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Essential H R For Start Ups

The thought of hiring staff can be overwhelming for a number of reasons. Whilst worrying about the ongoing ability to pay someone is probably your biggest concern a lot of business owners also worry about how to deal with the HR elements. With these 5 steps you can put in place what you need.

1. The Paperwork

The employment contract: Everyone requires written terms from Day 1 of employment. ACAS provide a great resource and will tell you what you need to include, when you need to issue it and how to change what you’ve written. They even provide a template you can use. (The right to written terms: What must be written in an employment contract - Acas). Alternatively, you can use your own template or get something a bit more suited for your business from an HR consultant, an employment lawyer or sometimes even your accountant.

Policies/Handbook: Policies that you need in place legally are

1. Health & Safety (if you have more than 5 employees)
2. Disciplinary
3. Grievance

Policies in my opinion you should have are:

4. Equal Opportunities
5. Social Media
6. Use of Technology
7. Data Protection (including a privacy notice)

You can find these policies quite easily online or if you want to ensure they are up to date/compliant and customised for your business reach out to an HR Consultancy or Law firm that will provide all of them and the contract for a reasonable sum.

You do not need a handbook until you either want to enhance your policies or until you go over 10/15 employees.

Finally, you need a job description template so you can outline to your employees what is required of them both from a technical and behavioural perspective which leads nicely into…

2. Company Values & Mission

What does your business stand for? What behaviours should your employees hold? And why are they there – what is your mission as a company?

Ideally you already have your mission and your values. But if not, do this today. You don’t need to do it alone or spend a fortune on it, articles like 4 Steps to Creating Your Company Core Values | IMPACT ( are really useful, as is a quick google to see other company values.

Once you have your values in place define from them the behaviours, you’d expect your staff to have.

Let’s take a value of Trust as an example. Behaviours under trust could be:

• Effectively communicate with all your colleagues and customers
• Listen to all opinions and inputs
• Show empathy and compassion
• Acknowledge and learn from mistakes

These behaviours should be in your job descriptions and your values should be in everything you do and the way you do it. There is no point having a value of Trust pinned on your wall if you the proceed to micromanage your staff.

3. Data Storage

Your Data Protection policy and Privacy Notice will set out how you handle and use data so you just need to make sure you follow what they say.

Make sure you look at the ICO who have some great resources for small employers. SME web hub – advice for all small organisations | ICO

A simple spreadsheet will suffice initially for storing your employee data but as you grow make sure you invest in an HR system to make things easier for everyone.

4. Onboarding, Development, Engagement and Wellbeing

Once you’ve hired the perfect employees you need to make sure you allow them to add value. Here are my top tips:

• Communicate – pre hire, first day and forever more. Effective communication is proven to increase engagement.
• Orientate them – make them feel welcome by telling them everything they may need to know from the door code to where to find the printer paper.
• Development – people like to learn and it’s a great way to engage them. Use the fantastic job description you’ve got in place to work out how to develop them against the criteria and have regular meetings to discuss.
• Wellbeing – check in with them after a week or so and check they are ok. Then continue to do this for the rest of their time with you. The more you care the more engaged they will be.

Don’t forget to make sure your onboarding reflects your values. For more detail have a look at my onboarding blog. How to onboard effectively — Colliver Consulting Ltd

For more details on how to make sure your employees are engaged fill in my engagement temperature check Resources — Colliver Consulting Ltd

5. Payroll and Benefits

You have a few options when it comes to paying your employees:

1. Process internally
2. Use your accountant
3. Use a payroll provider

The later two obviously have associated costs but will more than likely make your life easier and will help with auto enrolling into pension which is required. It’s worth a bit of your time looking into options because as this article points out it becomes one less thing to worry about. Four reasons to outsource your payroll (

Once you have auto-enrolment in place you’ve fulfilled your obligations with regards to benefits but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide things that don’t cost that much. The best benefits are the ones your employees want but here are some examples:

• Free fruit (just fill the fruit bowl once a week for people to help themselves)
• One late start a week (so they can attend a fitness class of their choosing)
• Day off for their birthday
• Time off for school plays/sports day etc

In Summary

You can be both a compliant and great employer pretty easily following these 5 steps. If you want to go one step forward and do a full audit of your HR download my audit Resources — Colliver Consulting Ltd.

As you grow you may decide you want to outsource your HR to a provider or you may decide to hire an HR person or just upskill your office manager to be in charge of HR. I think the latter is a great option in the earlier days which is why I provide both a start up package of everything you need (The Essentials Package) and development sessions so you know how to use it (The Essentials of HR). People Packages — Colliver Consulting Ltd.

Get in touch for more details.
Tel: 07841401693

Fiona Colliver
Colliver Consulting

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