By: George Butler
Human Resources (HR) is a major growth industry in the small business and corporate arena. Gone are the days where bosses got away with making ridiculous demands of their underpaid, unhappy and frequently on-strike workers. In these current times, good employees are hard to come by and even harder to keep – strategy planning is essential. If you research an effective HR strategy ahead of time, that takes into account your most valuable assets, you’ll be saving money, enhancing productivity and growing a more positive working environment!
Your Most Valuable Asset.
Believe it or not, it is not your product, nor is it your enormous brain or fantastic location – it’s your workers! Without them nothing happens – you can’t do it all! Without strategic management, retention of your staff can be difficult. Going through the ordeal of replacing an unhappy staff member can cost up to three times their original annual salary. Couldn’t that money be better spent on trusted, loyal employees that reflect your business values? On a quality HR strategy? On simply making them happy? Side effects of looking after your most valuable assets include; lower staff turnover, attraction of the ‘right’ talent when you do need new people, higher productivity and output and increased customer satisfaction. Sounds like a terribly successful way of doing business doesn’t it?
What Workers Really Want.
So what makes for a dissatisfied worker? It could be one of many things… lack of advancement in their position, boredom with job content, low wages, long hours, managerial gripes, bullying, company dynamics or personal problems. What a way to spend eight hours, every day – for whatever reason, it’s pretty evident that this person will either leave or eventually stop doing their job effectively. A happy worker on the other hand, envisions a workplace where they are valued and feel appreciated, where they feel a shared ownership in the brand or company.
Opportunities for professional advancement, training in and access to new technologies, and a pay cheque that reflects their contribution to the business also helps! On a more human level, workers just want to communicate and feel heard once in a while. They’d love it if the boss would acknowledge that they have a life outside the office and be flexible for family and social commitments.
How You Can Deliver.
First and foremost, if you have a large company and are not trained in human resources yourself, get an expert in strategic management in to look after it. Whether on a contract basis, or a permanent addition to your team, an expert in HR strategy will ultimately save you time and money. Even if you don’t have a huge number of employees in your own small business there are lots of ways to get your staff morale flying high above the bar and raise the stakes for your success! Try being more flexible, both with hours and job roles. Allow timeshare or trading for parents or students; where they can either work from home or take a ‘part time’ or different roles when outside pressures and commitments arise.
Work with people’s natural circadian rhythms; have rotating shifts for morning and afternoon people – as long as the same amount of work is getting done, does it really matter when? Offer genuine thanks for good work; this is so simple, but almost never done properly. Have readily available opportunities for advancement available, in-house or external professional development can only help give you an edge over your competitors. Any which way you look at it, an investment in your workers happiness via quality strategy planning, will reap major rewards for your overall business performance.