTec Services that provide video security, so you can see exactly what is going on. On top of this, if the offending employee knows how to cover their tracks, you may need to spend a lot more time developing more sophisticated ways to keep tabs. You have to be very careful when amassing evidence, because if you are accusing someone of something that they will flat out deny, whether it’s a criminal offence, or if it’s something relating to their personal attitude towards the work, you need to ensure that you can display this evidence clearly before progressing with any form of punishment or feedback.

The Punishment Matches The Crime

For something like criminal behavior, it’s more clear cut; it’s usually an instant dismissal. But when it comes to making sure that the person who isn’t pulling their weight in a business is adequately punished, this is where semantics is best discussed. Especially, with regards to HR rules and regulations, you need to make sure that you are developing the member of staff appropriately, and not punishing them needlessly. Learning and development, as well as constructive criticism are things that will help, but also, implementing specific deadlines can be something to ensure that they are taking the feedback seriously. This is why quarterly reviews and one-to-one sessions are so beneficial now.

Give A Clear Message

It’s a very overused sentiment, using someone else “as an example”, but it’s important that you give a message to the other members of staff who are going down this slippery slope. For something like criminal activity, an instant firing can give the right message to the employees, but for those employees who are underperforming, using someone as an example is certainly a great way to make sure all that other workers are performing to standard. In addition to this, this communicates to clients and people outside of the company that you have a handle on dealing with these types of employees appropriately.

It’s very difficult from the perspective of a business owner, because you have your own reputation as well as your business’s reputation to maintain. You don’t want these types of employees to show up your company, and this is why you have to have something in place that deals with these errant types effectively.

Prepare For The Hurricane That Is Success

The dream for any business is to explode like a fireworks finale above some capital city on Old Year’s Night and, if you work hard enough, you’ll find the chances of this happening are in your favor. The dream is an exponential rise, the kind that will be written in the folklore of Forbes Magazine.

However, the dream is very different to the reality because, if you don’t prepare your business for this level of success, you’ll see it fall by the wayside thanks to good old instability. Yup, seizing the opportunity to grow requires having everything in place to rock n’ roll with the momentum you’ve earned.

That’s why we’ve pulled together a lost of ways you can effectively grow your business and ride out any and all the brisk changes that crop up on the way up:

  1. No Weak Links

The thing that makes growth possible is a sudden charge of customers running toward your gates. However, if things aren’t absolutely watertight at your end, you’ll find they turn around just as quickly as they came, taking everyone with them. That’s why you need to have everything in check. You need to make sure you are presentable from every direction, have a great online presence and that all your operations are able to run smoothly no matter how many people cue up. Think of this growth as a hurricane; the only thing that will help you survive is a strong foundation.

  1. Have The Resources

This is the balancing act that you need to master in order to make growth possible. You need to have all the resources ready without having any unnecessary overheads. Our advice: utilize technology and make the most of outsourcing. Call ATB Technologies and ask them about their cloud storage solutions so that your IT can withstand the growth, build a pool of trusted freelancers you can call on during peak times so that you don’t put your business or brand at risk of onboarding problems and have automation processes in place so that human error isn’t a burden when the pressure builds.

  1. Hire The Best Talent

Growth is not possible without having the right team around you, which is why you need to make this a priority. These people are a crucial part of your success and will either help big time or hinder you massively. Don’t just pick the person with the best qualifications though. Think about their soft skills, how they will fit in with your culture, the context they have applied their experience in so far, heir ambitions and everything else that makes up their professional personality. Yes, their experience is key, but you want them to be able to roll with the punches and fight for the same goals as you. Dedication and commitment – those are the two defining traits you are after.

  1. Perfect Your Procedures

We’ll keep this one short: you need to have the proper procedures, processes and strategies in place if you are going to seize the opportunity to grow. That means having the right systems, tech, software, workflows and everything else of that ilk. It won’t be possible to succeed without them.

4 Easy Ways To Show Your Workforce That They Are Valued

The days of finding a job when you leave college to then remain with the same company for the next forty years or more have long gone. Graduates are now keen to broaden their horizons by experiencing different working environments and joining different companies on a mixture of short and long-term contracts. Securing the loyalty and services of an exceptional employee can be tricky, especially if you work in a fast-paced and dynamic industry such as advertising or PR. However, there are some strategies that you could implement to ensure that you not only attract the best candidates but that you can retain their services.

