Many business owners don’t take time to think through HR policies or even hire an HR manager.
There‘s false assumption that they can do HR’s job. They think they are not “big enough” to need HR. I hear that a lot from many owners.
The truth is, every Company needs HR. However, not all companies need HR on a full-time basis.
I couldn’t relate more when I read the story of the founder of Thinx, who lost control of his company because of one serious blind spot: human resources. As the startup expanded and pulled in tens of millions in revenue, then-Chief Executive Officer Miki Agrawal never developed HR policies or hired an HR manager.
His employees were complaining about not being paid enough, getting sparse benefits and “erratic” behavior on the part of their management team.
No one listened.
Miki Agrawal is no longer the CEO at Thinx. They have now hired a human resources manager who has put in place HR policies and practices. They now have someone who can respond to employees complaining about their pay and benefits.
Owners only pay attention to HR when there are problems. Whether it’s people leaving, or difficulty with recruiting, or an inability to respond to employees on a timely basis. Based on my experience leading an HR consultancy firm, business owners often ignore HR until it’s too late.
A culture only develops with time, but it can be destroyed in no time. Your role is to foster positive energy at work. Creating a positive work environment could be as simple as adding light or happy art and positive sayings.
It’s very much like going to the gym. In order to feel energetic, you need to exercise at least three times a week, eat a healthy diet to provide good nutrition to your body, and set aside time each day to reflect on your negative thoughts. Same principle applies to your work environment. In order to create a culture conducive to make your employees happy at work, productive and responsive, you need to create a culture of civility and respect.
A company of choice
For small businesses in particular, human capital is critical because so many smaller firms have employees who perform cross-functional duties. With a smaller workforce, if just one person leaves, it leaves the company with a huge gap to fill and a potential threat to the company’s profitability.
You want to be known as a company of choice. You want your brand to be appealing to new employees while retaining those working for you.
Remove your blind spot and see clearly the relevancy of HR in your business.