The day your start-up was formed, I’m sure that the concept of ‘HR’ was one the last things on your mind. You probably started off as a small scale business and only had a few employees who you were in constant contact with. If your business stayed like this, then HR would be the easiest thing to manage in the world. But needs changes, businesses grow and often more people will need to be hired. HR should never be neglected as your employees are one of the most important assets that you have as a business owner. Here, I will go through some of the most common HR mistakes made by new entrepreneurs. Remember that your employees are people and should be treated as people, not numbers or a means to an end.
The first big mistake you can make with your HR is not getting the proper support. There’s a lot of different factors to think about when you’re trying to get a business off the ground. From financing to the marketing and social media campaigns to help launch your company, and perhaps even tweaks to new products, it can be easy to leave your HR to one side, or manage it in hurried, disorganized flurries. A lot of managers and business owners rush when hiring to simply fill an empty spot with a warm body instead of taking the time to hire right. For this reason, it’s integral that you get the expertise to help prop up your own management efforts. I would recommend hiring an experienced HR manager. You’ll be able to rely on your HR manager to make sure you hire only the very best talent for your company. After hiring your HR guru, look at possibly finding some tech to make your job even easier. FMLA tracking software, cloud tech which tracks an individual’s work, and other programs can all act as handy supporting tools to your HR.
Another common mistake which I see in a lot of new start-ups is business owners using employee perks as a substitute for company culture. While they can help form part of the culture – they are not a replacement for it. One of the best things about being a start-up is that you can tempt new talent with a wide range of perks. As an overall hiring package extra perks work well to attract talent. However, a lot of start-up owners try to use these perks as an excuse to neglect their staff in other areas. Instead of free gym memberships and lunches every Friday, focus on a company culture which makes people want to work for you. You may be wondering what that kind of culture looks and feels like. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ as company culture will be different at every company and it is up to you to start it off right and set the example. A good place to start though is with communication. If you can create a company culture where no one’s afraid to voice their opinions (respectfully), give feedback, or provide suggestions for improvements on products or processes you will help to create an environment where employees feel that they matter and are valued. You hired smart and talented people so let them do their jobs. It will be more beneficial than you might think!
Ignoring the development of your staff is another big thing which you need to avoid. Despite the massive harm it can do to a company, a lot of new entrepreneurs still manage to neglect their employees’ career development. It’s a pretty common attitude that employees serve a function, and if everyone keeps doing their job the business will continue to grow. If you’ve been walking around with this in your head, dispel it immediately! Your business might be growing, but you need to make sure your employees are growing with it. I’m sure you’re aware of how quickly the global markets are changing and developing. You need to keep up with this rapid pace if you want your business to be successful. Work with your employees to provide them with further training, help them develop new skills, work on team-building exercises and research new tools that could make your staff’s jobs easier. For starters, this will avoid your staff feeling limited and leaving your start-up for more promising opportunities. Secondly, it will keep your whole venture in-step with the competition, and avoid any big crises in future.
Neglect the HR at your company, and you’ll run into all sorts of challenges and issues. However, if you manage it with as much dedication as the rest of your business, you’ll be set up for a smooth and hopefully a profitable future. Work at keeping the human in human resources.