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The Importance of HR for Small Businesses

ImageStarting a new venture is always exciting—you get to dip your toes into something fresh and decide what direction you’ll take to complete the endeavor. When starting your own business, however, multiple aspects must be considered—the culture, mission, values, employee size, procedures, management, etc.—and this is where business owners tend to overlook the importance of a human resources department. Small businesses are pressured to bring in sales in order to keep their doors open, but as more sales are made, workload increases and more employees are needed. This is where HR is crucial. 

With the need for more employees comes the need for proper management training for supervisors. If there is little to no guidance on how to manage employees, the company may be more exposed to liability for illegal employment practices. There needs to be someone who is well versed in current employment laws—if your company continues to move forward and ignores the importance of being in compliance, you run a high risk of getting yourself into legal trouble. And as a small business, a single lawsuit may close your doors for good.

Furthermore, an HR department is needed for talent management purposes. If management only cares about the dollars coming in and disregards their employees’ needs and well-being, there is a great chance these vital employees may leave. Pressure from management to complete work as well as having a large workload may lead to employee burnout. Small businesses need to retain their talent and find ways to keep their employees present—incentives, rewards and recognition are some popular tactics. Management needs to show their employees that all their hard work is much appreciated, therefore a culture that values and balances both work and play may alleviate stress and simultaneously promote productivity and overall morale. All in all, small businesses cannot afford to have a high turnover rate because the longer a seat is vacant, the more money it costs the company…and the more burnt out employees may feel if the extra work load gets dispersed.

For small businesses who cannot afford an HR department, there are outsourcing options. e-VentExe has a special service called eBasicHR which serves as a full HR department. eBasicHR gives business owners access to documents and forms necessary for compliant purposes, as well as unlimited use of an expert HR consultant who will answer and advise any question or issues that may arise.

*e-VentExe is a full service human resource consulting firm specializing in compliance law, recruiting and selection, training and development, and assessment tools. If your company is interested in learning more about eBasicHR or any of the services listed above, please call e-VentExe at 916. 458-5820.

 

A Period of Reengineering Your Company

ImageWe have all been touched in some way by the economic downturn in our region, professionally and personally.  Many have felt the cold hand of fate grabbing at our dreams and plans for our future/ business and personal goals.  Companies that stayed open dealt with the uncertain business landscape in a variety of ways.  Some CEO’s laid off long term employees to avoid the negative spiraling bottom line results.  Other CEO’s modified positions, changed responsibilities and tried to right size the operation the best they knew how.  And, there were those CEO’s who closed their doors completely; the burden was just too large to manage.  Those days were very dark, doubtful and relentless.  I am sure many leaders sat at their desks alone and wondered, “Did I make the right decision?  Could I have done something different? Would the business outcome be different?  What if…., Where do I turn?  Who can I talk to?”

Today, hope for our business future is taking shape again.  We are seeing a resurgence of focused energy and innovation from our leaders.  It finally feels like a spring day—the sun is out and the birds are singing. People are smiling again.  However, the economic downturn has left a deep scar that may never fully become invisible.  I like to call this period of new growth a Period of Reengineering.

CEO’s have a fresh start, a new look at their organization and workforce.  They can once again begin to build a thriving and prosperous business and create a positive and engaging employee culture.  Vistage International can become that voice, that resource for executives and business owners who supports and guides them through extremely uncertain business decisions.  The time is now to reach out, seek guidance and support from a confidential, peer advisory group of CEO’s.

Vistage International brings together successful CEO’s, executives and business owners into private advisory groups.  Each group is purpose-built to help members help each other improve the performance and outcomes of their business and personal lives.  Vistage International works with each CEO to be a better leader who can make better decisions and get better results.  In fact, they have helped over 75,000 members since 1957 when they began.  And the support does not look at one dimension of a CEO’s life; the business.  Discussions also center on a person’s health and personal life—it is strongly believed that the “whole person” adds to the strategic direction of a company.  If issues are present in any of the three categories listed above, they are freely discussed inside the confidence of a member meeting.

Although peer advisory groups are a great help towards success, leadership and management trainings and assessments should not be ignored. These tools allow those in management to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, ultimately allowing them to build upon their skills.

