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Why smart processes are essential for any SME HR function
Recent Process Bliss research with small businesses in the UK revealed that around four in 10 SME HR workers felt that their boss micromanaged them in their work. Three in 10 HR workers stated that their boss was often unclear when issuing a task.
This obviously isn’t the best way to motivate and operate a successful HR department. Nobody likes being micromanaged and if a boss is doing that to their team on a regular basis, it is sending out a clear message that the boss does not trust the team to do the job effectively.
Further findings from our recent research revealed that 45% of SME employees have quit a job because of a boss, while six in 10 believe the business would work better if they were left to get on with their job. Retaining talent is frequently identified as a significant challenge for many SMEs, so by micromanaging HR teams in this way, bosses are potentially making that issue even worse.
What can be done to keep bosses from interfering in HR and to let the HR professionals get on with their job to the best of their abilities?
HR – a department built on process?
We wrote last month about ‘five ways to build an effective SME HR function’ and want to focus in more depth on a particular one of those ‘ways’ – the role of process in HR. There are a great many elements of HR that are based on processes – the day-to-day and repeatable tasks that are integral to almost any business.
If you look at some of the core activities that are common to most HR functions, it is easy to see how process could be applied to those. Staff appraisals, staff disciplinary action, training programmes, employee onboarding, exit programmes, performance reviews and much more are all based on consistency and the need to be approached in broadly the same way for each employee.
Process can (and should) change on a fairly regular basis. People are smarter than process, so as they bring to the table their personal experience and learnings, a process can be adapted and improved.
Getting started with HR processes
When an SME is starting out, HR isn’t always given the requisite attention. Founders are concentrating on developing a solid business model, a great product and generally establishing their business. So HR tends to look after itself, until the business is too big for that to be tenable any more.
This is the point at which processes are invaluable and a small amount of effort early can pay dividends later. Writing down a simple checklist of what is to be done for each HR procedure is as good a way as any to get started with process. Keep it simple, involve the wider team and highlight the really essential steps, and you are already well on the way.
To make this much easier, we are about to launch some specific HR process templates within Process Bliss. If you’re an HR professional, these have the potential to make life much easier and allow you to get started with your processes much quicker. Templates in Process Bliss can be easily adjusted so you can tailor the process to suit specific company requirements.
We think HR is a function that can operate immeasurably better via the use of process. Establishing such processes should also go a long way to keeping bosses from micromanaging HR employees, providing them with the reassurance that everything is being done as it should be.