“All wealth is based upon systems”
Dan Kennedy, Author and Marketing Coach
In our office we spend extra time planning the important events into our calendar that we know will help us grow our business and help us provide our ever improving service to our customers.
We have taken on some new clients in the latter part of 2016 and this has resulted in our workload increasing, so finding time to plan our year has been a little trickier than usual
But while planning this year it struck me.
The urgent work of keeping our clients happy, productive and thriving was colliding with the essential work that we need to do for ourselves to keep our own business healthy and most valuable of all growing.
I noticed how easy it is to let some of our important work slide because we are dealing with the work that earns our income.
Does this sound familiar?
We use a simple system that remembers the important dates that we need and sends us reminders so that we can put our attention where it is most effective day to day.
It saves us hours and makes sure we are always on the ball.
Sometimes missing a Date can have HUGE consequences
This brings to mind the situation of a former client who was having problems with a particular member of staff and came to us for help in enacting a dismissal process.
Their staff member was a persistent poor attender and our client needed to know what they could do to remove them. This difficult situation had been going on for months and our client felt it was now time to do something about it.
Sadly they came to us when that person had been in post for 2 years and one week.
After two years* in post an employee obtains full employment rights in claiming unfair dismissal and removing someone becomes a lot more challenging.
We were able to help this particular client achieve their objective but it took longer and was more difficult than it would have been, if they had acted just a couple of weeks earlier.
As our work with our client progressed we noticed that they had a paper based HR system which meant that important dates like the two year marker could pass without being noticed and most of their ongoing staff management was time consuming and much harder work.
Our staff are the greatest resource of our business and we believe that the better we can manage them, the better our business will do.
This is where having a real system pays off, even for a small business with few staff.
“A powerful process automatically takes care of progress, productivity and profits.”
The better a system we have, the easier and more effective we can make our businesses.
Most businesses use an accounts application like Quickbooks or Sage to streamline their financial management and it can be the same with the way we handle HR.
You wouldn’t expect a successful business to be using a paper system to manage their finances would you?
No. Of course not.
Then why should it be any different when managing your staff?
There are many key dates to remember for the benefit of our staff and for our business and it can be hard to remember them all when using a paper based system that puts the pressure on you to remember when to look at it.
Often non urgent management issues can end up at the bottom of our to-do list and even slide off all together unless we are prompted at the right time for us and for our team.
You could make a quick and cheap fix for this situation by using your work calendar on Outlook or Google, but these can be limited in terms of the amount of information instantly to hand once your calendar alerts you.
And they certainly won’t help you track the impact of one to one meetings.
Set aside time to consider where you want your business to be in 3 years time. Maybe you will have a few extra staff? Plan all the extra work you will need to do to keep them motivated, happy and productive.
Create a system that does the hard work for you.
Outline all the dates you will need to remember, (like the two year marker) and all the types of information you will need to manage including holidays, sick days, performance management meetings etc.
Then create a process that will anticipate and manage all of the information above. You will need to ensure that you are supported by the system to work smarter rather than having to work harder to fulfill the system.
Stick to the system
Once you have your system in place, make sure that you stick to it. Put time aside to manage yourself and the system.
We understand that setting this kind of system up the first time can feel complicated and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be.
We have helped many businesses, just like yours to set up a system that takes the pressure off you and help you get the best from your staff in both the short term and longer as your business grows.
With a system in place you can be sure you will always remember essential dates like the two year rule and always be certain that there is nothing going to catch you off guard.
If you would like to feel more certain and confident about your staff management system we would love to talk to you.
Thank you for reading
*In fact, rather than it being two years, the basic rule is that employees require only 103 weeks of service in order to bring an ordinary unfair dismissal claim.
This is because for the unfair or constructive dismissal claim they would be allowed to include their statutory entitlement to 1 week’s notice which gets them across the finishing line of 2 complete years’ service.