For more information regarding Vistage International and e-VentExe, please call Amelya Stevenson, M.A., SPHR-CA Vistage Chair and owner of e-VentExe, a full service Human Resource Consulting Firm at 916.458.5820.

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About e-VentExe

Founded in 2000 by Amelya and Craig Stevenson, e-VentExe provides businesses with strategic and compliance human resources tips and techniques, organizational effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) and overall strategic and healthy cultural influences in the workplace. We also make HR administration easy for small businesses with our eBasicHR and Compliance package. At e-VentExe, we keep the “Human” in Human Resources. Let us show our dedication to you! For more information, please visit us at www.e-ventexe.com,“LIKE” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter! 

 

Free Webinar Series: A Guide to Understanding Human Resource Management Solutions & Employee Assessments

Free Webinar Series: A Guide to Understanding Human Resource Management Solutions & Employee Assessments

Social Media: A Business’ Friend or Foe?

Our guest blogger this month is Angie Brown MBA, owner of Angeion Consulting. To learn more about social media and Angeion Consulting, please visit their Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/AngeionConsulting

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Social media—we hear it everywhere and know we should be using it, but with business-to-business (B2B) companies many times they ask, “Why?”

Social media includes several online social sharing websites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, FourSquare, and many more. Each medium was developed as a way for people to develop relationships and maintain friendships from afar; this is key to remember as a business when using social media.

Social media can help your business:

  • Create a lead pipeline
  • Project a brand
  • Decrease turnover
  • Increase attendance at events
  • Sell a product
  • Increase company morale

While these are a lot of options, your business should choose one or two goals that they want to reach. The following steps will help your business build their online social media journey correctly:

Develop your online personality

Just as a person has a personality, your business needs to develop an online personality as well. Many times the responsibility of posting on social media gets juggled between two people. When a business develops a personality, it allows your employee to take on that image and post as the same personality each time—your business’ personality, not the employee’s personal personality. Remember, this personality should align with your company’s the mission statement, morals, branding, and target audience. (See understanding your fan base below.)

Understand your fan base

If a business has the personality of a 45-year old man with strong environmental ties and a passion for outdoor recreation, then your fan base should reflect this personality as well to help build rapport. The reason for this is two-fold. If you post as this personality, you will attract a fan base that enjoys the same interests. Do this while simultaneously targeting your online ads to increase this target market and you will build your perfect fan base of leads. Developing a fan base that goes hand-in-hand with a business’ online personality will increase engagement and help increase the trust of potential customers; step one in developing online lead generation.

Consistency is KEY

Each social media platform has a “post shelf life” or the amount of time a post is visible to a person before another post supersedes it. While this varies according to the amount of interaction a certain post gets, a business should pay close attention to how quickly a post disappears from their customer’s view. Posting daily is appropriate for Facebook, while multiple times a day is key for Twitter. However a business decides to do it, they should remain consistent each week.

Toot THEIR horn

Don’t be afraid to brag on social media, but do it correctly. If your business recognized an employee internally, take a picture and post it! If someone in the company ate at a restaurant during your local middle school’s fundraiser, take a picture and talk about it! The idea here is to put the OTHER nonprofit, employee, fundraiser, etc. in the spotlight while making sure people know your business is supporting it. This type of support will connect your fan base to your company while at the same time recognizing your employees and bragging about them to the world. Even a small amount of recognition done correctly can go a long way with social media.

These steps give you some brief insight in the world of social media and how important social media can be to your company. Use it to develop relationships internally by encouraging your employees to take part in the conversations (#companyparty, #walkforacause –ask us about hashtags on our Facebook page–) and show them you care by talking about them online. At the same time you are developing relationships internally, you are causing your fan base to take notice, “Hmmmm, they like their employees and treat them well,” says your next online lead. While also building rapport externally in the form of understanding what your fan base likes and giving them a reason to stop and take notice of your company.

For more tips on social media, visit us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/AngeionConsulting.


 

A little about the author:

Angie Brown attended UC Davis where she graduated with her degree in Communications. She accepted a position as a Research Analyst at Time Warner Cable in Hawaii after graduation. Angie spread her wings with multi-million dollar companies such as McDonalds, Disney, Jack in the Box, and Outback Steakhouse as she developed cutting edge research and technologies just now being introduced on the mainland.

