HR is an important function for any business to ensure it is set up in compliance of the Fairwork Act 2019 (Cth) and Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Not doing so comes with risks that could develop into serious consequences legally, for the business and Directors themselves. HR ensures the business processes and documents used through the employee lifecycle from hire to retire are established fairly and consistently for both the employer and employee. Policies ensure everyone knows what to expect and the processes they need to follow to maintain a happy, healthy, and safe workplace.
However, HR is now more than just compliance. It’s also about building a compelling employee proposition – why would someone join your business? It’s about defining your employment brand, business culture, defining critical skills, your workforce plan, ways to maintain a high performing, happy and safe workplace to minimise turnover and reduce disengagement or disenfranchised employees which can be a real cost to the business.
I would like to introduce you to a client. Truvelli* is a small business that was established at the kitchen table with lots of blood, sweat and tears and many highs and lows. Over the years, the business continued to grow, and the founder employed more people to meet the business needs and moved into a new fit for purpose premises. We met the client during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The business owner was exhausted and overwhelmed with the time consuming and difficult task of interpreting the FairWork Act, Worksafe and Government compliance requirements around COVID, as well as running the business day to day to ensure it continued to operate profitably. The business was like a family, and their employees were anxious and concerned with what the pandemic meant for them and the business. They were now a sizeable business with 27 people working with them in various roles. They had worked tirelessly to build and maintain a good business, but realised they no longer had the capacity and capability in HR, and now needed HR support.
What we established was Truvelli had grown so quickly, not all employees had employment contracts, if they did, they were in different formats and had different terms and conditions and there were no workplace policies and procedures. We were quickly able to gather the required information, create a standard employment contract, transition all employees to a new contract and provide a suite of supporting policies and procedures for the business.
We created into an employee handbook that had a section all about the business – their mission and business goals, an overview of their clients, the business values, how the business worked together and their products. The policies and procedures were framed in a section about what the business needed from their employees, what they as a business would do for their employees and working effectively with their customers. This allows all employees to work effectively whether onsite or not.
We are now helping them with a section on performance and remuneration – this introduces the performance cycle, how and when it occurs, what is measured and how remuneration is linked to performance.
At Accru Melbourne we support business owners to optimise their workforce effectiveness and can help make your business a safe place and a great place to work. If you are a business owner, please contact us if you need HR support, we are here to support you.
*Name changed for privacy.