Making HR work for a small business

We scribe on all things HR to add value to your organisation

by | Apr 19, 2021

Small business is a big deal to the Australian economy. Nearing 2.5 million small businesses across our beautiful country, small business collectively employs over half the Australian workforce and accounts for one fifth of Australia’s GDP. This budding group of entrepreneurs forge on diligently, many owners thrust into the role of business owner who must also manage their accounts, legal requirements, marketing, sales and HR.

Unlike their larger corporate counterparts, small businesses do not have the same economic, staffing or material resources available to them. It can feel like a daily challenge to conquer the ever growing to do list on top of providing excellent customer service and innovative solutions. One of the most important aspects of any business is its people and the evolution of a strong HR discipline in any organisation, can be the make-or-break factor. A company without the correct systems and processes, without the ability or time to keep abreast of legal and compliance changes or the ability to create a fantastic workplace culture will almost certainly struggle to both attract and retain talent, who will be impacted by the negative flow-on. The cost materially and culturally of not getting your HR correct, before it spirals out of control can be enormous and the brand damage hard to rectify. Take for example, the costly underpayment challenges faced by numerous organisations across Australia over the past year, with organisations not just having to repay employees but facing huge fines and loosing credibility with employees and consumers alike in the process.

At Red Wagon Workplace Solutions, many of our clients are small business owners, with the same set of concerns and worries. A lack of time for HR, not understanding regulatory changes or best practice, all feature as reasons to look outside of their organisation for expert help. Prevention is always better than cure and creating a robust HR practice can help prevent problems further down the line. In our modern virtual world, there may no longer be a need to have an HR Manager recruited within your business – it’s perfectly possible and often preferable to find a trusted partner to consult and provide you with the HR advice you need, when you need it. You may be so focused on running your business, that you don’t have time to understand the ins and outs of legislation or to investigate a bullying claim or even ensure your latest recruit is placed on the correct award.

Having a flexible HR partner who already understands your business and who can step up and scale up, when you need them, is invaluable to taking the headache of HR away from your day to day running of the business.

About the author

As President and South Australian State Councillor of the Australian HR Institute (AHRI), Susan is a valued advisor and thought leader to her clients and the HR community. Maintaining an extensive understanding of employment law and business acumen through her work and connectivity to the AHRI and the business community, Susan is a master at finding innovative people orientated solutions, carefully balanced with the commercial reality.


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