Smart HR for the SME

Small to medium sized enterprises may have fewer employees than larger conglomerates and international organisations, but running an SME doesn’t mean there’s less work to be done.

Often, with SMEs, one vital component of running a successful business is either left to the owner/CEO, or receptionist/bookkeeper: Human Resources. 

More Than Hiring

Human Resource Management is more than just the practice of finding great talent but owners and managers of SMEs may not actually have the time to dedicate their energy and resources to the things involved in effective HRM. When you’re focused on moving the company forward, HRM may suffer and the result can be detrimental to your organisation.

Common HR Challenges for SMEs

According to research, the most commonly cited HR challenges for SMEs are:

  • Job roles and organisation structures
  • Performance management or appraisals
  • Culture
  • Motivation, engagement, or retention
  • Flexible work availability
  • Training and development
  • Managing change/redundancies
  • Communication
  • Administration, policies, or processes

Regional nuances offer uniques challenges, and as SME’s contribute substantially to workforce and GDP, it is clearly important for owners andor managers to learn ways to overcome these challenges

Steps to Overcome HR Challenges

When you’re stretched too thin within your role as a manager or owner, it can seem overwhelming to develop a human resource management strategy but there are some simple steps you can take that will lighten the load and make the process more streamlined and effective. 

Develop Clear Job Descriptions

Not only can job descriptions help your employees understand what is expected of them, but it can also help you to clearly identify the skills and  talents required to perform each job properly. This means there will be no guesswork when it comes to hiring the right people for the right job. In addition, an employee handbook can help employees understand what to do and not do, and what policies and procedures should be followed.

Strengthen Your Employer Brand

Consider that research has shown that the overwhelming majority of workers – 86 percent – would not continue to work for (or would not apply to) a company with a bad reputation and 65 percent said they would leave their company if it were being negatively portrayed to the public.

Your company culture is a vital part of a strong employer brand. A clear understanding of your organisation’s vision, mission, and ethics are all aspects that contribute to your company’s culture.

What is it like to work for your company? This is what many of today’s employees want to know before they apply to work for you. Be sure your employer brand helps you to stand out as a company that people want to work for.

Implement Training and Development

Not only does Training and Development (T&D) improve your employer brand, it is vital to the productivity of your employees. For SMEs, a great T&D doesn’t have to be expensive; there are many online courses available that are free or low-cost that can elevate employees’ skills and talents and since many SMEs are evolving, training employees to utilize additional skills will help your company grow.

Appreciate to Motivate and Engage

Employee motivation is highly correlated with job involvement and employees are more incentivised when their employers include them in goal-setting because they have an investment in the work that needs to be done. 

Interestingly, research has shown that, while pay and benefits are important factors in motivating employees, they’re not the top of the list. In fact, compensation is not even in the top three.

Today’s employees are more concerned about having a great work environment that provides them with recognition and encouragement and this is one benefit for SME’s because it’s not a costly investment to recognize people for a job well-done.

At GTM, we are prepared to help your SME tackle the many challenges associated with staying on top of the best practices, policies, and procedures to help elevate your SME to new heights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation now.

The Power of Purpose for SMEs

The purpose of this company is to make the world a better place in the best way I know how! This company will create jobs and improve living standards, especially in developing countries.
We have all heard of Vision and Mission statements, and if they are used as a reference rather than a marketing tool both can be a real asset to a company, because it not just about putting some fluffy words on paper, but defining the intentions of the company.  We want to be….., and we will do….;  
When thoughtful and true to the companies original reason for starting they can support decision-making criteria and importantly act as a reminder, in difficult times, of the essence of the company.
If you take a keen interest in other companies, to understand their DNA, you will see that obvious statement patterns emerge – vision statements generally say “we want to be the best XXX company”, and mission statements usually contain “we will be the best XXX company by offering the best YYY service”….all good and well, and this may be similar to your own statements with a tweak here and there.
Having been involved with the setup of a number of companies now, each time there was long and hard deliberation on this subject, and I have sat with established organisations and supported introspection as to what they truly wanted to be, why and how to create current and valid statements.  Yet only recently did I understand the significance of a purpose statement.
You may have heard of some, here are a few examples 

IKEA: To create a better everyday life for many people.

Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy 

Nike: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)

Smithsonian: Shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world

The common thread amongst these is the aspiration to help others and make the world a better place.  Now, “those organisations are ‘big’, their intentions are ‘grand’ and you would expect something like this from them, but how does that affect me?” you may say.
Through my own personal journey, it struck me that organisations of all sizes should stand for something.  Seeing the world today, the divisive and the destructive, the inequality and injustice…I am not proud of the environment we have created and I do feel that we can all do more to protect our people, our rights, our global community, and our planet.  I certainly want a better world for my children and future generations.
Look at the rise of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, which started back in the ’60s, but is gaining great momentum recently, is the requirement for a business to ‘give back’, or at least not ‘take’ as much, and consider social, environmental and ethical factors.
In 2015, the United Nations published 16 goals for 2030, called Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG’s) to highlight key issues and collaborate with countries to close some of the inequality gaps with food, water, education, healthcare, energy, decent work & economic growth, being just some.
Link to blog – a beginners guide to UN SDG’s www.
If I take myself as an example…can I bring about zero poverty, or provide health and well being to all?…of course not, but I can try to make a difference.  And that is by using my attributes to the best of their abilities.  So, GTM was born to be an ambitious part of the solution, not the problem.  By job creation. By effecting job creation where it can make the biggest difference. By effecting job creation in hundreds and thousands of small businesses. And in some way help raise living standards and reduce unemployment in emerging and developing countries. (did you know that, although decreasing, 763M people live on less than $2/day, and that a close neighbour of ours, India, has over 44M unemployed today). 
Success will not be measured in billable hours, profit margins or shareholder dividends, but in the number of jobs created – and the number of business’, communities and families helped.
In addition, there is evidence of some noticeable beneficial side-effects of purpose.  Your employees will feel they are valuable and making a difference and productivity tends to increase, you will become more attractive to candidates and recruitment costs reduce, the moral compass of the workforce pints in the right direction.  And let us not forget that you will become more attractive to customers.
So we should all, small or big, owner or employee, think about the purpose of our company and if that purpose sits true with our own idea on what we want to contribute ‘to the world’.  Can we change the world?…Together, we have to.