The HR Code
by Tracey Murphy, HR Specialist, HR Track
Pay as You Go HR Consultant
Having recently taken on a new employee, it reminds me how important it is to do the right groundwork get the most value and satisfaction out of the arrangement. The reason my business exists is to assist SME’s with the pitfalls of managing a workforce and the ever complex employment legislation in the UK.
So what are my top 3 tips when taking on new staff?
1) Do your research
I mean researching your ideal candidates. Write up a Job Description. Define what key skills and type of personality you want. Then do your research on the candidates that come forward. Interview them properly. Take references. Give them a practical assessment. Research them like you would if you were changing your car. It will take longer, but you will get a far more robust result. And if you struggle for time, get someone in to help or outsource some of it to an expert.
2) Show them the “Why”
I am a real believer that its essential your staff really get your reasons for being in business. They need to understand at an emotional level what problems you are solving for your customers, then their engagement with your business will increase. Sit them down, talk to them about your customers, show them why you do what you do, help them feel and visualise the culture you wish to build. Tell them stories of where great service overcame difficulties. Emotional connections with the Why your business exists are powerful. Then you can throw them into the job.
3) Contracts and the rules
Every single employee is legally entitled to receive an Employment Contract within 2 months of starting work. There are no exceptions. I cannot impress enough on the importance of this, yet most employers whom I get called in to support with “problems” have either no contracts in place or something far too basic or inappropriate for the environment they operate in. Most HR firms will audit your contracts for free so please get it done! Think of a pre-nuptial agreement – you hope you’ll never need to use it, but you’re surely relieved to have it if you do!
These 3 golden rules are so intrinsically connected. If you hire off the back of a fag packet you’re probably heading for trouble. If that employee isn’t engaged in your business, they won’t stay motivated or deliver great services, damaging your reputation. And if you didn’t put a contract in place, you have missed a trick in setting out the boundaries for the employee….so “I wasn’t told” becomes their defence.
My business provides a whole range of services to growing SMEs throughout the North West. We know the pitfalls of managing a workforce and how to increase your protection and reduce risk. Get in touch if you think you need our help.