5 Common HR Mistakes in a Small Business

Many of us will know that running a small business at any time is a balancing act but even more so in the current climate.

You’re often expected to wear a variety of hats to ensure the business survives and grows.

One area that often gets forgotten with all the other day to day pressures is HR but it can also be one of the most costly areas to the business if you get it wrong.

Issues with people and the processes (or lack of) surrounding people can lead to damaged morale, high levels of turnover, poor company reputation and worst case could see you fighting an expensive tribunal claim.

Here are 5 of the most common HR mistakes small business owners make, but can easily be avoided:

Failing to provide a written statement of employment particulars (often referred to as a contract) – by law, you must provide anyone who’s classed as an employee with the terms of their employment in writing.  Having this document also clarifies expectations early on in the relationship ensuring the relationship gets off on the right foot.

Not sticking to your own rules – there’s no point in having rules if you don’t stick to them but it’s often tempting not to so that we don’t cause a bad atmosphere. You must be clear on the rules that you want everyone to adhere to in the business and then you must apply them consistently to everyone.

Failing to follow procedure – in some situations a failure to carry out the correct procedures can land you in legal hot water. You must make sure you know the right procedure to follow it and follow it.

Not managing sickness absences – you will never eliminate sickness absence entirely. However, this does not mean that you should not address it.  Make sure you have a clear policy (often referred to in the contract) and clear procedures (for employees and managers) to ensure you keep on top of it.

Not keeping an audit trail – it’s easy to think if everything is running smoothly and you only have a small team you don’t need to formalise anything however there are strict requirements for employee data and it is therefore important that you follow them and retain data as applicable.

We help employers with their HR issues and we can ensure no matter where you are in your business journey that you are compliant and following best practice.  If you need help with these or any other area of HR please give us a call – 01903 868502.

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