50 Business Challenges: No. 25 – Check Your HR Policies

During the course managing firms and as a business coach, I have come across several problems caused by defective HR policies and records. With changes already in place on PAYE and compulsory pensions being introduced getting things right becomes even more important.

It is, of course, difficult for small businesses who cannot afford (and do not require) a specialist HR department. Yet the cost of defending a tribunal claim, even successfully, or consequent reputational damage can be significant.

Apart from legal implications, there is an additional issue of management information. So often I have been told that “X” always takes time off – but there is no clear record of time taken. Equally, it is useful to know if absence across the firm is changing. If so, what is the reason, and what does it imply? Do you need to take steps to improve morale?

The challenge for this week is to set up a review of your HR policies and procedures. This may need the help of a consultant – it is not my area of expertise, but I do know one or two people who could cover it. Even if you just identify the gaps and come up with a plan to fill them, it is a good start.

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