There is one key reason why every SME business needs HR and that’s people – unless your business is operated entirely by robots, you will by now have a few names on your payroll. And with those names come a host of responsibilities. But not just responsibilities, opportunities too. For with the right human resource management approach your employees can truly become your best assets.

HR responsibilities and opportunities

Let’s face it, the prospect of managing people is unlikely to have been the reason why you started your business. But it comes with the territory when growing a successful business and there are some fundamental reasons why SMEs need to pay close attention to their HR management:

1.    Legal compliance – there are countless laws governing how companies manage their employees, covering discrimination, overtime and minimum wage requirements, gender pay differences, safety in the workplace, redundancy and so forth. Ignoring these laws could cost you a lot, perhaps even your company.

2.    Recruitment and staffing – getting the right employees for your company is vital. Creating the specification for a new job, advertising it and then sifting through hundreds of applications may be hugely time-consuming but it is vital to know you are hiring people with the right qualifications, skills and experience.

3.    Training and development – once in your employment, you need your staff to performing to their highest ability and that means making sure they learn the duties specific to their role and keep their qualifications, if required, and skills up-to-date and/or learn new ones as their role develops. Even if you do not pay for external courses, you will need to ensure some sort of in-house training programme.

4.    Compensation and benefits – to compete for the best talent and keep top employees a successful business needs to stay on top of salary trends, including items such holiday entitlement, health insurance and such like.  These are crucial to recruitment and retention and need careful budgeting and management.

5.    Employee satisfaction – salary and perks are all very well but today’s employees are looking for something more. Job satisfaction, feeling fulfilled in their work, taking responsibility and being appreciated for their efforts and ideas are all important. And the SME business owner who knows how to keep employee satisfaction levels high will find everything runs a lot smoother.

6.    Employee relations – but if things do go wrong (and they will at times), having policies and processes in place to deal with employee issues will prevent things turning nasty and ensure a satisfactory solution for all concerned.

The HRM payback

It is easy to see human resource management as yet another burden, something else to drag you away from running and building your business. But with the right approach, HRM can be a powerful tool for building a sustainable and successful business. Happy employees equals happy customers and who wouldn’t want that?