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A few months ago, I attended a business breakfast where the owner of a HR consulting business was presenting on the HR essentials that she believed every business needs to nail the HR stuff.

What was put forward was a holy triumvirate consisting of an employee handbook, position descriptions and employment contracts – put them in place and you are covered was the message that she gave. Could it really be that simple?

These are all useful tools and they are all in my toolkit but they are just tools – they aren’t solutions.

So my answer to that question is a resounding “no, it is far from that simple!”.

Over the years, I have spoken with lots of HR practitioners who told me that they can write policies and procedures and employment contracts and job descriptions. When I put on my SMB owner’s hat and ask them why I would want more paperwork, many struggle to answer the question.

You see the problem is that, in the corporate world, these types of document are often seen as solutions rather than what they really are – just tools. The thinking is that we just do a new policy, run an education program to tell people what the new rules are and we have covered things off – problem solved! No it isn’t and this is one of the reasons why the new positive duties to eliminate sexual harassment and psychosocial hazards have been introduced.

SMBs are all about people and relationships – sure you need some process but it is mostly about how a small team works together (provided of course that you give them the right tools to work with).

SMB owners aren’t commonly experts on employment law or relationship management or mental health and well-being or neuroscience and this is the stuff that they really need help with ie it is PEOPLE BUSINESS and quite a range of it.

What should you as an SMB owner be looking for in a HR consultant?

Here are my thoughts – someone who:

  • Knows their stuff when it comes to Fair Work and other employment laws and modern awards and legal due process and
  • Exercises curiosity with emotional intelligence and excellent listening skills to really understand issues and perspectives and
  • Is creative in tailoring the right solutions for the situation, the team and the business and
  • Has the flexibility to wear different hats (eg as a coach or consultant or contractor or counsellor) as appropriate to the situation and
  • Acts with integrity and earns the trust of the business owner and team members and
  • Acts with kindness and compassion to help and support people and
  • Has an established network of quality employment lawyers and other specialists to help with specific issues and
  • Has a sense of humour and enjoys a bit of fun along the way. 

If your HR Consultant ticks all of those boxes, you have a good one.

If they don’t, perhaps you should give us a call on 1300 108 488 to see how we might be able to help you better with your PEOPLE BUSINESS. 

 

 

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Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

enquiries@ridgelinehr.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488

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