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5 Ways To Build A Better Workplace

[ 0 ] Feb. 3, 2014 | SBO Editor

Happy business people laughing against white background

By Craig Bryant

Founder and Product Manager, KinHR.com

Hire and manage well, and company culture will follow. 

There comes a time in every small company’s life when a founder discovers this simple fact: good employer operations make a huge difference to the profitability and culture of a company. Unfortunately, the realization all too often comes after years of just getting by with a minimum effort in hiring, onboarding and managing a talented team.

The reason? It’s a common misconception that being an efficient employer is complicated, time consuming, and bears too little fruit. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Every small company should consider the workplace to be just as valuable as the service or product they’re selling everyday. Employees who feel engaged and taken care of by their employer return the favor by diving head first into company culture, vision and productivity.

5 High-Impact Ways To Build A Better Workplace

Here are five high-impact ways to build a better workplace that will neither break the bank or drag you away from all the other jobs you have to do each day:

1. Find an HR consultant near you.

There are professional HR consultants who, in just a little time, can give you a full overview of what the most important tasks should be to get you in compliance with your state’s employment laws. Then, you can keep them in your rolodex to shoot the occasional HR question too.

2. Get feedback from your employees, and give it to them too.

Feedback and transparency with your employees means you get honest opinions about how it is to work at your company. Likewise, you should take time for both formal and informal reviews with your team members instead of just bottling it up for a single, annual review. There are some great online tools out there that provide very casual ways of keeping track of employee sentiment.

3. Be organized.

Employer organization isn’t a game only for the big companies. There is no better signal you send to your employees than the one that says “we value you working here, and we want to service you in the same excellent manner we expect you to service our customers.” Whether you use software or a filing cabinet, pay attention to the experience your employees have when it comes to file completion, time off requests, payroll and benefit enrollment.

4. Onboard your new hires well.

These days, there’s no reason for you to waste anyone’s time filling out paperwork on the company’s clock. Get all of your employment tasks, such as payroll set up, paperwork, and orders for new equipment done well in advance of a new hire’s first day. Again, there are great tools out there that help you digitize your onboarding process.

5. Be transparent, write good policies, and provide guidelines.

Too many small business owners don’t take the time to create guidelines (a company handbook, for example) for their employees because they feel it creates a wall of righteousness between them and their employees. While most small companies don’t need the comprehensive policies that big employers do, putting a few core guidelines in place provides a way finder for your team and protects your company in the event of an accident or employee with a penchant for trouble.

With just a little elbow grease, getting a small company’s workplace into shape will provide so much in return. Employee sentiment, trust, and productivity will rise at a quicker pace. Your own time will free up because you’re more organized and efficient. Best of all, the company will attract more talent, because after all, a company that does good work, gets good work.

About the Author:

Craig Bryant is founder and product manager of KinHR.com, a web-based HR software solution for small companies. He’s also a cofounder of We Are Mammoth, a web development firm in Chicago serving up awesome since 2006.

For follow up discussion and questions, please contact Craig at Craig.Bryant@KinHR.com

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Category: Features