It's National Small Business Week from April 30 to May 6, and it's time to recognize the key contributions made by American small businesses to the continued growth and prosperity of the nation. 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 Thrive 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.

Celebrating National Small Business Week

Part three of our series celebrating National Small Business Week

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.

Read more: The Implications of Having No HR for Employees

Helping Handbook

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.

Read more: An Employee Handbook Is Important for Companies of Any Size

Managing Hidden Costs

How much does it cost to hire a new employee? While a 2014 training industry report from Training Magazine pegged the average cost of new staff at $1200 per employee, 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.

Read more: The Costs of Training New Employees, Including Hidden Expenses

Small Business Week is a great time to think about how you can leverage HR to make your good company great.

Come back tomorrow when we'll share our best advice to help you maximize your profits. See you then!

Tags: National Small Business Week