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This article is an extract from the Responsible Business Workbook
Your staff should be your greatest asset, and yet in reality we all know that managing Human Resources (HR) isn't easy. Employing staff can be challenging. There's a minefield of rules and regulations to abide by and sometimes people are not always easy to manage! It is so important to have a good structure in place - just as if you were managing a league football club. Making the comparison provides an excellent perspective on the crucial elements of managing people to maximise performance:
  • Think of your business like a football team.The club endeavours to employ the best players: players that have the right skill sets but who are also team players and will fit in with the ethos of the club and the existing players.
  • To ensure best performance, the right players need to be in the right position and they need to continually train to retain and improve their skills and fitness levels.
  • Every player knows exactly what their role is, how that interacts with their team mates, and how to cover other people's roles if they need to.
  • Everyone needs to know and understand the rules of the game.
  • Referees ensure the rules of the game are adhered to and a system is in place to discipline unruly players.
  • Managers should be able to engage, motivate and nurture players, and also deal with players that are underperforming. Understanding and managing people is a key part of a manager’s role.
In summary, a good workplace has a solid foundation based on the rules (legislation and the company’s rules and code of conduct) and the implementation of best practice to ensure continual engagement and motivation.
Whilst we might agree that some legislation is excessive for a small business, and the Government is indeed taking steps to lessen that burden, compliance is nonetheless essential otherwise it puts the company at risk.
HR regulations are continually changing and keeping up to date with legal requirements can be particularly challenging. In order to ensure you remain compliant and reduce the risks of being taken to an employment tribunal for example, it may be worth considering using an HR consultant to make sure you are compliant, and / or an online HR service such as 'Your HR Services' to ensure all your policies are automatically updated as necessary.

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