HR’s Competitive Advantage: A Big Difference for Small Business

Employees with the right talent and attitude are the lifeblood of every successful company. With a global shortage of talent, it is time to make recruiting, retaining and developing good people a priority.

“HR” is human resources. Simply put, it’s about your people. Without them—your team or your employees—you likely wouldn’t have a business. Without their help, you would become overwhelmed and unable to develop your business the way you want to. Since this is the case, wouldn’t it make sense to make HR a priority?

Implementing an HR mindset within your business to support and develop your people practices and positive potential is a smart strategy. Done well, and positioned properly—as both a guiding function and shared mindset, HR becomes the very thing that you can use to improve your bottom line. Its role is to make things easier to lead in people strategies and to bring out the best in employees.

Human resources seems to have a negative image in the last few years. Articles titled “Why I Hate HR” and why it should be eliminated altogether appear quite regularly in business magazines and journals. But the problem isn’t HR, it’s that business misunderstands what it is supposed to do.

3 Human Resources Myths Dispelled

To help dispel some of those misconceptions, here are three myths about HR:

1. Only Large Organizations Need HR

In order for any business to be successful, it must have effective operations. To be operating, the employees must be doing the right things at the right time. Small businesses have fewer individuals to do a larger scope of activities, so it is even more vital that you have HR to help you recruit and retain good people.

2. HR is Costly And a Waste of Time

Operational managers often don’t have the time or know-how to handle people issues properly. With their focus on delivering quality products or services to customers, they tend to be reactionary in their handling of employee relationships which isn’t ideal. HR applies practical tools to help you achieve your business goals for both the short and long term. By helping you recruit and develop the skill sets you need on the team, HR does more than for itself—it creates potential revenue opportunities which were previously untapped. Instead of being an overhead expense, HR can help bring your books out of the red and into the bluer skies of opportunity.

3. HR is Soft And Its Role is to Make Everyone Happy

This is the biggest myth of all. HR is practical and not about being “nice” or planning parties. Its role is to bring consistency and communication. The end result to your business is that employees are more connected and productive in their work. Facilitating tough decisions on such things as what skills are required, performance measures and termination decisions is where the value of HR comes into play. There is nothing soft about managing difficult conversations in your workplace or creating tools which improve your bottom line.

Savvy business owners know that HR is a key ingredient for success. HR aligns employees’ behaviour with your business goals and does so in a positive way for all. If applied effectively, it has the power to make your business more productive and, ultimately, more profitable. Since people drive your bottom line on all sides of the equation, HR is just as important as finance, marketing and sales. Without human resources, the other functions wouldn’t exist. After all, these jobs need the right people to do them well.