Managing a Small Business: Human Resources
How often have you heard business people say that their greatest assets are their employees? This is generally true, but how do you nurture these assets so they continue to contribute value to your business?
These are the most important areas:
- The salaries and wages you pay staff need to be competitive. You need to know what your business can afford and what industry standards are. If you can't pay as much as your competitors do, you should offer your employees some form of bonus based on the how profitable the business is.
- Working conditions must be in line with the health and safety standards of the law.
- You must have a written employment contract with every employee, and you must ensure that they understand the rules of their employment. This is especially important with matters connected to:
- Sick pay
- Grievance procedures
Consider what would happen if a key person in your business suddenly could not work for an extended period of time. If this would be disastrous, you need to insure the business against lost earnings, so that you can stay afloat until the person returns or you can train up a new person in their place.
Human resources is a very specialised field, the more complex your business gets, the more sophisticated your human resource needs will also become. It is important to know when it is time to get formal Human Resource support for your business. Once a business reaches a specific size, you may find it necessary to employ a Human Resources Manager.
The Social Plan Fund
If your business experiences the threat of job losses or the whole business is itself threatened, and it can be shown that if this happens, it will affect the local, regional or national industry or sector seriously, then assistance from the government can be applied for in the form of the Social Plan Fund.
This assistance includes information and services to retrenched workers and employers. The aim of the information is to try and absorb retrenched workers into the labour market.
This is probably more appropriate for big businesses or industries such as clothing, mining or telecommunications where employees can be vulnerable to large scale retrenchments when global economics affect the industry negatively.
However, it is important to know about the Social Plan Fund, even if you are a small business.
For more information about the Social Plan Fund, contact:
PO Box 3971, Pretoria, 0001
7th Floor, Prodinsa Building, Corner of Beatrix and Pretorius Streets, Arcadia, Pretoria
Tel: 0861 121 267 or 012 341 1470
Fax: 012 440 8500
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