As businesses grow, their most important and strategic asset are its people. That is why employees are referred to as human capital. As your business evolves, human capital is a necessary part of the equation, if you want to grow your business revenue and impact.
I want to give you 5 things to consider about how to leverage your human capital from an HR perspective. Here are the 5 top things every business needs when it comes to their employees:
1. A Strategic Process to Hire Great Talent
Many business owners hire without strategy and think about their need and just “post and pray.” They get lots of applicants and select someone they think will be a good fit. However, 6 months later, they are not happy with their hire because there was no strategy involved nor did they get the best talent. Hiring great talent is essential and the best chance at achieving that is having a strategic process for hiring. Your strategy should include an assessment of your hiring needs, a clear job description, pre-screening and qualification process, interview questions geared specifically for the job, and a competitive pay strategy. All of these should be thought about before you post and not after.
2. Onboarding and Training Plan
One of the worst things small business owners do is to throw their new employees into “the fire” and do not have a solid onboarding and training plan. It is critical that you plan their first week at a minimum when they start work. Take this first week and share information about your company mission, expectations, and their job. They should get a clear foundation on what their job is, how it impacts the business and what are the resources they need to do their job. In addition, have them spend time with the people they need to know to get their job done well. Ensure they are sufficiently trained to do the job you hired them for.
3. Documented work processes
Once you hire your employee, it is important that their job processes are documented on what they should do and how they should do it. Most small business owners do not have the time to dedicate showing each employee every step of their job multiple times. Having a documented process allows the employee to have a reference guide on how to do their job and the expectations.
4. An employee manual
Small business owners are never too small to have an employee manual if they have employees. There should be a central repository that outline the company policies and expectations. This will help the employees know where the boundaries are and what the company stands for. Also, it gives a platform for the business owner to have a consistent and fair way to handle issues when the expectations or policies are not followed.
5. A Culture that develops and retains employees
This is not something that will happen by itself. Small businesses have to be intentional about the culture of their company and how they treat their employees past the 90 day honeymoon period. Business owners should have a system where they recognize employees, provide opportunities for employees to engage, and continually build a culture where employees are developing and thriving.
These 5 things are critical to small businesses being in a position to scale and grow. Leveraging your human capital (people) will help you to increase your revenue on a continual basis. When you do not leverage your human capital, your business grows slower, you are continually hiring, and you do not have a competitive edge in your market.
Barbara Mason is a career consultant that brings over 20 years Human Resources experience and has been in senior level roles for Fortune 500 companies. She is the owner and CEO of Career Pathways Consulting and her passion is helping career professionals stay, flow, or go in their career.
To learn more about working with her, visit www.careerpathwaysconsulting.com.