Regardless of the size of your business, there are many considerations in the fast-moving start-up environment, including:
Something that should not be overlooked is the processes to take care of your staff and satisfy your duty of care.
This starts with having behavioural policies that detail the expectations of the workplace and misconduct.
1. Misconduct against a person:
2. Misconduct against the organisation, breach of policy:
It the fast-moving environment it is dangerous to assume that your new or inexperienced employees will understand the behavioural expectations of your organisation especially when it comes to interpersonal actions.
Start-up organisations can be caught off guard and not knowing what to do when complaints are made. Having your blood pressure go through the roof at the mention of bullying or sexual harassment is very bad for your health.
In my experience, this sort of training is far too often put into the “we don’t have time for this” basket.
A manager may be very good at their jobs such as an IT Manager but have very little people skills. If they have had no training in this area the result can be bullying complaints or loss of valuable employees due to the new manger’s approach, tone, attitude, methods and general lack of people and communication skills.
I have seen this happen in start-ups where the manager is employed or promoted to get the job done without consideration of how they will interact and manage their people.
And what happens when an employee simply can cut it in the fast-moving start-up environment, are the managers equipped to have difficult conversations about performance?
HR Managers in start-ups may be working alone. In addition to skills in recruiting, leadership development, policy writing, developing and implementing HR strategies and initiatives aligned with the overall business strategy they may be required to manage employee relations issues such as grievances and complaints.
What is the priority, business strategy or people issues?
Your employees must know that they can trust the HR manager or their manager if they come to them with an issue.
Phil O’Brien, Principal, Australian Workplace Training and Investigation