Editor’s note: This content was sponsored by Mid-Continent Public Library but independently produced by Startland News.
Amid the chaos of building a business, one’s sanity and personal life aren’t the only things that can fall by the wayside.
Having a strategy and process for human resource management frequently becomes an afterthought as founders add more team members. Thus, workplace culture, hiring processes, training procedures or employee administration can not only become an onerous, convoluted system, but it can curtail the ability of an organization to grow.
And as business attorney Adrienne Haynes can attest, a lack of preparation can translate to major problems for a company.
“Failing to plan is a plan to fail,” said Haynes, founder of SEED Law. “As small business owners, we don’t know what we don’t know.”
To that end, Haynes partnered with Mid-Continent Public Library to offer an educational workshop that aims to help small business leaders avoid mistakes in human resource management. The holistic workshop is expected to discuss best practices, lessons learned, insurance coverages and the legal implications of growing your team.
The workshop is set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 3 at iWerx. Registration details can be found here.
To provide a snapshot of the workshop, here are a few nuggets of wisdom that Haynes offered on human resource management.
On first steps to get started with HR management …
What I encourage people to think about when they’re beginning to build a team or formalize a team is basic: job descriptions. Have you clearly set expectations for what you need these folks to do? Also, as an attorney, I think businesses should have an employee handbook that outlines not only the culture of the business but policies, procedures and contracts that define the relationship and qualifications. That goes hand-in-hand with a job description. You want to set people up for success in your company.
On common HR mistakes in small teams …
I often hear business owners get frustrated with how a newly hired team member is performing. And one of the first things I ask for is, “Let me see the job description and what they were told they were expected to do.” Another thing is evaluations. … They don’t have to be formal. You can call them check-ins. Make sure people know what their role is and provide a venue for people to communicate. Communication and setting expectations are the two biggest issues that I see business owners miss in building a strong team.
On independent contractors …
An independent contractor agreement is something simple, but there are specific legal issues that are usually covered. If they aren’t in place, it can lead to frustrations like non-competes, non-disclosures, and disputes over who owns the intellectual property, who is responsible for the taxes and insurance.
On how an HR strategy can grow a business …
An HR strategy helps a business build the necessary capacity as it scales. For a personal story, our business has grown and we’re very fortunate to be able to hire. I know that, in my strategic plan for my business, hiring is going to help our business scale. Not only are we looking for people to delegate tasks to, but we need to consider how the addition of that person leads to the long-term scale of your business. Business owners should be thinking about that critically because not only does it impact your capacity, it impacts your finances, cash flow, payroll. … Think those things out in advance and consider how hiring impacts not only the HR side, but the overall business.