When it comes to maintaining and growing your company well into the future, there’s one resource that the vast majority of companies can’t do without. Employees. One of the most expensive mistakes you can make for your business is slipping up when it comes to your Human Resources. Best HRs practice is a lot more than filing a few forms and paying wages. The right team, managed well, can be that vital element that drives your company forward. We’ve compiled a list of common pitfalls that can end up costing your business if not addressed:
The Biggest HR Mistakes
1. Hiring the Wrong People
Most people consider wages to be the financial bottom line when hiring staff, but there are lots of incurred costs, that add up over time when it comes to recruitment mistakes. You need to put the time in and make sure you get it right. If you are on the fence about a candidate, get them in again. Don’t be afraid to have colleagues or board members sit in on the interview. Check every reference and never just go ‘on gut’. Some people are great at turning on the charm and lying through their teeth. Beware of long gaps on a CV. If you notice an employment break make sure you find out why, and that there’s a good reason.
2. Compromising on ‘Culture’
It’s amazing the amount of work that can be accomplished by a happy dedicated employee or team who enjoys the social aspect of their job and feel valued. Pay attention to the dynamics of your staff and show your gratitude when someone has done a good job. Yes, we all know these things in theory, but it’s easy to let it slip when things get too busy. A few after hours drinks or treating your team to lunch every so often can make for a more amiable working environment, and even improve team communication as a whole. On the flipside, if you hire someone who’s not a cultural fit, especially if they take on a managerial role, they can push loyal, positive employees out.
3. Badly-Managed Paperwork
HR law in Ireland is complex and complicated, and you need to be very careful when it comes to covering your end. Underpaying people for Bank Holidays, not keeping correct timesheets, and not honouring holidays could mean hefty fines and your business being reprimanded. In the event that you are unlucky enough to hire the wrong person, make sure you keep careful records of any infringements. Even if they do commit what you consider a ‘sackable’ offense, you might be held liable for unfair dismissal if you can’t back up your reasoning or haven’t followed the correct protocol.
Your business is so important to you, you’ve put everything you have into it for years. It can be difficult to hand the reins over to a member of staff, even if it’s managing the phones for a few hours. No one blames you for wanting everything to be perfect, but for the sake of your mental health, and maintaining a happy workplace, you have to allow your employees agency when it comes to certain tasks and decisions. Small (and easily rectifiable) mistakes can be a great learning curve for staff and knowing they have your support and understanding can only serve to make them better at their role in the longer term.
5. Ineffective Training
Depending on the position, it can take a new employee months before they are a fully effective, efficient worker. Yes, investing time into their training process, and making sure you’re creating good habits, does seem like a lot of work in the beginning. However, over time bad practices and cutting corners will end up costing you. Let your new employee work in each section of the business, so they have a full understanding of what it is you do and what the processes and procedures are across the board. For their training period, only schedule them on with your top staff and make sure to follow up on their process regularly for the first six months.
6. Losing Good staff
If Rom-Coms have taught us nothing else, it’s that if you find someone great – you fight for them. In this market, employees with enthusiasm, knowledge, and experience are not easy to come by – let alone keep. It’s so important for you to check in with your employees. With SMEs there’s not always a clear career path for your staff; however there are skill sets that they might be eager to learn and expand on.
Don’t be afraid to open up a dialogue. If you have a member of your team whose performance is starting to slip, now’s the time to have a chat with them. If this employee has had a great track record in the past, there could be a number of things at play. It could be something in their personal life; in which case, offering them support and respecting their boundaries will always be appreciated. Alternatively, it might be a fixable issue in the workplace. They could feel undervalued, overwhelmed or even have an unresolved problem with a member of the management team. Perhaps they aren’t feeling challenged in the way they did when the role was new to them. While getting someone new in might seem like the cheapest option, factoring in training expenses, the impact on company culture and general morale, it could most cost you big in the long run. A specialised course, more responsibilities, or a nominal pay increase could show them there’s still room for them to learn and grow in your company.