General Hints & Tips for Businesses


As a small company grows the Human Resources aspect of the business becomes a vital aspect of development and success. Recruitment, training, development and compliance with the law should not be underestimated.

A well thought out HR policy can be the difference between building a great team or a poor team which translates into the success of the business. Clearly a poor team or even a difficult individual within the team can be a recipe for disaster. A business owner should be concentrating on building the business and not having to worry about whether the team supporting him are committed and eager to succeed.

Consider your employees as your team all working for the good of the company. Create a feeling of togetherness, cohesion and cooperation. If a problem arises ensure that the team ethic kicks in and the problem is understood and addressed. Do not start by looking for blame, if an individual or individuals have made a mistake then speak with them privately and seek to understand how the error occurred and put in a process (if required) to ensure it does not repeat. If the individual needs a reprimand then do it immediately and in private, keep it short and concise and deliver a reassurance to the person at the end.

We have listed below 5 HR top tips that will ensure that your team performs at a high standard, has loyalty and develops a culture of responsibility towards their colleagues and the company.


Know who’s working with you and who’s pulling in the opposite direction by engaging with your team and getting to know what they are thinking

Employers want engaged employees because, as well as being happier, healthier and more fulfilled, they deliver improved business performance.

Research has repeatedly demonstrated a relationship between how people are managed, employee attitudes and business performance.

There are nuances in the drivers and outcomes of employee engagement, but this basic link holds true across different sectors and job roles. Positive relationships are evidenced with profit, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, productivity, innovation, staff retention, efficiency and health and safety performance.

Organisations also increasingly recognise the importance of their brand and reputation. Engaged employees will be stronger advocates of their organisations and help protect the employer from the reputational risks associated with poor service levels or product quality.

Conversely, having a disengaged workforce brings huge risks. As well as productivity losses, organisations may lose their best people and face huge difficulties when embedding organisational change if employees are not on board. Disengagement also threatens effective collaboration, innovation and human capital management, as employees will not be inclined to use their tacit knowledge and skills for the good of the organisation.


If you never measure performance how do you know who your best employees are?

A good business will have a simple performance management system in place which allows you to set clear performance objectives and Key Performance Indicators which can be measured, highlighting who’s going the extra mile to make your business a success and who is shirking responsibility.

Performance management isn’t just about rolling out the appraisal forms every year, it’s about having regular conversations/meetings with your team. Talking to your employees should be an integrated part of day to day management.


Recruit the right person in the first place and drive down your HR nightmares.

Recruiting the right person into your business is key to business success. You can recruit the world’s best qualified and most experienced person but if they don’t fit with the team personalities or the team dynamics then the relationship won’t work.

If the relationship isn’t working you’re likely to have miscommunication, elevated sickness and problems after problems but ultimately higher staff turnover.

It is still important to identify who has the right skills for the role and to select applicants on a fair and equitable basis but remember recruitment starts long before placing an advert.

Spend time in the interview process to probe the prospective employee by asking power questions, ask about their families and interests. Use personality tests such as DISC profiling to get a better understanding of their behaviour, disposition and motivations.


Ensure you communicate effectively with your team and colleagues

They say men are from Mars and women from Venus but it could also be Managers are from Mercury and employees are from Pluto.

Most businesses think they communicate effectively but do they really?

How often have you sat in a meeting where one employee goes away thinking one thing and another employee something totally different?

So the question must be ‘do you communicate effectively and take personal responsibility for checking employees are listening and understand?’

Neuro-linguistic practitioners will confirm that up to 93% of communication is non-verbal it’s not always what you say but how you say it.

Be clear with your communication, do not leave any room for misunderstanding when you convey important messages. Invite questions from your team to ensure they are clear about your message. If necessary follow up with a written version (e mail) so that there is absolute clarity.


Put in simple measurements that can be monitored regularly

Know where your journey starts – measure the basics such as unplanned absence, staff turnover, poor performance, number of grievances & engagement levels.

There is no way you would run a business without looking at the profit and loss account or the balance sheet so why do businesses not know who their worst performers are?

Before you can start on a journey to improve your teams’ performance you need to know where you’re starting from, so if you want to drive down sickness, poor performance, and poor attendance etc. in your business you need to know exactly who the worst individuals are and not just guess.

Putting simple straight forward measurements in place gives you key information to make informed decisions and know where you’re heading. Without simple key measures in place processes like redundancies or capability can be complicated and lead to legal nightmares.

Document the evidence and review the data regularly so that you a reference point when it is necessary to take action. Ref Malcolm Orchard of Icon and Tara Anstee of Zest

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