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When I first decided to take the plunge and start my own business my biggest concern was would I be able to get enough clients to earn enough money to make a living. Not once did I lay awake at night thinking about what if I end up with lots of clients and need to employ people to help me. I had my business plan and away I went. Within 6 months of starting out I was beginning discussions with my first potential employee. Business had grown rapidly in that first six months and I needed help. Within that first 12 months I employed my first team member. Five and a half years on and six employees later, the business looks very different to what I imagined when I wrote that first business plan.
My story is not uncommon. Many business owners have had similar experiences.
Start a business (or take one over, or buy into one).
Employee people quickly to plug the gaps
Employee more people
And then the employee issues begin
More often than not when a client contacts me it is because they are being reactive to a situation. An employee has resigned they need to quickly refill that position. They are growing rapidly and if they don’t get more hands on deck asap they won’t be able to continue to service the growth.
Many people will say to you that it’s a great position to be in. And it is. Too much work to handle and too many opportunities to seize is a much better problem to have then worrying about where your next customer is going to come from or how you are going to find the money to pay that next bill. However, it can be a double-edged sword if you don’t do the proper planning. Without the proper planning the employee issues start to fester and grow, sleepless nights abound because the work is there, you’ve got the people resources but it’s not coming together.
Too many times I have heard business owners say:
- If only they were like me (the business owner) and thought like me and did it my way
- I’ve got more employees but I’m working more hours than ever and have more issues than what I had when I didn’t have employees and I’m making the same or less money with more overheads
- Why can’t my employees just come to work and do their job like I want them to, to the standard required
- I don’t have time to train, I need someone who can hit the ground running, we are just too busy
- We needed someone desperately, so I employed or promoted this employee even though I knew they weren’t going to be able to do that element of the role and now I need to performance manage them
Sound familiar? This is where employee issues can start to derail and blow up your business. You employ more people to grow your business but end up working more hours, spending your time managing more people issues and being taken away from what you do best……. Growing your business. It’s a vicious cycle. Before long it will be starting to frustrate you. All because we didn’t plan the people element of our business and fell in to the trap of employing the wrong people into the wrong jobs at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, we don’t often realise what has happened until it’s too late and we have an employee issue/s we need to manage.
Having the right people can make or break a business yet we spend so little time developing a workforce plan and proactively planning for and managing the Human Resources function of our business.
What I’ve learnt through my own experiences and through helping other businesses grow is there are three key areas to consider when planning for and managing people growth in your business:
- Developing a Workforce Plan – It’s the people plan and it needs to align with your business plan. In terms of people, what does your business need now, in the next 12 months, 3 years and 5 years. Understand what people you need, with what skills, why you need them and when you need them. Think outcomes vs tasks, experience and qualifications vs learning agility.
- Defining a what success looks like framework – how do you communicate what success looks like in your business? This is more than a position description, an induction, a performance appraisal, a salary review.
- Understanding HR Compliance – what do you need to have in place to protect your business, what is critical for business growth and success and why being proactive instead of reactive with compliance is key.
Where do you start with understanding these 3 key areas for your business?
Inspire HQ has partnered with Ewen Fletcher from Sharp Accounting to share our expertise in overcoming employee issues and growing your business. Join us for an interactive workshop where you’ll walk away armed with the tools and resources to implement the three key strategies I’ve shared in today’s blog.
You can find out more and register at: http://info.sharpaccounting.com.au/inspirehq or contact me directly on 0407 833 152.
Angela Connor is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource and career coaching companies. She understands the significance of having the right team of people in a business and is passionate about helping business to attract, recruit and engage the right people so those people can inject their talents into the business; creating an environment where they can do great work and love what they do. Find more useful information and advice at www.inspirehq.com.au or by following Angela on LinkedIn.