Recently we asked our clients what their top people challenges have been so far this year. The responses made for interesting reading so we have collated the information to share.
The top themes that came through in your answers were:
- Getting the right people into the business While most job ads normally attract considerable response numbers, screening these to find the gold nugget who has the skills, experience and attitude you need to drive your business forward is a challenging task. We find that most businesses are now becoming increasingly aware of the cost of both the recruitment process and the costs of a bad hire, and are becoming more vigilant in their recruitment approach. Sound recruitment systems, where you carefully profile the person you need and include several different techniques in the recruitment process can help ensure you employ the top performer you are looking for.
- Managing people in a growth environment When a business is growing it is always a balancing act, as you juggle the increased workload with the costs associated with new hires. This can result in larger workloads for existing team members, which is tough, even if it is temporary. In this environment it is always important to communicate well with your team so they understand it is short term pain and that they know that the additional work required will come to an end. Thanks, reinforcement and team rewards can also help to ensure the team know you acknowledge and appreciate their efforts.
- Implementing performance management systems Developing practical performance management systems which work and which your managers can easily implement is essential. Giving relevant, honest and constructive feedback is a tough skill to master and most junior, and many senior, managers struggle to do this well. Done professionally, providing honest feedback can be a major factor in gaining top performance from your team. Alternatively poorly executed performance reviews can be a disincentive and impact negatively on productivity.Having a system which is easy to use and investing in training your managers to implement the process well is an essential for performance enhancement.
- Managing poor performers As careful as you may be with your recruiting, sometimes you end up with team members who don’t measure up. This may be for a range of reasons, inclusive of the business and role evolving and outgrowing the person’s current capabilities. Having these conversations early is difficult, but vital, so that any difficulties are addressed before a crisis point is reached. It is fairer to the employee if they are informed of your concerns and you are able to offer them the right support to improve or transition to another role or, in some cases, out the business.
- Coping when key people leave the business In a medium size business succession planning is often something which is missed as time pressures and key priorities take over. It’s not until a key team member leaves that this lack is exposed. Succession planning needn’t be onerous or time consuming, and can be done easily be reviewing your key roles quarterly as part of a management meeting. Even in small and medium sized businesses some provision for succession planning can be made.
The responses we received indicate most of us face much of the same challenges and have similar frustrations in our teams.
The cost of remunerating staff is usually a large component of business expenses. Staff and people issues take up a large portion of management effort and present many of the biggest challenges. Spending the time to ensure you have solid HR systems in place makes absolute business sense.
A pro-active approach to HR in your business will save you time and money.