Over the course of her four years at Time Warner, she went back to school and received her MBA in Global Logistics while organizing seminars, developing marketing packages, and starting up Angeion Consulting in 2009. She moved back to the mainland and continued to build her company here. She is now developing an innovative employment model for her employees. Angie enjoys spending time with her two children and husband.

Pre-hiring Solutions – Know who you are hiring before making the big decision

Pre-hiring Solutions – Know who you are hiring before making the big decision

Save the date! 

 

Please join e-VentExe, a full service human resource consulting firm for a free informative webinar seriesshowcasing state-of-the-art assessment tools and HR solutions offered by Profiles International as we guide you through a comprehensive break down of the assessments and provide case studies for optimal understanding. On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at10:30 am PST, we begin our series with Pre-hiring Solutions using the Step One Survey II. Learn how this pre-hiring and screening tool may assist you in determining a better candidate and give you overall guidance in making a more inclusive hiring decision. 

Please click on the link for more information! 

The High and Profitable Cost of Employee Training

ImageAccording to the American Society of Training and Development, organizations spent $156.2 billion on learning and development in 2011. This statistic clearly indicates that employee training can drastically impact a company’s success among other factors. In this day and age when technology is on the rise and workplace dynamics are changing, training is a high necessity, as are finding the funds to cover it.

Training is crucial because it not only benefits organizations, but also enhances overall employee performance. According to Ferdinand Fournies, an internationally known consultant, author, and former professor at Columbia University’s School of Business, employee performance issues occur because employees:  1) are unaware of  what they’re supposed to do 2) are unsure how to do it 3) are unsure why they should do it.

Other benefits of training include:

  • Saving money and labor: Skilled employees may contribute to a decrease in maintenance expenditures, minimal supervision, lower turnover rates, and valuable time that may be used elsewhere (e.g. spending time on correcting others’ mistakes).
  • Guaranteeing an organization’s competitive edge in the market: Employees must be updated on skills in regards to the ever-changing workforce and market. Employees are important assets to organizations and if training efforts are not invested to enhance their skills, companies may see a spiraling downturn in profits.
  • Employee retention and/or satisfaction: The more effort management puts forth in their employees, the more opportunities their workforce has in career advancements and overall personal growth.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: With increased skills comes better quality of work, which in turn means higher quality of services and/or products—these factors decrease customer complaint rates.

From an article in Workforce Management in 2006 detailing the training costs and efforts of the popular restaurant chain, The Cheesecake Factory, the organization spends approximately $2,000 on training per hourly employee each year. The chain takes their training seriously and involves all their employees: servers are enrolled in two weeks of on-the-job training; those seeking managerial positions receive 12-week development courses; dishwashers are also included in training programs. The Cheesecake Factory finds training to be beneficial as their turnover rate is approximately 15 percent below the industry average of 106 percent.

An important question to consider is: how does one pay for all the training expenditures? The Employment Training Panel (ETP) is a California State job funding agency created to assist organizations (only in CA) in finding the means to train their workforce. This fiscal year, ETP has up to 80 million dollars solely for training purposes with priority industries in technology, manufacturing, biotechnology, and agriculture to name a few. Not in California? No worries; grants and scholarships can be found in various state programs as well.

Training is essential for organizations, large and small. How much will your company invest in training efforts this year?

*e-VentExe is a full service human resource consulting firm located in Northern California. Our expert consultants can assist you with any training needs and assist you with finding funds for training. Give us a call at 916.458.5820 to learn more about how we can help you get on board with your training!

Exemplifying Employee Engagement

ImageOrganizations strive largely because of their employees. But what happens when your employees are disengaged? According to the 2013 State of the American Workplace Report, 70 percent of American workers are dissatisfied with their job, creating an atmosphere where many employees feel emotionally disconnected from their workplace and therefore less productive.

Employee engagement is both a psychological and social phenomenon—as humans, we need to feel accepted and feel a sense of belonging whether in or outside of the workplace. Employees’ needs and viewpoints should be accepted and recognized; without this communication and connection, employees may feel worthless or question their stay at the workplace. This is where most upper management fails.

