This article was updated on June 14, 2018.
As the U.S. Small Business Administration points out, almost two-thirds of all new jobs in the United States are created by small business. Your Spark team wanted to take the time to both appreciate the efforts of owners and employees and offer some critical insights on the importance of human resource management. Here's a look at three of our most popularly read HR posts for small business owners.
The Human Element
It's often tempting to take a pass on formal HR staff and departments — after all, if your company has only a few employees and everyone gets along well enough, why spend the money? But it's not quite so simple. Effective human resource management can help companies avoid costly legal challenges and bad PR, and human resource professionals are a key point of contact for employees with questions about benefits, support and workplace culture. Even if your small business has well-established codes of conduct and behavioral expectations, HR can act as a sounding board for concerned employees, help ensure compliance with emerging health care as well as employment law and can also help improve employee retention.
Although not required by law, an employee handbook can be worth its weight in gold. Handbooks need to be clear and concise, and employees should always have access to them. As a best practice, include policies including, but not limited to, vacation time, social media use, anti-harassment and discrimination, dress codes and sick leave. Why? Because in the event of an employee complaint or administrative proceeding, your handbook and its wording can serve as a key resource in responding to the claim.
Managing Hidden Costs
How much does it cost to hire a new employee? While a training industry report from Training Magazine pegged the average cost of new staff at over $1,000 per employee in 2016, this doesn't tell the whole story. For example, onboarding new personnel often comes with hidden costs for small business owners such as the time spent by supervisors and employees during on-the-job training, any necessary instruction materials or equipment, and the overall loss of productivity until a new hire is comfortable and confident in their position.