Paula expalins, there are a lot of common themes that run through the SMEs she works with. There is a lot of fear around HR and employment law. Which means that sometimes business owners don’t want to deal with HR issues because they don’t know how to deal with them, so often things get swept under the carpet rather than being addressed head on. Some SMEs also tend to have a lack of rules and clarity; things like good contracts of employment, employee handbooks, codes of conduct and the values that they want people to work by. Like the football analogy, with these lack of rules around everything, what can happen is people are breaking the rules and the referee isn’t doing anything about it because no one knows what the rule is. Suddenly, you haven’t got a game of football. You’ve got a game of rugby. That fear and that lack of knowing what to do in terms of putting the rules in place is a very common theme. In HR for SMEs, what Paula does is she breaks down some really practical steps in terms of how to put some of these rules in
place and demonstrate how HR is actually fundamental to running a business. You can’t run a successful business without good people. In order to get good people, you’ve got to start with the recruitment process. Depending on what league you want to play in depends what level of people you’re going to be recruiting. The book takes a very step-by-step approach to HR, so depending on the league you’re playing in, the level that you’re playing in depends on the level of HR that you may want to put in at any one time. Everything from your rules, your team, how do you get them to perform and how do you measure their performance. In business, you’re talking about things like job descriptions, measurement in terms of key performance indicators (KPI’s), but you’ve also then got to help your employees understand where they sit in the business and what contribution they make to your business. On a football pitch, again, it’s easy. The forward knows they’ve got to go and score a goal. If the goalie decides that they’re going to leave their post and run up the pitch,
“HR IS NOT SEPARATE TO THE BUSINESS” no one’s going to thank them. In a business, everyone needs to know their contribution.
because of the key performance indicators that now need to be achieved.
Then you’ve got the coaches. The coach is the person who has to get the best out of the people on the football pitch. Your coaches in your business are your managers, and they’re the people who can help your people in terms of their training and their development and focusing them in the right direction. Throughout the book, Paula goes through those areas in a step-by-step process to show SMEs how it should be aligned to the business so that HR is not something that’s separate from the business but is integral to taking the business forward.
The main aspect which comes again back to coaching and The Levels is it’s about review. It’s about continually reviewing where you are with your business and therefore where you are with your HR. Clarity around KPIs becomes even more important. Clarity around accountability becomes more important and then also training your inhouse managers to take on more. All of that is HR.
HR is fundamental to a business moving through The Levels because at every level, you need slightly different things. A business may start off with some real basics like contracts and handbooks. As the business grows, the need for HR becomes more and more aparent. It is most important, when a business is going through growth, when it may need to change things. Suddenly, you need to be looking sometimes at exit strategies because the people who are currently in the business either don’t want to be in the business anymore because it’s going through such growth or unfortunately are not capable of staying in their position
It’s a great book to read, especially if your business is moving through The Levels. It actually makes it very clear at the end that it is all about continually reviewing what you need to do. The other thing that’s really important that Paula tries to make clear in the book is that HR, is not separate to the business. It’s not separate to the business plan, and ultimately it is the responsibility of the business owner. To get your copy of HR for SMEs by Paula Fisher visit www.fluidbusiness.co.uk. As a promotion, Fluid Business Coaching is giving away a limited amount of free copies. To get your copy of The Levels visit fluidbusiness.co.uk.
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