Dr. Brad Shuck at the University of Louisville, an expert in employee engagement research, states that managers were “promoted into positions with responsibilities they were not ready for” and rather than knowing how projects were getting done, they cared only on how much could get done. Let’s take for example, J. C. Penney’s former CEO Ron Johnson. Prior to joining J.C. Penny, Johnson was seen as the genius Senior Vice President of Retail Operations at Apple. However, during his reign at J.C. Penney, sales dropped 27 percent (Forbes). Johnson, who transformed J.C Penney immediately, terminated the entire top executive team. In doing so, Johnson created an entirely new environment for the current employees, who now must not only learn the new company culture, but also build trust and the emotional connection with their new leadership. Johnson merely assumed he could transform J.C. Penney successfully based on his past accomplishments at Apple. However, he not only caused the retail chain to plummet, he did not take into consideration the views of the current employees.

According to Kevin Kruse, a New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur, and speaker, the secret to employee engagement stems from the relationships front line managers have with their direct reports, therefore improvements can be made effectively if these front line managers are given their team’s engagement surveys. In order for employee engagement to increase in organizations, a grassroots approach is necessary because top executives usually do not work or rarely know their subordinates on an emotional level.

Top management must be able to strategize, create, and determine an employee engagement plan that is suitable for their company, taking into account company size and culture. Employees should feel they are part of an organization that values them, and not merely seen as another body sitting in the office or driving a forklift or serving customers. Employee goals and insights for working at an organization should be acknowledged. Trust, communication, and employee recognition for all parties should be taken into consideration for optimal employee engagement. After all, a productive and motivated workforce calls for increased business profitability.

*e-VentExe is a full service human resource consulting firm located in Northern California. We offer an array of assessment tools that may help with employee engagement or other HR needs. 

Free Workshop on Leave of Absences in California

If you are in the Sacramento area, you won’t want to miss this free workshop on Leave of Absences in California! 

For more information: http://eepurl.com/L9k7T

New Year’s Resolutions: What Should I Do as a Leader?

ImageThe New Year is an exciting time for rejuvenation—for self and business. As such, resolutions are made, but how long do these resolutions actually last? We see gyms overcrowded for the first few months into the New Year with individuals trying to change their lifestyle, we see leaders jump-starting a new out-of-the-box campaign or company process with enthusiasm in hopes that it will last the entire year; but sadly, most resolutions are not long-lasting. Motivation and perseverance play a vital role in keeping goals and resolutions. For business leaders, the New Year is a time for reevaluating their tactics, attitudes, and beliefs to better themselves and their organization.

Some considerations for leaders include:

  • Effectiveness as a leader:  What are some things you should stop doing this year that will make you more effective in your role? What are some things you can begin doing or implementing?
  • Self-limiting beliefs: What beliefs are preventing you from achieving your goals?

Learning about your strengths and weaknesses can guide you through these questions. There are many tools that can assist you in recognizing these such as assessment tests (more advanced and validated), self-reflection, or observations from others about yourself.

Maybe your lack of team work and collaboration is holding you back from communicating effectively with your employees and managerial team. Utilizing assessment tools can help you recognize this and give you a detailed and user-friendly explanation to guide you through this behavior.

The first step towards achieving goals and/or resolutions is always the simplest; you just do it. Next, you have to mentally change and implement the behaviors—this is not a one-time process; this might take weeks, months, or even the entire year. But you must practice it in order to change your mindset and receive positive results.

This is where many individuals fail to uphold their resolutions: they do something once and say to themselves, “This is easy. I can do this everyday.” But the fact is: sure, it can be easy if you do it for a short-period of time, especially right after the holidays when motivations to keep resolutions are high. What about after a month when things in your life and/or organization begin to pick up? Will you be able to keep your resolutions or goals? The only way to keep motivated is to practice, practice, practice! Ingrain your resolutions/goals into your daily routine.

To be the greatest leader you can be you must understand yourself and the individuals you work with at your organization, as well as maintain business acumen. With that said, are you still continuing your business resolutions/goals?

*e-Ventexe is a full service Human Resource consulting firm in the Greater Sacramento region with superior knowledge on assessment tools. To learn more about how these tools can be beneficial to your organization, please call us at 916.458.5820.