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  • Tim Smith

Taking care of the HR doesn’t have to be short-term pain for long-term gain

Updated: Jul 10, 2019

For small businesses, with limited resources, time taken on human resources related activities such as absence management, or ensuring contracts are up to date, can seem like time wasted. For sole traders, family businesses and start-ups, often the focus is on the core activities of the business itself, generating clients and building the brand, rather than getting the basics of HR sorted.

This approach can have dire consequences for businesses further down the line. It may seem painful to spend valuable time on drafting contracts, creating absence trackers or documenting employee meetings, but failing to do so can leave a company horribly exposed in the long-term.

When the going is good, a business might feel like they can get away without up-to-date and compliant HR contracts. Likewise, failing to document absence or under-performance might just seem easier in the short-term.

The problem comes when the business has to deal with an under-performing, misbehaving or even disgruntled employee. Suddenly, a lack of up to date and accurate information can seriously undermine the business’ position. Take these scenarios for instance:

What happens if…

  • You have concerns over an employee’s performance and have spoken to them multiple times. You now want to take disciplinary action but none of the previous meetings were documented. There is no evidence that the employee’s performance was ever a concern.

  • There is an employee you want to dismiss but they do not have a signed contract? How do you know what notice or holiday pay they are entitled to?

  • Another employee resigns. You know they have had a couple of long family holidays that year, but you don’t formally track absence. How do you calculate what the employee is owed, or what they owe you?

In all these cases your business is at risk. These scenarios, which would be straightforward with the right documentation in place, will take a significant amount of time to resolve. There’s also a risk that the business will incur increased financial costs, whether that is as a result of paying holiday pay that a leaver claims they are owed, which they may not be, or, in the worst case, if a claim is made to tribunal by an employee who feels unfairly treated.

The good news is that getting these basics in place doesn’t have to be painful, and doing so now can protect your business going forward. Energise Consulting offers a variety of human resources packages to provide ongoing HR support for your business. We’ll take care of contracts, absence tracking and support you in effectively managing performance, so you can get on with making your business a success.

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