Your business is only as effective as its people, which is great when you’re small. But growth often complicates things.
Small teams form close ties in the start-up environment. The shared purpose, pride and excitement bind people in surprising ways and ensure they (mostly) pull in the same direction.
But success brings growth. Growth swells the team. New people bring new perspectives. And your ability to connect with each team member on a personal level – to instil that pride and purpose – becomes diluted.
You spot these growing pains before they become a significant problem. And while researching possible solutions, small business owners usually come across us, because we help thousands of small businesses negotiate the many tricky people elements of growth.
Employing people takes time and can distract you from running your business. Small business owners need tools and strategies to manage, support and engage people as effectively and efficiently as possible. This is where HR software helps you improve business performance. How exactly? Let’s examine…
Get value from your people data
There’s a famous quote, often attributed to the business management guru Peter Drucker, which goes, ‘what gets measured, gets managed’. This should ring true to anyone seriously concerned with improving their business performance.
To move the needle on performance, you need to work out what needs to most urgent attention and target your efforts where they can make a difference. How will you measure the impact of your ideas when you put them into action? There’s little point continuing to spend time and energy on performance improving plans that don’t have the desired effect.
So if you’re looking at measuring and managing you team in this way, you’re going to need a tool that allows you to collect data, unlock the useful insights it contains, and track how your important measures of success change over time. What is this tool? Yes, it’s HR software.
This is one of the biggest benefits of HR software. People data is a rich source of insight on the health of your business and the happiness of your workforce. Tools like citrus HR come out of the box with reports, analytics, and instant snapshot dashboards designed to make unearthing these nuggets a task of seconds.
Having all your people data at your fingertips can help you become more operationally effective too. For instance, using citrus HR, it’s easy to manage the minefield of holiday requests.
Not only are large parts of the process automated, the system’s self-service interface means you’re not endlessly fielding questions about holiday – but the system makes it straightforward to ensure you’re covered during busy holiday periods if you’re a seasonal business or you know there’s a big order coming in.
In HR, we call that ‘all pulling in the same direction’ feeling engagement. Experts define employee engagement as ‘the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace’. It might sound fluffy, but engagement is a tangible thing and has a very real impact on business performance. And it can be managed and measured.
We’ve written about how to manage engagement, it’s about understanding people’s needs and ensuring you do your best to fulfil them. Giving people opportunities to excel. Making sure they know exactly where they fit in, understand precisely what’s expected, and receive praise for a job well done.
When it comes to measurement, the best way to find out if your people are engaged is to ask them. Do they like their job? Their colleagues? Do they feel fairly paid? You want honest answers, so you need a way to collect this information in a way that lets people tell you what they really feel. HR software can make this process simple and easy for everyone. Pulse surveys enable you to track sentiment over time as you try different ways to improve engagement.
Spot problems early
When you’ve got a small team, it’s immediately noticeable when someone’s productivity dips (and here’s how you can manage poor performance). But as your team grows, it becomes more difficult to spot the signs quickly.
HR software enables you to collect data on lots of key indicators like performance, absence or learning and development. And because all that data lives in the same system, it’s relatively simple to get a real time view, or to set up alerts that will notify you, for instance, when an individual repeatedly clocks in late, or if their unplanned absence suddenly spikes.
As an employer you have a duty of care to the individual involved. HR software can warn you of potential problems early. Maybe they’ve decided they don’t like their job. Fair enough. But maybe they’ve got a serious personal issue. Either way, you need to have a confidential conversation so you can get to the bottom of it and offer the right support.
Make sure talent sticks
Recent world events may have taken some of the greatness out of the great resignation, but losing good people is always a threat to business performance.
We know your main job is growing a business, not being an employer. Nobody signs up as an entrepreneur for the HR admin. But so much of your employees’ experience is tied up in the administrative details of HR, getting it right can mean the difference between hanging on to good people or not.
Without HR software, little HR admin mistakes are inevitable – a missed performance review, a payroll error, a holiday-booking mix up – and best-case scenario is they chip away at the confidence people place in you as an employer. And without confidence, without trust, good people will have their heads turned.
In citrus HR, every element of an employee journey can be managed easily, so your people can feel confident you’ve got the details under control. Employees can log in from anywhere to manage their own personal information or view their most recent performance feedback. Repetitive tasks are automated, like onboarding checks or holiday entitlement calculations, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks.
If you’re concerned HR growing pains are impacting your business performance, why not sign up for a free 14-day trial with citrus HR. The system is specially designed to support small business growth. Get time back from HR admin and harness the insights that already exist in your team.
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