The HR Questions Small Businesses Are Asking in 2018

The pressures on small business owners are many and varied making it difficult to know what you should be focussing on for the year ahead. In this blog, we take a look at five questions small businesses are asking us when considering their HR plans for 2018.

HR Questions:

What’s the Best Way to Upskill My Existing Team?

Research form the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that SMEs are facing a growing skills gap. FSB Chairman, Mike Cherry says:
“Productivity is being hampered by nagging skills shortages which are making recruitment a nightmare for small firms. As the UK moves towards Brexit, a technical skills black hole threatens the economy.”
With staff capability crucial to the future growth of small businesses, it’s critical to ensure the skills of your workforce remain up to date. Think about working with an HR Consultant to identify any skills gaps in your business and develop a bespoke training plan. This approach will get your team up to speed and prepare them for wherever your business is headed next.

How Can I identify and Manage Sexual Harassment?

This is one of the biggest HR questions. Sexual harassment has been big news of late and this has led to a rise in the number of people reporting cases in the workplace.
While you may not think it’s a problem in your organisation, research shows that one in five women has been sexually harassed at work. If you have a young workforce, your business will be at greatest risk because cases are highest amongst women aged 18 to 24.
Failing to identify and deal with such behaviour could lead to an increase in sickness absence and makes the chances of a tribunal being brought against you more likely. Particularly now that the fees to bring a case have been removed.
Employers should be seen to be doing everything possible to guarantee the safety of their workforce. Make it clear that sexual harassment has no place in your business and ensure your anti-harassment policies are in writing and that anyone who comes forward feels supported by senior leadership.

How Can I Make HR Digital?

Digital transformation has swept through a range of sectors including retail, transport and education Now it’s time for HR to join the revolution. Digital tech and consumer marketing are informing new ways of working, recruiting, learning and engaging employees.
Integrated HR applications and software can streamline HR processes and transform employee experience via an all-inclusive hub. Your managers will also love being able to handle all HR requests – from holiday requests to annual appraisals – in one place helping them to lead more effectively and more efficiently.

How Can I Enhance Employee Experience?

As the link between employee engagement and customer experience becomes ever clearer, small business owners are recognising the importance of a happy workforce. While employee engagement isn’t exactly a metric of the past, the focus of employee engagement measures has moved on.
Instead of looking at how engaged employees are through the eyes of the business, leaders are  examining their team’s experience from their team’s point of view. A key component of this approach is to stay connected with your employees and understand changing attitudes and feelings about the workplace.
Large firms are pointing the way by asking their people what they think about:

  • The physical working environment
  • The tools and equipment they are asked to use
  • How they learn best at work
  • What kind of support they would like with their financial education
  • How they prefer to receive communications
  • Work culture

Try this approach with your workforce to inform HR activities like training interventions or when considering an office move. You’ll still achieve your end goal but you’ll be keeping your employees happy too.

What Do I need to Know About Worker Status?

A number of big court cases have raised even more questions about worker status making it more important than ever for SMEs to be on their toes when hiring services from the self-employed.
If you don’t want to end up like Uber, you need to conduct a review of any arrangements you have in place for services delivered by freelancers, contractors or the self-employed. For full details on what you need to know, take a look at our blog posts on this topic.
If you would like to ask any more HR questions or would like a chat about how you can overcome any of the challenges in this article, contact Tercus HR on 0330 555 1139 or email at