Avoid these 5 HR mistakes when you scale
When you are growing rapidly or focused on scaling your business, HR missteps often slip from the radar. However, these can turn out to be costly errors that have the power to ultimately undermine the growth that you want to achieve.
The priority for new CEOs and leaders is almost always maintaining and expanding the business – sometimes ignoring the importance of building a capable and trusted team of people as the backbone of the undertaking. The finer points of hiring, firing, optimizing and developing members of the team are often viewed as issues that can be dealt with as the situation present themselves.
Sadly, in the ever evolving and complex world of HR, this simple, intuitive approach is rarely sufficient and can lead to serious problems down the line. In fact, a proactive approach to HR is highly recommended, giving you the opportunity to recognise and rectify issues before they become unmanageable or financially unsustainable.
Armed with this knowledge and a little preparation, you can easily avoid the five most common mistakes and ensure that both you and your employees have everything required to push your business forward.
#1. Hurried Hiring
Take some time to think about why you need new talent to staff a role, what your expectations are and what your new hire’s expectations could be.
Avoid a “quantity over quality” approach and choose the best candidate that matches the position rather than the best candidate on paper. A very common mistake is to assume the candidate with the most eye-catching CV is a natural fit for the job. Avoid this trap by crafting a comprehensive job description that values skills and experience but also desirable personality and business culture traits. Additionally, where possible, conduct interviews with a trusted partner (or similar) so you can view the candidate from two perspectives.
#2. Inadequate Information
Be honest with the candidates you are interviewing and share all the information they need to know. It could include, the current state of the business, growth plans, company culture and leaders, salary and perks, what the role entails, manager and team, and what success looks like.
Transparent HR policies are the fundamental stepping stone to a comfortable workplace environment and experience. They are there to protect both you and your employees, covering everything from acceptable working times to how an employee will be recognized and rewarded. Additionally, they should also comprehensively detail disciplinary and grievance procedures. Failure to do this properly can leave huge grey areas that may be exploited by all parties and lead to many problems. Sharing information across the organization and being honest with your employees is an important touchstone of a successful employer-employee contract.
#3. Lop-sided growth
While you may be focused on growing your business, you could be ignoring the development of your greatest asset, your employees.
New leaders must remember that employees are an investment. By helping your staff to grow professionally, you are in turn investing in your company and encouraging growth. Alongside your onboarding process, regular professional development programs and training events should also form part of your company curriculum. Take note, inadequate employee training simply makes everyone’s life more difficult and creates a feeling that new hires are insignificant and unimportant.
#4. Toxic culture
A toxic company culture will erode an organization from its core by paralyzing its workforce, diminishing its productivity, halting virtually all innovation and curtailing its enthusiasm for serving customers. A stifled, oppressive workplace environment is possibly the most powerful signal of a toxic culture, as well as the presence of aggressive behavior and negativity.
Aggressive behaviors can be indirect, taking the form of hostile jokes and teasing and/or undermining the work and accomplishment of others. Shouting, ridicule, excessive criticism, bullying and scapegoating are all hallmarks of a toxic company culture. When an organization embraces blame as a blood sport, it is safe to say the company is in peril. Negativity permeates the organization, eroding the morale of the workforce and leading to chronic anger and anxiety among the staff.
#5. Rapid Firing
Much like the hasty hire, the hasty fire can be equally damaging to your company for a number of reasons. Take a step back and consult with your partners on how best to go forward with any problem.
Secondly, if you’ve followed our advice regarding training, terminating staff members essentially means money down the drain. While not always possible, try to find alternative ways to deal with conflict. Salary increases and better benefits might solve the problem, but so too relocation or even home working. Just because you cannot work with an individual on a daily basis doesn’t necessarily mean they cannot benefit your company, so try thinking outside the box to solve your issues.
With these pointers, some groundwork and HR policies you can quite easily avoid the most common mistakes and ensure that both you and your employees have everything required to forge ahead and take your business to the next level.
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