When you’re a startup, it’s not unusual for you to never even consider matters of human resources. After all, if you’re flying solo or are in a partnership, there’s little need. However, from the second you start hiring people, it’s vital that you have HR at the forefront of your mind. In today’s post, we’re going to go through several common human resources problems that you can’t afford to make. Do so, and you might have a detrimental effect on your business, and face the threat of litigation.
1. Loose Rules:
When you are a startup, there is an element of ‘you against the world’. The usual rules may not apply – or so you might think. It’s important to have a structure in place right from your first hire. Everyone needs to understand the boundaries and their responsibilities. There are a couple of reasons why you need to do this. First of all, it sets a standard and gets everyone reading from the same page. It’s also important for the future – a robust HR policy means that you will be able to manage change a lot better.
2. Health And Safety
The second you start taking on employees, you are responsible for their health and safety in the workplace. There’s a lot to think about – so make sure you understand employers health and saftey policy guidelines. You’ll have to provide a safe working environment, with safety equipment, if needed. There may also be restrictions on the number of hours you can expect your employees to work.
3. Failing To Train
People are one of your best resources, so make sure you are training them to drive your business. When you use technology, you will always update it to use the latest and best version – and you should do the same with your staff. Not only will it help them become better at their jobs, but it also provides them a platform for personal growth. Don’t underestimate how important this is – it helps them feel they are of value to your company.
4. Not Having A Working Procedure
One of the best ways of bringing consistency to the workplace is having a strict system in place. It’s vital to follow this at all times so that people know where they stand. If you fail to do this in certain situations, you can expect to end up in a problematic legal case. For example, if need to sack someone, it needs to be done in the right way; following the correct procedure. It’s the same for any sensitive matter – you can’t just sack someone on the spot.
5. Poor Record Keeping
Because of your legal responsibilities, it’s vital that you keep good records. When there’s only a few of you in the office each day, it can be tempting to keep everything less formal – but this is a big mistake. Should anything go wrong – an argument with an employee, for example – you need evidence to prove you are in the right. If you aren’t keeping good records, it’s not going to wash in a court of law. Good record keeping is also going to be better for you moving forward – it sets the right standards right from the beginning.
Don’t fall for these common HR mistakes – they could cause more problems than they are worth!
This article was first published in thestartupjournal.