by Kate van der Sluis, Managing Partner, Humber HR People 
 
Most businesses go through a familiar and fairly predictable pattern of growth and scale-up during their lifetime. It isn’t always obvious when professional HR Support could be valuable especially when businesses are entrepreneurial, or have been successfully running for a number of years – HR is a specialist area and “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Over the past 20 years in consulting, with businesses from start up to FTSE 100, I've noticed some of the patterns and trends in employer/employee relationships.  
 
Here are 5 signs you need a HR Business Partner: 
 
Niggling people issues that don’t go away. These are the small things that you keep mean do something about - but other things keep cropping up…like the niggles within a certain department where deadlines always seem to get missed, or there are trickier problems with individuals performance or conduct...or management frustrations that some employees don't seem to care. An experienced HR professional will navigate through tricky people issues and protect your business interests. 
Personnel Files? Oh yes, we have those somewhere… A sure sign that perhaps your HR essentials need an update. Ideally, employment contracts and policies should be written for you and your specific business needs, and reviewed every 12 months to ensure they are in line with the latest employment law (which is updated twice a year). But there are other potential advantages to having up to date HR Documentation. It's a good foundation for the employer-employee relationship, the first step for managing any people issues. 
Appraisals and One to Ones happen - sometimes. Appraisals are approached with dread by managers and staff alike, once a year. Employee 121s are fairly difficult too, and tend to get missed or pushed aside in favour of operational priorities and customers, meaning crucial conversations get missed, and issues are left to fester. A HR Consultant with coaching experience will enable your managers to approach 121s with confidence, give and receive constructive feedback. This should help to improve performance and engagement and leave your staff feeling valued and trusted - all the building blocks of positive company culture. 
Problems finding or keeping good people. The average staff turnover in UK businesses is a healthy 13%. If you are seeing a figure higher than this and seem to be on a constant cycle of hiring and firing, something is amiss. An experienced HR Consultant will give honest feedback and find out what is really going on. It could be as simple as tweaks to your recruitment strategy or something much more fundamental as to why you are struggling to find, or keep, the people you need to ensure your business thrives. 
Feeling out of control. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of operations, ensuring that customer expectations are met, business objectives are achieved and everyone is paid at the end of the month. When a business grows quickly, employee numbers increase, but often in reaction to business demands. Suddenly, your monthly wage bill increases. An objective HR Consultant can help you take a step back and and make the most of the asset you have in your business - your people. 
 
For more information on how Humber HR People could help you find, engage and develop your people, come along to our next complimentary event on July by clicking here https://www.humberhrpeople.co.uk/events/or drop an email for a no-obligation, confidential conversation to kate@humberhrpeople.co.uk  
 
 
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