Whether your Business is planning for growth, or downsizing, or just planning to stay consistent, part of supporting your key objectives in your Business comes from your HR plan. I remember being at a Seminar hearing the words “Always Be Recruiting”. More on that in a moment, but essentially a firm HR plan can help you to prepare for any hiring/firing needs based on your current or expected future performance.
Whether you have an HR department, or it’s just you in charge – you must have a plan to ensure your employees are qualified in meeting the companies needs (and, something many people fall down on: having enough staff (but of course, not too many…)).
Think of this as a four step review process:
1. Current Workforce
As I mentioned, having too many or too few employees can cause problems. You need to review your current levels to decide whether changes need to be made. Just because you’re overstaffed doesn’t mean you have to enforce redundancies though; consider reassigning employees to different areas, or promote/demote staff depending on performance, alter current pay rates too (although be careful of cutting peoples wages unnecessarily; an increase in wages is a motivation but decreasing is often 10 times more demotivating, and much harder to fix). Work with your staff (or department managers depending on your size) to create a skills inventory of existing employees. That will help give a good picture of which employees may be willing (and able) to take on more responsibility.
When was the last time you provided training for your staff? Consider whether you need to revamp current training procedures (or introduce them, if you haven’t really trained your staff – something many small businesses completely overlook). The common concern is of course, by training up your staff (especially in a small business) you’re training them up to jump to a better job. But the problem with not training your staff, is that you then end up either employees who aren’t as good as they could be (and compared to your competitors, this could be an issue) or you end up with staff who feel undervalued because they’re not given the training they’re asking for (or they feel they can’t do their job properly).
3. Forecasting Staffing Levels
It’s hugely expensive to recruit a new member of staff. Depending on whether you use a recruitment firm (which can often be the best/only way to source the right staff for your business) can add a dent to your cash flow. Hiring 5 new staff paid just £20,000 over a 6 month period would cost £20,000 in fees for a typical recruiter (although if you’re thinking of actually doing this then be sure to negotiate your rates!).
Reassigning staff and retaining existing employees is an ideal way to avoid having to go back to that agency time and time again, but it’s not always realistic.
Planning in advance is by far the best way to ensure that all costs are accounted for within your budgets. I touched on ‘Always Be Recruiting’ previously; this tactic essentially means that you’re always on the lookout, always building relationships with people who could become staff. If you think you might have a role for them in 6months or a year, have a chat with them. Tell them you’d love to hire them, but right now you’re not in the position. As and when things change in the Business, you’d like to be able to offer them a role. Be careful here though: I don’t mean to lead on a string of people. Just be looking out for the right talent at all times, and when you come across someone who looks like they would fit in your business like a glove, be sure to stay in touch.
Most businesses put plans in place but never follow them; they have a difficult time trying to implement or things crop up and “life get’s in the way”. Sometimes plans change, but what’s important here is to make a plan strict enough to give you plans on exactly what you’re doing, but additionally, is broad enough to give you flexibility and the ability to adapt to change.
If you want help producing this plan, or help implementing one, just give me (Fergal) a call on 01708 250 748.
This post was written by M3evolve
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