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Pay More

It’s a pretty obvious concept but to show your staff team that they are truly valued, you need to ensure that the remuneration package that you offer exceeds that of your rivals and the market rate. By stretching their salaries just that little bit further and providing an exceptional benefits package, you will gain a reputation for rewarding staff. This is one of the easiest ways of attracting the best potential employees.

It’s not just the basic salary that can create the most productive team. You could provide healthcare insurance, contribute generously to a pension and even cover legal fees should your employee need them. Head to https://www.hupy.com/offices/des-moines–iowa-auto-accident-attorney.cfm or any other local attorney to see the sorts of services they could provide for your staff, such as help with personal injury claims, automotive accidents and negligence.

Get To Know Your Staff

It’s vital that you know your staff especially if you only have a small team. They need to know your face, see you around the office and know a little bit about you. When your team are going on away days, make sure that you attend with them, take part in the team-building exercises and take the time to learn your employees’ names. By inquiring every so often as to how little Jimmy is getting on at school, you are showing your staff that you care. The tiniest action can boost the morale of your workforce and keep them settled with your company.

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Be Open With Your Employees

There’s nothing worse than working for a company that remains secretive. This doesn’t mean that you should share every single detail of your business plan with your staff, but you could send a weekly email to celebrate the company successes with your staff team. Tell them how different projects are going, inform them of upcoming events, and single out those employees who have gone above and beyond to exceed a target. By being open and giving your employees recognition for their achievements, you will be actively showing them that you care and that you value their contribution to your company’s performance.

Allow Freedom Within Their Roles

Being stuck behind a desk for eight hours a day is a working model of the past. No longer do we have single booths to lock ourselves within and beaver away on a desktop computer sending out emails, answering calls and writing documents without so much as looking up over our cubicle. Office environments need to be more fluid, free and more conducive to a comfortable way of working as displayed at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/03/08/. You should be making opportunities for those water cooler moments when your staff might be having a chat over a coffee and come up with the finest marketing idea that will see your company’s online exposure go stratospheric.

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By having a more open, transparent and flexible workplace, you can show your workforce that they are valued. As described at https://trainingindustry.com/articles/workforce-development/, a valued workforce is a more productive and happy workforce. Set the core expectations and allow your team the freedom to decide how they meet them. They may wish to work from home a couple of days a week or take a break every so often in the company games room. Empower them to fulfill your business vision.

Being the sort of boss that helps their employees look forward to work every morning and enjoy their jobs means that you have the greatest chance of keeping the most talented and hardest working staff members. To be that boss you need to give praise where it is due, keep your team updated, celebrate successes and allow your employees a level of autonomy that shows a deeper level of trust. Only then will you have shown your staff team that they are truly valued.

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Employees

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, and you know that your hard-working employees deserve at least a small token of your appreciation. But, we also know how busy and stressful December is in the world of business, so it’s not unusual to find yourself heading to the office Christmas party and realize that you completely forgot about holiday gifts for your employees. But fret not! Here’s a list of cool last minute gifting ideas to save the day and help you show your employees that you value them.

Baked goods

Who doesn’t like cupcakes, pies, or Danish? Even if somebody actually doesn’t, then that person must be a doughnut lover. So, instead of racking your brains trying to come up with something unique and fancy, it’s a better idea to try and remember what your employees like to gorge on during their lunch break and hand them an assortment of their favorite baked goods in nice, festive wrapping. Sometimes there’s no need to go over the top when it comes to gift-giving, and a box of, say, blueberry muffins can do the trick.

A desktop terrarium

Let’s face it, offices can be stuffy and gloomy places which is why a decorative desktop terrarium makes a perfect addition to your employees’ attempts to personalize, brighten up, and add a touch of nature to their workspace. What’s great about these miniature greenhouses is the fact that the plants in them don’t actually require too much nurturing or natural light. So even if your busy employees, immersed in their everyday work forget to water them from time to time, no biggie. All these resistant plants require in order to thrive is to be misted every two to three weeks and some indirect light.

A Christmas gift card

When you want to get your employees something that they really want or need and you have no idea what that would be, then simply give them prepaid Christmas gift cards, and make sure that yours will be their favorite gift this holiday season. Every year, thousands of gifts are returned because people either don’t like the choice or they already have the same thing, so this is the best way to avoid disappointing your employees by presenting them with unwanted items. Additionally, gift cards are suitable for any budget, and they can be used in a number of stores.

