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HR toolkit: what HR tools do growing businesses need?

4-minute read

Conor Shilling

15 March 2022

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Whether or not your company has a dedicated HR department, getting this side of your business right is crucial.

Implementing the right HR policies and processes can help your business to grow and run smoothly.

But what areas do you need to focus on and what are the HR tools that can help you? Read our HR for small business guide to get started.

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What is HR?

Human Resources, known more commonly as HR, covers many key aspects that are important to running a business, such as:

  • paying staff
  • organising training
  • monitoring compliance
  • managing health and safety

HR includes all the processes and functions that look after employees and allow a company to operate smoothly. Larger businesses are likely to have their own HR department, while small businesses should employ at least one person to manage human resources.

A good HR process increases the chances of having efficient workflows and happy staff. Getting it right can also help a company to grow and win market share.

HR audit checklist

Below we’ve put together an HR checklist for businesses. It covers all the main areas of HR that your business needs to consider.

Recruitment and onboarding

This is a key area when it comes to making sure you have the right people in the right roles, and is especially important if your business is expanding.

Read our article on job descriptions to make sure your adverts for new roles cover all the right areas.

Other parts of the recruitment process you’ll need to think about include:

  • applications
  • interviews
  • job offers

Once new recruits have accepted a job offer, you’ll need an onboarding process in place to make sure they settle quickly.

A key part of this will be sharing your staff handbook with them, alongside putting them through an induction, introducing them to stakeholders, and making sure they have all the equipment and tools they need to fulfil their duties.

Contracts and remuneration

Having the right contracts in place and making sure payment of employees runs smoothly should go hand in hand with your recruitment and onboarding process.

There are lots of employment laws that you need to comply with, while at the same time having payroll software can help you to pay staff on time.

Download our free employment contract template to help you create a contract that works for your business and employees.

We also have a range of templates and guides covering other areas of contracts and remuneration:

Disciplinary and redundancy

When you hire staff, you won’t have issues like redundancy and employee discipline in mind. However, you need to have clear processes in place so you’re covered in the event things go wrong.

If you plan to make someone redundant you’ll need to make sure you follow a range of steps, including giving employees a right to appeal, serving them with the right notice period, and sending out a series of letters.

Our comprehensive guide to the redundancy process explains everything you need to know and includes a free redundancy policy template.

At the same time, your company’s disciplinary and grievance procedure will outline the behaviour you expect from employees.

As well as making sure you’re treating employees fairly, a robust disciplinary and grievance procedure allows you to take action quickly if there’s a serious incident you need to deal with.

With this in mind, we’ve partnered with Farillio to create a free disciplinary policy template, which includes the stages of disciplinary action such as informal warnings, hearings, and appeals.

Here are some more disciplinary and redundancy templates that could be useful for your Human Resources team:

Employee benefits and workplace culture

Another important part of the HR process is keeping employees happy and encouraging them to stay for the long term.

This is known as employee retention. The more employees enjoy working at your company, and feel it’s a place they can develop, the higher your employee retention rate will be.

Read our guide to employee retention for some tips on how to measure staff happiness and strategies to improve job satisfaction.

One of the key strategies is offering appealing benefits and rewards, such as:

  • bonuses
  • healthcare schemes
  • discounts for gym memberships
  • a cycle to work scheme
  • healthcare and pension plans

Happy team crowded around computer
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All of these HR processes contribute towards your overall company culture. The culture of your company should sum up what you’re all about, how people act and interact with each other, and encompass the purpose of your business.

It’s likely to build on your company mission statement or the values that you set out when you first started.

Your culture could focus on something like innovation or sustainability. It could also promote a way of working such as the agile methodology.

Most of all your company culture should be something positive that all employees are proud of and strive to maintain.

Employee performance and appraisal

Alongside making sure employees are happy and settled, you’ll also need to track their performance.

If staff aren’t performing to the best of their ability, this could affect results and also lead to some disciplinary issues.

One of the most effective ways of tracking performance is through regular appraisals. These will often take place annually, although they can be carried out every three or six months.

Appraisals give you the opportunity to discuss feedback, achievements, development, and suggested improvements. They also allow staff to tell you how they’re feeling and raise any concerns they have.

Read our guide to staff appraisals for more information on what you need to do. We’ve also got a free downloadable appraisal template to help you plan your meetings.

Do you have any HR tips for growing businesses? Let us know in the comments below.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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