Your #1 HR priority at every company size
If you’re going to nail one thing, make it this…
So you’ve had a great idea and started a business. Luckily, we’ve created a clear and simple guide to the one HR focus you should prioritise as your company grows.
This doesn’t mean you can completely ignore Dean from Creative’s constant requests for “more and better biros”, but if you make sure you check these key HR milestones off as you go, you’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate once Dean is leading a team of 40 angry biro hunters…#### **1 person (you)**
You might think that you don’t need an HR department to be able to sit at the end of your bed and hammer your big ideas into your dad’s old laptop, but you’d be mistaken. This is the time to establish good habits. Begin by keeping your records and accounts well-maintained and secure, using tools like Tide and Invoice Home.
You’ve done it! You’ve hired employees and you’re a fully-fledged small business. Which means renting (let’s be realistic: extremely grungy…) office space and, even more importantly,* *finding an accountant and setting up payroll. Although you’ll probably want to be flexible with your small team, there are some things you can’t skimp on: primarily, ensuring you understand your pension obligations as an employer.
The team’s all here, and might even be multiple teams at this point. Although you might all fit in one room, it doesn’t mean you’re all going to be there at the same time. It’s finally time to* get an HR system in place.* Get everyone signed up to CharlieHR, which can track and share who is off sick, working from home or simply on holiday. It’ll even send you all a daily memo on Slack.
If you’re not out of that co-working space yet, you’re probably bursting at the seams. You’re finally big enough that everyone knows each other’s names, but might not know exactly what their job is. This is the time to develop your culture by creating shared traditions that reflect your values. From Friday night drinks to an employee handbook, you can share the load between everyone to cement your group together for the long run.
If you’re CEO, company director, general odd-jobber and also still the HR manager…phew…it’s definitely time to hire someone to take on the “people stuff”. With more and more people needing access to their details and documents, the key focus here is maintaining security. Individuals should only be able to access other people’s documents and details on a need-to-know basis. However, if you’re using CharlieHR (which means everyone can update their own data), then your new HR manager’s job should be less about maintaining communal spreadsheets than mediating disputes and deepening your culture.
There are so many of you that you may need help remembering a name or two (luckily, CharlieHR has an awesome Company Directory…with photos!). Keeping things personal is more difficult, but also more important than ever. Perfect your on-boarding* *so you know that everyone is getting the information they need and the welcome they deserve. Collect their essential details before they arrive, so you can spend their first day showing them the loos, taking them out for lunch, and gently teasing them about their ultra-formal work shoes.
You’re technically a small business, until you’re not. But the best companies in the world work hard to maintain a feeling of personal attention and shared culture. The key here is* *automating as many of your processes as possible, so everyone has time to grow and develop doing things that they actually enjoy. From a clear and fair holiday policy to an online central document storage, getting everything down on paper will ensure it’s second nature in no time…leaving you with more than enough free time to start dreaming up your next business idea.
Good luck and happy HR: from 5–250, we’re with you all the way!