Last week on Wednesday 3 April, over 50 local businesses from Salisbury and the surrounding area came together in the Guildhall for the 2019 South Wilts Business Expo.
We were delighted to be involved and take a stand at the event.
Throughout the day team members from the office were available to chat to visitors on all things HR related.
We also had a brilliant opportunity to network ourselves with our neighbouring businesses and find out about the skills and talent right on our doorstep! Thanks to the organisers Spire FM, Salisbury Chamber and Salisbury Journal for a well run event.
What were the key themes from people visiting our stand?
There were a number of questions and topics which came up from our visitors and we thought it would be really useful to summarise them.
1. Employment documents, policies and procedures
Whether you are about to take on your first or tenth employee, accurate and comprehensive employment documents are essential. They protect you and your employee and make expectations clear for everyone. We recommend all businesses have a staff handbook which outlines how everyone should behave in the business and 'sing from the same hymm sheet' if you will. If everyone knows how to report sickness or book holiday it makes communication across the business a much slicker and accurate process.
We appreciate that in the early days of employing staff you may opt for adapting a template you found online to save time (and money). The likelihood that this template is accurate enough to reflect your business is probably quite low and therefore could leave you open to a legal issue is there's a dispute between you and your employee.
Having a file of employment document templates bespoke to your business is more affordable that your realise, and can be obtained for a small monthly fee. You can find out more here.
2. HR admin - overwhelming and time consuming
We do understand that the responsibilities of HR and people management can be a bit dull. And it feels like the list of things to complete is never ending. Often when employers reach this stage it's because they feel stuck and want to release themselves from certain responsibilities so that they can focus on the areas of the business they like and enjoy (or spend it outside of the business!)
Handing over responsibility for HR doesn't mean employing a Human Resources Manager directly in the business. That actually could be a more costly and time consuming option, and delay you reaching your goal of freeing yourself from the HR admin.
Many of the business owners we spoke to were pleasantly surprised about the outsourcing options for HR management, and how cost effective it was. They would get all the benefits of a qualified HR Consultant and admin team advising and managing their HR responsibilities for a fraction of the cost of employing a HR manager.
If this is a challenge can relate to find out more about our outsourcing services here.
3. Salisbury businesses want to work together!
We were delighted to hear that so many local businesses felt that it was important to work with local service providers and suppliers. This is something we very much believe in too. It was part of the reason why we moved the office into a more central location in the heart of the city. We aim to use the services of local businesses where we can, and the South Wilts Business Expo gave us that opportunity to build more relationships and expand our local network.
So thank you to everyone who took the time to talk with us!
If you are a member of the Salisbury Chamber remember you get 20% off all our services - find out more here.