With unemployment rates depressingly high, a double-dip recession looming and competition in every area in industry more fierce than ever, now is the time to fine tune your HR policies and procedures. Working in a preventative rather than reactive way will enable you to recruit and retain the best talent, increase productivity and protect your company brand.
Your business needs operate like a well-oiled machine. Each working part should be fit for purpose and maintained for optimum performance, rather than simply fixing individual problems when they occur. This way it will be less likely to breakdown. This is the essence of Preventative HR!
Do you have a thorough recruitment process in place? To be working in a preventative way you must have comprehensive job descriptions and clear views about what skills new employees must have and what you need them to do. Likewise, when people join your business you need to ensure you induct them properly. Even skilled and highly experienced employees need to understand the unique ways in which you conduct business in order to prevent mistakes.
Performance management plays a key role in Preventative HR. Include a probation period in every contract of employment to set the foundation of your relationship and a benchmark for future performance. Set on-going objectives for each employee and get into the habit of giving feedback regularly both informally as part of your appraisal process, this will give you the chance to give praise for work well done and identify instances of poor performance before they become major issues.
Communication, communication, communication. Keep your staff informed about how the business is doing, what can they do to help and how their job fits into the bigger picture this will ensure they feel valued, engaged and focussed on the success of the company. Similarly listen to their needs and aspirations and encourage training and development opportunities that help employees reach their full potential. In return turn they will perform better and make a bigger contribution to the overall success of the business.
Finally, be a good boss! When your employees leave they will tell everyone what a great company you were to work for. There is no better advertising than that!