A digital notebook

Writing important notes down is very useful, but it’s not exactly practical as people tend to lose post-it notes or torn pieces of paper, which is why a digital notebook is the right thing. Namely, this smart gadget allows you to jot down your thoughts, ideas, or lists and it stores them in the cloud where you can access them anytime you want. Your employees will be thankful for this amazing, and yet comparatively affordable gift as they will be able to clean up and declutter their desks.

A Shiatsu massage seat cushion

Sitting at your desk for more than 8 hours a day can put a lot of strain on our health. To help your employees stay healthy and productive, get them a relaxing Shiatsu massage seat cushion that will be just the remedy their sore backs need. Nothing says “Thank you for all your hard work” better than this portable massage device that they can use anywhere – in their car, on the couch, or even at the office.

A heating lunch box

Some people prefer home-cooked meals to fast food, but the problem is that their food gets cold by the lunch break. This can be an issue, especially if you don’t have a kitchen at the office. That’s why a heating lunch box is an amazing idea that will allow your employees to enjoy healthy and delicious meals while they’re at work. This useful device renders a microwave oven completely unnecessary.

A desktop punching bag

Working at the office can be stressful, so a desktop punching bag that will let your employees blow off some steam when someone (maybe even you) steps on their toes should be a mandatory piece of office equipment. This convenient gift can be a part of stress and anger management strategy in your company, and help people who work for you vent their frustration and have some fun at the same time.

The gift of words

Never underestimate the power of warm, sincere, heartfelt words. A personalized and carefully crafted thank you note, preferably accompanied by a box of chocolates or some cool merch, will definitely hit the spot with your employees. Don’t forget to mention what a pleasure it is to work with them and how you appreciate all their efforts.

Creative holiday gifts don’t have to cost you a pretty penny and yet they can make your employees happy and show them that you care.

 

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Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. Alex is a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog

Making A Gym Space Cost-Effective & Successful

As a health entrepreneur interested in the workout industry, it can be difficult to know where to start. Not only do there seem to be a million dietary supplements out there, but there are also very famous (and cheap) gym spaces run as chains, which have major brand familiarity and often endorsements from athletes and celebrities. The small and humble gym space is dying out somewhat, but that doesn’t mean your ambition can’t be realized and function as a wonderful and worthwhile business. Opening your own gym can be bolstered by the following advice, so we hope it helps to some degree.

Build Your Space

A great gym space is relatively permanent. It’s not likely that equipment will change its location unless you are switching up the entire design of the place. For this reason, designing your floor plans can work effectively here, before you begin the long effort of bringing in heavy equipment. Armstrong Steel can help you effectively design and construct your own space, allowing for the room and design you most need to work within a structure you dream of. Make sure that you design your space in a way that maximizes customer flow. Artificial queues for equipment, and limited space to conduct classes will only turn customers off, so try to see the design from their eyes.

What Can You Offer?

To get away and compete with the commercial gyms, you need to find your niche. What helps you stand out among other people? Is it your military service and training knowledge, your experience as an athlete or extreme bodybuilder, or some form of healthy and holistic approach to getting in shape? Developing your brand in this way, and making it targeted towards a niche will not only give you the ability to stay relevant to the community, but offering something no one else can will help you get customers through the door all on its own.

Equipment

Gym equipment is luckily quite rudimentary. So long as it’s clean, stable and well maintained, plenty of equipment can be bought second hand. A straight and secure barbell can last decades of training for instance, and so can weights. Professional gym goers will look at equipment like this and actually prefer it, because it is honest and simple. Rubber plates, rubber squat racks and Olympic lifting platforms are nice to have, but they can be overly expensive and not worth it just yet.

Mats for working out can be found cheaply and effectively, and will only take a quick inspection and clean to get them ready for use. The best thing about a gym is that apart from lighting, some form of toilet facility and a water station, there is relatively little else you need to offer for those entering.

Run Classes

Classes will get people in the door. Appealing to novices with the guiding hand of your influence and knowledge is important, and building a client relationship in this way will allow you to retain those you most wish to keep. Be sure to run important promotions such as ‘new year, new body!’ or meditation classes which can help your customer base feel wonderful and grounded, and connected to your facility in particularly. Running classes helps you provide a service for your customers, but also get to know them. For an intimate gym space, nothing could be better.

With these tips, you will find your new gym space easy to commercialize. We wish you the best of luck.