Focus On The Human Resources Fundamentals

Jim Blasingame

This is the second article in a series dealing with helping you stay out of the business obituaries this year, by focusing on the management fundamentals. Today's fundamentals are about the human resources (HR) issues that, in most small businesses, can use extra emphasis.

First HR fundamental: Appreciation. Here are two recent survey results regarding human resources which are interesting: 1) The number one challenge small business owners continue to report is finding and hiring qualified employees for the open assignments they have; 2) the single greatest reason employees quit is because they felt unappreciated. Money was waaaay down on the list.

These findings shout two warnings to small business owners who plan to be successful in 2007: 1) It is a seller's (employee's) market; 2) If you have good people, make sure they know you appreciate them. Tell them and show them. The next HR fundamental provides an excellent way to show your appreciation.

Next HR fundamental: Employee motivation. One of the best ways for your business to be outrageously successful is to have a management strategy that helps your employees to be successful in their individual assignments, then provide recognition for their progress. And whenever this strategy requires subordinating your ego and personal recognition to that of your employees, do it.

Remember Blasingame's First Law of Aggregation: Managers should find their success by aggregating the success of their employees.

Next HR fundamental: Identify key employees. This may be the easiest fundamental, because in a small business, every employee is key. Everyone must be competent, versatile and have a good attitude. Your company's ability to compete in the 21st century marketplace will be diminished by the same factor as the percentage of your employees who don't fit this profile.

Identify the keepers, praise them, equip them, train them and pay them well. Get rid of everybody else! Any questions?

Next HR fundamental: Training. Training is an excellent example of how technology has leveled the playing field for small businesses. Thanks to the Internet, and thousands of companies that develop and distribute convenient and affordable online training programs, small businesses can acquire training in a wide range of fields without breaking the budget, and with a minimum of lost production. Employee training is an investment.

Final HR fundamental: The environment. Make sure your company is a GREAT place to work. It is possible to focus seriously on your business while having fun at the same time.

Write this on a rock... Find and keep the right people; show them they're appreciated, invest in their training and help them to be successful in their assignments.

Jim Blasingame
Small Business Expert and host of The Small Business Advocate Show
©2008 All Rights Reserved

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