Operating a small business can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster. Unexpected challenges take you through a series of ups and downs, making it seem almost impossible to keep up or establish balance. And at the center of it all, there’s you—the executive. It can frequently feel like everyone’s relying on you to keep things on track. So how do you become that anchor point for your organization and make sure your company doesn’t go off the rails? Consider people-oriented leadership.
You may be tempted to just think about business goals and operational efficiency, but challenge yourself to go down a different path. The real secret to leading a small organization successfully and doing more with less won’t be found if you crunch the numbers one more time. Instead, it comes when you apply focus to HR practices that drive culture as well as operations, and center company-wide decisions on what your people need both personally and professionally. People-oriented leadership is the glue that can help hold your organizations and its people together.
Since you’re already on the rollercoaster, let’s look at three quick tips for how you can get back on track and enjoy the ride.
3 People-Oriented Leadership Tips for SMBs
1. Communicate Clearly With HR
Whether you’ve hired a dedicated resource to focus on HR or distributed HR functions to other roles, your SMB team probably needs things they’re not asking for. To understand where those gaps in communication are and how you can help HR help your people and the organization, you have to start an ongoing dialogue. The goal is to reconcile the language you use to discuss business goals and strategies with how HR talks about their workload and priorities.
Here are some questions to spark that conversation:
- Which back-office HR tasks are eating up the most time for the team?
- What opportunities do we have to make operational processes like pay and time more competitive to attract and keep talent?
- How can our talent strategy fuel a stand-out culture and a positive employer brand?
- How am I arming my HR experts with visibility into key organizational goals and putting those goals in terms they can easily relate to?
There are clear, tangible benefits to having this kind of transparent relationship with HR. In fact, recent research from UKG and HR.com proves that HR professionals who have insight into business strategy are three times more likely to make it easier for you as an executive to tie your people data (hiring trends, employee feedback and workforce composition) to larger business goals.
2. Align People and Business
There are a variety of potential interaction points with your people that can have both cultural and operational ripple effects. Building a place where people want to work means getting rid of the idea that the people and work systems you use are mutually exclusive. Instead, you need to identify the key moments and milestones that define the life-work journey for your employees and recognize how the actions you take in those moments can craft a stand-out culture and gain operational efficiencies at the same time.
3. Build Trust and Boost Operations With HCM Technology
Every human capital management (HCM) technology investment at a small organization needs to be weighed carefully so you ensure you’re maximizing your time and getting the most value out of the HCM solution you choose. So how do you find a fast path to tools that both promote a culture of trust and belonging and deliver operational efficiencies?
The evaluation process really boils down to only three factors:
- Experience: How do you give people confidence in the technology you choose and get them to want to use it? Look for an all-in-one-solution to manage the employee lifecycle that applies changes everywhere at once, takes into account all your data and flows procedures for different areas into one another automatically. This makes operations faster, but more importantly, it inspires a sense of trust.
- Guidance: How are you using the workforce data you have? When you’re juggling a bunch of priorities, it’s critical that your technology supports you at the right times with advice and recommended actions (like a timely tip on reducing fatigue for an employee who’s trending upward in that area) so you, your leaders and your people can proactively stay ahead of trends affecting the organization.
- Partnership: Rather than dropping you into your new solution and letting you figure it out, how much is your vendor willing to step up consistently to help you succeed? Look for an HR partner for life that provides the right services at every stage—from implementation to training to support—so that you’re getting the most from your investment and applying the latest cultural and operational standards.
You get asked for a lot as the leader of a small business. As long as you take a moment to make sure your approach toward people-oriented leadership doesn’t get tossed out of the coaster, you’ll see a host of beneficial results at the end of the track.
Pair People-Oriented Leadership With Quanta
At Quanta, we’re more than just an HR and payroll company: we’re a people company. That’s why we’ve created an all-in-one solution to help you manage the employee lifecycle. Our HCM suite, separated into HR, time and attendance and payroll modules makes your business–and your day to day–easier.
Contact us to learn more about how your business can be a force for good when leaders step up and give back to their employees and their organization. Our employee lifecycle specialists are waiting to help you manage your most valuable asset from pre-hire to retirement.