It is quite a thing with personnel matters: especially in small- and medium- sized enterprises, there is either not enough capacity or on the contrary, a department which is oversized and therefore functions in a way that is too bureaucratic. If structures are not made for smooth processes, the course is bogged down – Human Resources get stuck instead of supporting the whole company. But what needs to be done?
What is rather obvious, is at times not as easy to achieve: critical examination, harsh mending, providing proper capacities, outsourcing time-consuming tasks. This is what I am going to be doing for you. I come up with ways to spruce up your personnel topics – from accounting and employee support through to the processes and structures of Human Resource Management, properly fitted to your current corporate situation – in a way that Human Resources can meaningfully support the strategy of your company.
There will definitely be results in the end. Read more about how I have pushed these topics forward in cooperation with my customers.
Which kind of Human Resource work you need, is greatly dependent on the phase your company is in at the moment – are you growing, are your restructuring, are you well established, or are you still developing?
Human Resource Management is obliged to support the business strategy. As these strategies usually have a different focus in any company, personnel work has to fit closely. And this is exactly where I come in: I am usually called into action, should …
Most important for these topic: Human Resource Management is supposed to help bring forth the whole company and enable employees and executives to achieve the corporate goals. Human Resource work is a means to an end for this. Nothing more – but also nothing less.
Should Human Resource work be supposed to support the corporate strategy, it is not enough to just manage the employees. In fact, the whole field has to be seized according to the corporate goals. From personnel administration to personnel organisation, all topics have to be addressed: personnel support and payroll management, personnel development and employee satisfaction, recruiting and personnel marketing, labour law and personnel planning, communication and health management.
For me, it is important to actually see results – even though this might be inconvenient in the first place. And this is exactly what my previous clients have experienced:
In a professional textile cleaning company with about 30 employees, the wages had to be adapted to the minimum wage. In fact, the salaries exceeded the minimum wage, yet the hourly rate was respectively too low to meet the legal regulations. The challenge was to rise the basic wage to the legal standard without substantially increasing the total staff costs. At the same time, it was important not to frustrate the employees, but rather motivate them.
This is why we implemented a further variable salary component as an additional performance incentive. In this way, hardworking employees were rewarded and those who had been less committed, were given a notable motivator to make an effort and were also able to have an influence on getting a better payment themselves. Because the interest of the company management was clearly recognisable: the employees were ought to make good money. Moreover, we completely disclosed the new wage structure. Hence, it became transparent and comprehensible for everyone in the company – which seemed fair. And the employees accepted it well.
The sales manager of an internet wholesale company with 70 employees was repeatedly having difficulties of clearly guiding the employees. Some of the staff did not take him seriously. Thus, I had a few conversations with him, coached him on how to conduct discussions more decisively: with appreciation for the employee’s arguments, yet also with clarity. The sales manager had to learn how to delegate the suggestions of his employees and not undertake the execution himself.
I accompanied him in some of the dialogues he had – and in the end I was able to show him where his employees instrumentalised him without him knowing. I showed him a way to set boundaries to that. And immediately the dialogues changed and he was able to promptly apply the new knowledge. During the course of the coaching, we developed a guideline that will help him through future dialogues.
A few things got mixed up in the Human Resource Department of a system provider for transport- and load restraint with 80 employees. Over the past years, the company had grown and the executive board had left the employees more or less alone with their work. It was then necessary to bring a new routine into the department, get processes straight and slim them down at the same time. So, I took a closer look into which existing processes were actually needed and turned chaos into order. Additionally, we decided to outsource the payroll and established a new workflow accordingly.
In a Sales- und Service- company for industrial printers, initially the assistant to the executive manager was entrusted with personnel topics. After the company had grown, it was simply not enough to have Human Resources done “one the fly”. It was necessary to establish a new department for these matters. I temporarily undertook the department. As a starting point, we systemised the administrative processes: switched the reference files to binders and additionally set up digital personnel files – with a standardised labelling, for everything to be found easily. We implemented an Excel-based employee-database, as well as an Excel-based overtime recording.
During the growth-phase, the position of an in- house recruiter had to be created, as well as the recruiting process itself. After the department had been whipped into shape, I hired a recruiter and a personnel assistant. After the young team had been trained, a Human Resource Manager was sought and found, and I was able to pass the field on.
The personnel assistant of a manufacturer in tool making retired. She alone had been responsible for topics concerning Human Resources. So, the company had the opportunity of restructuring the whole field in the future. With 50 employees, the company was standing at a turning point: Were more capacities for HR needed? Or should there be even more outsourcing? Initially, we had to balance the books: What was available in the different HR- areas, what should be kept up and what should be simplified, what should be changed entirely and what could be dropped out? In an overview of the whole field, we set priorities and therefrom construed the schedule for the year to come.
My concept for the new structure resulted in a part- time vacancy, with an option for an extension within the next years – depending on the corporate growth. Therefore, the administration was simplified and its effort was reduced to a minimum. In the area of personnel development, we initially planned a division of the responsibilities: the employees managed the systems; the executives were responsible for the implementation. Payroll accounting and holiday administration remained located within accounting, as there were enough capacities available. Recruitment was not necessary at that time; still, we already got in touch with recruitment agencies. In addition, I also implemented goals and annual performance reviews – including a guideline for the executives to work with. By the end of the project, the customer had a concept at hand, which helps him to decide whether or not the company needs further resources for the Human Resource Department.
Already during my dual study programme in Business Administration at the age of 20, I qualified as a training supervisor and undertook the in-house trainings for the company I worked in. Ever since, topics concerning Human Resources took hold of me, never have I not cared about the employees. Human Resource Management is all about the people in a company – and this is what I have always been interested in. I get a good look at where companies are standing and whether their HR- department is well positioned for what the company is up to. Since a company in a phase of growth needs quite different personnel work than a well- established one or a company which has just been restructured. At times, recruiting and employee retention is important, yet sometimes the conversations have to be about moving on in different directions. However, it is always crucial for Human Resources to support the corporate strategy.
The following might seem quite peculiar: For me, the work environment, including all the paperwork, does not only have to be pragmatic, yet it should also look good. This is why I love using colours to structure everything – my reports, or files- and folder- systems. Thereby, the common thread in my reports quickly becomes apparent, the colours within the field of HR help my customers to keep order and track of everything.
Should you be interested in reading more about me, I would be delighted to send you my profile/factsheet, via e-mail.
Would you also like to approach personnel topics pragmatically? Let us talk about a possible collaboration and see whether it could be useful for your company.
Feel free to get in touch, so we can arrange a first tentative telephone appointment.