Solutions to the Top 3 HR headaches!

Being an employer or small business owner means that you often wear many different hats of responsibility. This does offer variety to the day job but naturally over time the weight of responsibility can be tiring, overwhelming and potentially lead you to more problems.

As HR Consultants we know a lot about wearing the HR hat! We understand the challenges HR can bring particularly when you are growing. Through our experience we can guide you to appropriate solutions.

We’ve picked the top 3 HR headaches that organisations like yours often experience, and how to tackle them!

Solutions to the Top 3 HR headaches!

1. Organisation

HR becomes a minefield if you’re disorganised. When you are a sole trader or just taking on your first employee, the need for an organised system isn’t so apparent. You may have a paper file or folder stored on your computer. Requests that require approval can simply be agreed in a conversation.

As the number of employees grow, formalised processes become key to making HR manageable. Files only accessible by one person on one machine becomes more of a hindrance as opposed to highly secure. As more teams become established, processes can easily become adapted by their managers to suit them and then confusion adds to the mix whereby staff don’t know the right rules to follow.

No matter what size your team is, take ownership of organising it well from the start. Make 2020 the year that you focus on getting HR processes documented, streamlined and effective. Make it the year that staff feel confident, rewarded and engaged.

Where would we start?

  1. Get documenting! Ensure that everyone sings from the same hymn sheet by documenting processes for common tasks e.g. welcoming a new starter, reporting a sickness absence, or requesting annual leave.

  2. Invest in a digital HR system such as BreatheHR – remove the barriers of access to a single machine by utilising the benefits of HR software based in the Cloud. You can control what access rights staff have dependent on their responsibilities. Most importantly, staff can become responsible for updating their personal details as and when they change, and many more processes can be streamlined.

  3. Tackle one area at a time. It can be overwhelming to try and improve everything in one go. Break up the different areas of HR and tackle them one-by-one. This may give you an opportunity to bring in help from your managers or even to delegate.

If you still feel stuck on where to start and need some pointers, give our team a call - 01722 325833.

2. Compliance

Employment Law is there to protect both the employer and the employee. Therefore it shouldn’t be viewed in a negative light or as a barrier to be overcome. If you follow the latest legislation, then this won’t be a headache for very long.

If you’re unsure where to start, or perhaps with the dawn of the New Year you fancy a review and refresh, we recommend taking a look at all your employment and HR documents.

  1. Gather all documents in one place so you know what you have in existence and can immediately spot any gaps. Create a record of what you have.

  2. Have you realised there are several versions/edits of the same document? Identify the most up to date and file the rest away so that they are no longer used.

  3. Review the documents and take note of when they were last updated. Add to your record of documents a date for ‘last updated’.

  4. Once updated, store these versions in a central place so everyone can access them. Any previous versions should be stored separately – make it clear to your managers that use of out of date documents is not permitted.

  5. Make sure you issue updated copies of essential documents to those who have not received them.

It’s also important to have a record of when an employee receives these HR documents and, where relevant, a declaration that they have read them. Our recommendation is to hold a digital record of this declaration. You can use a written declaration but obviously you will still need to store that record somewhere.

By having a digital record it is likely to be quicker and easier for you to find, and will save time with filing a paper trail.

Systems such as BreatheHR also allow you to track and record when an employee has viewed the document as well as record their declaration. It can also be an effective delivery tool for when updated documents are issued. We can show you how it works and you can trial the system for 14 days without obligation. Just get in touch - call 01722 325833 or email

Remember, compliance isn’t a one-off task. Legislation evolves each year so it’s vital that you keep on top of legislative updates. Typically ‘significant’ updates to legislation fall inline with the new tax year, so always keep an eye out for updates in the run up to April each year.

We hold free Employment Law updates during the year – the next one is 11th March 2020.

We also offer a service whereby we review and update your HR documents on an annual basis

- you can find full details here.

3. Time Management

Managing your HR admin and processes effectively does take time. Cutting corners by not following all processes may save you some time in the short-term but in the long-term it could become more damaging.

For example:

  • When recruiting a new member of staff, ensure that you’ve thought thoroughly about the requirements for the new person and the role they will be fulfilling. If you aren’t specific, then you could end up recruiting for a replacement within a short space of time if the successful candidate finds the job in reality is different to that advertised.

  • If a staff member is sick, have a process of recording the absence. If there is a pattern of absence you may wish to have a chat with them about it, to see if there’s any support needed at work to help them. Equally, having a clear record of absence is essential if there is ever a dispute about performance and sick leave. It could save you a lot of time hunting for evidence!

  • Moving to a digital HR system will require an investment of more time upfront, but in the long run you will get that time back, and more! Calculate how much time is spent on paper-trail or manual processes such as holiday requests, performance review reporting, sickness reporting. Digital systems such as BreatheHR can automate so much of that, saving you and your teams hours!

Do your team leaders and managers understand the importance of following the HR processes you've created? Would they benefit from leadership training to focus and grow their skills as effective leaders?

Our 3-Day Team Leadership Skills Course covers the core qualities and skills of an effective team leader. It takes a practical approach to leadership on the front-line and will equip delegates with essential tools, skills and knowledge to take back to the workplace. Our upcoming course dates are:

  • 21 - 23 January 2020

  • 31 March - 2 April 2020

  • 6/13/20 May 2020

Email today if you would like to book on.

Are you suffering from HR headaches?

If you feel you’re at the point where too much of your time is being spent on HR admin then there are two options:

  1. You could employ an HR professional to do this work for you. This option will depend on what budget you have to employ them with, whether as a full or part time role.

  2. You could outsource some or all your HR needs to a consultant like us. This will save you time with recruiting and can also be a more cost-effective way to bring the required HR expertise into your organisation. Outsourced support can be for specific areas such as HR documentation or it can be one of our monthly retainers where a variety of areas are covered.

You can read more about our HR retainers here or simply give us a call and we’ll have a confidential chat about your needs - 01722 325833. You can also contact us by email using

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