Workers form the basis of any successful organisation. In order to keep your employees engaged and empowered, it is critical for the organisation to invest in your workers.
When it comes to investing in employees, larger companies and unicorn startups certainly have the upper hand. From external professional development classes to flexible work schedules, these organisations go the extra mile to retain and empower their employees.
Unfortunately, most small businesses have considerable less funding to invest in their employees. Nevertheless, this does not mean that small businesses have to compromise to engaging their employees. Essentially, it is still advantageous and necessary in order to create a more happier and dedicated staff. At the same time, it reduces turnover among top performers, whom are valuable assets to any small business.
If you are at a loss for how to begin, here are few ways to get you started on investing in your workers.
1. Be upfront about personal and professional goals
Nobody wants to be a in a stagnant career. As the owner of a small business, your professional goals might be significantly different as opposed to your workers. Suppose you own a small startup, it is likely that you’ll hire interns who are keen to pursue the career of their dreams or take external classes to gain additional skill sets. And that is fine. Acknowledging your employees’ personal and professional goals, while giving them the flexibility, shows that you value and respect their goals. This in turn will increase their loyalty towards your business.
2. Make networking introductions
As a small business owner, you are likely to already have the connections to other subject matter experts and mentors. Invest in your employees by making the first introductions, opening doors to other opportunities and connecting your employees to potential role models and subject matter experts. Rather than seeing it as a competition among your comparators, think of it as an inexpensive way to send your employees for personal or professional development classes!
3. Have regular feedback sessions
We all have behavioural blind spots. Most of the time, you as the manager is the only person who can tactfully help an employee see a weak spot that is hindering his or her career advancement. By having regular feedback sessions with your employees, it allows you to better understand their personal and professional goals. Likewise, it allows you to organise your team so that your employees are able to work on something that they are proficient in and keen to work on.
4 . Find a fitting reward
Finally, strive hard to personalise a reward for your employees. It need not be something unique to each and every employee, but rather, something is that unique only for your business. For instance, if you run a floral business, you could reward your employees them allowing them to order free floral bouquets on special occasions such as Valentines’ Day or Mothers’ Day. Similarly, something as simple as planning a unique, immersive experience is a great way to motivate your employees and as the same time, bond and have fun together.
Investing in your employees has to be one of your top priorities in your businesses to-do lists. Though it might seem overwhelming, small incremental changes can go a long way towards building engagement and empowerment between you and your employees.
Top 5 Practical HR Hacks for SMEs
For every small business, growth always ranks high on the list of priorities. When it comes to setting up a proper Human Resources (HR) to manage employees, here are some practical HR hacks to help develop the company culture and create a productive team of employees.
Incorporating technology into the business’ daily operation can help to improve employees’ lives drastically. For instance, HR technology such as HR Information Systems can help to streamline HR processes such as leave applications, claims processing and payroll. Additionally, these technology tools can help to incorporate other functions such as HR and accounting for instance.
In today’s workplace, employees expect their employer to be transparent. This is the key to gaining employees’ trust. It does not necessary mean openly sharing employees’ salaries, but keeping employees’ in the loop on the business’ goals, changes or key decisions. Additionally, the HR team can sit together with the various line managers and the employee to explain why a particular employee is receiving this amount of compensation. Encouraging that kind of open communication will allow employees to feel less wary of top management’s decisions and create fewer rumors and distrust within the company.
Employees today strive to acquire more skills and knowledge by working together with people outside their team. Encouraging a spirit of collaboration amongst the various teams can help to generate more innovative ideas and increase employees’ morale at the same time.
Invest in your employees by encouraging them to further their education or pick up new skills. It need not necessarily by sponsoring their entire post-graduate education but simply granting them the necessary time-offs or have the HR team set up a platform where employees can source for courses easily. This will help your employees to be the best professional in their field which will add to your the overall productivity levels in the organisation as well.
The first impression always counts. A poor onboarding and orientation process can result in high turnover rates in the long run. Instead, ensure that there is a proper onboarding process in place such as settling the paperwork before the new employee comes in and setting up the necessary meetings with different departments to allow the new employee to better understand the business. Likewise, it is imperative that the HR team is aware of the onboarding and orientation processes to ensure that the new employee can start off on the right foot.
3 Ways To Pay Employees In A Small Business
Pay day is undoubtedly the one of the few days in the month, besides the weekends, that employees eagerly look forward to. However, when employees do not receive their pay on time or discover that they have been paid less than what they should be getting, it will certainly result in frustrated and angry employees.
As an employer, it is imperative to ensure that employees receive their pay on time and ensure that the correct amount of wages is disbursed to the employee. These are highly dependent on multiple factors, such as the HR professional who is processing the entire company’s payroll as well as the method of salary disbursement, Unfortunately, each companies may have various methods of salary disbursement – some might work in the favour of employers but at a disadvantage to employees.
Here are some common salary disbursement methods which may be more favourable for employers but not for employees, and vice versa.
An uncommon practice in Singapore but not entirely eliminated, cash payment is easily the most direct form of salary payment to employees. This works well for employers with freelance workers or manual labour workers, whereby cash payment is directly made to the employees without the hassle of having to do a bank transfer or issue cheques.
However, the downside about paying employees in cash is that it becomes difficult for employers to track and it not feasible for workers who work remotely. At the same time, cash salaries may risk being stolen as this means that both employers and employees will have a large sum of money on hand.
Salary cheques are still fairly common particularly in smaller companies whereby they do not have a payroll system in place. At the same time, salary cheques are more secure than cash payments as it allows employers to pay employees large amounts without worrying about the risk of theft.
However, salary cheques can pose as a hassle for employees given that funds are typically not immediately available as banks require a minimum of one or two working days to process the cheques. At the same time, some employees may forget to bank in their cheques, delaying the time that they can access their wages.
Salary disbursement via bank transfer is easily the most secure and faster way for organisations to disburse wages to large numbers of employees, regardless of where they are based. At the same time, wages are directly credited into employees’ bank account, minimising the risk of loss of funds. Bank transfers also provide a convenient way for employers to track their payroll records as well. Some payroll software also provide the options to automate the salary disbursements which save the time of perform data entry on the banking platform.
The downside of salary disbursement via bank transfer is that payment records have to be prepared and validated before the due date for disbursement. For new companies that are switching to bank transfer from other modes of salary disbursement, such as cash or cheques, it may take a long time for the process to be implemented as well.
While there are numerous ways in which employers can disburse wages to employees, there is no one “perfect” method that works for both employers and employees. Instead, employers have to strike a balance between ensuring a reliable and secure way to disburse salary and for employees to receive their wages accurately and on time.