4 reasons small business owners need to get on board the HR train

Fatter pay cheques are no longer the be-all, end-all when it comes to keeping employees engaged, happy and productive in the workplace, writes Employment Hero’s Chief People Officer Alex Hattingh.

Employees want employers who make employment easy for them. Employers who live up to the belief that there is more to a job than just a wage, and who walk the walk when it comes to striving towards enhancing their team’s quality of life.

According to our recent national study administered by YouGov Galaxy, employers that go that extra mile to enhance work life, champion employees’ overall well-being, from their physical to their mental to their financial health, provide career growth opportunities and cater to flexible work arrangements, will be the leading organisations of the future.

Not only is this people-centric approach critical for attracting talent, but it is fundamental to retaining talent – a trend that has shifted the role of HR further away from compliance and administration, towards placing a much larger focus on people and culture.

And this greater emphasis on people and culture is no longer exclusively reserved for large household names like Google, Apple and Facebook. Companies across the board, from startups to SMBs to larger corporates, are becoming profusely aware of the competitive advantage that a more holistic approach to employees’ work life gives them in the employment market.

As organisations continue to prioritise people and culture, it’s time to dispel 4 common HR myths:

“‘People and culture’ is just a buzzword”

Companies are increasingly measuring the impact of employee engagement on profit, productivity and the ability to attract talent through data analytics. This is fast allowing them to recognise how vital keeping their talent pool engaged and happy is to their bottom line. So while the term continues to gain momentum, business leaders should not discount its importance, but rather recognise the fundamental role it plays in their workplaces. Prioritising people and culture involves making the workplace experience positive throughout an employee’s entire work life-cycle, with the results speaking for themselves – the better off employees are, the better off a company is.

“HR is not approachable”

HR has not traditionally been considered an advocate of the employee, however as the correlation between employee engagement and stronger workforces continues to prove, this perception of HR is changing. HR is no longer to be seen as a ‘workplace police department’, but rather a trusted confidant, and a champion of a businesses’ people.

“My business doesn’t need an HR department”

Thanks to new tech platforms, businesses of all sizes now have access to real-time HR functionalities. There is no longer an excuse for business leaders not to have people and culture front and centre of their strategic direction, meaning small to medium-sized organisations have the ability to attract, retain and engage their employees in the same ways larger businesses can. At the end of the day, your people are your biggest assets, and working to make their work life experience more meaningful, purposeful and engaging, is paramount to your business’ success.

“HR is unnecessary because there is nothing a fat bonus can’t solve”

Financial motivations and incentives are never going to displease employees, however, businesses’ short-termism needs to be de-prioritised, with a greater emphasis put on what is going to enhance employee engagement in the long-term.

The future of HR is here and it holds mammoth potential for your business, so don’t let these common myths ruin the opportunity sitting right in front of you to build a richer, happier and more sustainable workplace.

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