KEEPING control of your business and the way it is run needs to start at the beginning of the recruitment process, according to human resources experts at Spirit HR.
Too many businesses, particularly small businesses, find themselves with issues over working practices simply because what is expected of their employees is not clearly defined from the start. Often this is due to work pressure on the business owner, and a sense of relief when this new employee arrives to help.
Donna Fairbrass of Spirit HR, said: "It is all too common, particularly in small businesses, that employees end up dictating their own working practices because there are no clear rules. When that happens, the employer may find themselves in an awkward position because the business isn't being run in the way they want it to be, but they feel they don't want to come down heavily on people or start laying the law down because it's a small team and things might become uncomfortable."
To counteract this problem, Donna advises having processes in place from the time a vacancy is advertised that make it clear what is expected of everyone. This includes clearly outlining the skills and experience needed to do fulfill the role, ensuring those unsuited to the job can be 'sifted out' at an early stage, and then having clearly worded contracts drawn up so that what is expected of the new employee is unambiguous from the start.
"An employer needs to have procedures in place that work for their business and that includes everything from who is in charge of what part of the business, who everyone answers to and who and has the final say on things such as time off in lieu, holidays and working hours," she said.
"I've heard of instances where companies are left short of staff because there is no clear policy on booking time off, so their employees are dictating when they are off and for how long. That is simply unworkable but introducing new rules or working practices once your employees have been doing things a certain way for some time is full of opportunities to make serious mistakes without expert HR advice. A business owner needs to be in control and the easiest way to implement that is from the very start."
Spirit HR offers a range of services, including recruitment, HR policy, contracts, employment law and handling discipline and grievance cases. Find out more about Spirit HR by visiting the website www.spirt-hr.co.uk or call 0845 463 3231.