The Bright Seven Sector Model: HR
Posted on 25th October 2021 at 14:43
The next stage of our Bright Seven Sector model focuses on HR. We’ve already talked about the importance of leadership, management, finance, and operations in growing a business.
When we talk about Human Resources in this sector, we’re referring to the people that make up your workforce. Knowing how to utilise the knowledge and skills within your business and place staff in the right positions is key to keeping your business functioning.
It’s also crucial to set high standards so your team knows what is expected of them. Without clearly defined standards, your team can’t perform to their full potential.
This sector is split into five different levels to help you improve your grasp on human resources as you grow. To define each level, we use the acronym HUMAN.
Let’s break down each level and look at the strategies you can use to improve this sector of your business.
Sector 5: HR
1. HR Framework
The most basic level of HR is the implementation of an HR Framework. This framework is a clear set of boundaries and structures that show your team what you expect from them when they are representing your company.
There are a few different elements included in the HR framework. Make sure you have each in place:
The job description
Included is the job description which sets out what the job role entails and how they are expected to carry out their roles. This isn’t just the basic skills needed for the job but also the attitude and performance indicators that come with it.
Your HR framework should also include an organisation chart that shows who fits where so you know exactly who to delegate tasks to and who is in charge of different areas of the business.
With this structure in place, it’s much easier to onboard new employees. From day one, they’ll know who they are supposed to report to and what is expected of them in their new role.
Basic policies and handbook
Your basic policies should be included in employee contracts and outline the legalities of your business. We regularly work with businesses in mechanical and electrical (M&E) industries as well as fire and security industries (F&S), so these policies are crucial for outlining health and safety practices.
Each employee should also be given a copy of a business handbook. This will include your policies as well as best practices to help them fit within your culture much more quickly.
Within your HR framework, outline your procedure for employee appraisals. I recommend carrying out in-depth, one-hour appraisals once every six months, as well as a quick, 15-minute check-in every quarter.
These regular meetings allow you to dig deep into what you expect from your employees, what you want them to achieve, what they’ve already accomplished, and where they need to improve.
The aim is to make employees feel happier leaving the appraisal than when they walked in - it should be a positive experience in which they feel rewarded and appreciated.
Many businesses make the mistake of making appraisals an opportunity to criticise staff and demand more than their job title entails. Make yours an opportunity for growth and ensuring each member of your team is in the right role.
When you have a good appraisal practice in your HR framework, it quickly becomes obvious which employees aren’t in the right roles or helping to progress your business.
This is where a solid management strategy needs to be implemented. After an appraisal, you might discover find a person on your team needs to have a performance improvement plan to get them on the right track. In this case, it’s much easier to have a policy already in place to retrain that member of staff in a structured way. This is known as managing up.
If, after an improvement plan, your employee hasn’t improved or isn’t hitting the required targets, this is where managing out comes into play. Bad employees drag down the good performance of others, so have a clear strategy within your HR framework for removing dead weight where needed.
It’s always better to have a gap in your business than a member of staff performing badly. Don’t be afraid to remove employees who aren’t meeting expectations - with a solid HR framework, onboarding a new team member will be much easier.
One of my clients made the difficult decision to let a member of staff go that wasn’t supporting the business. After some time, that person came back and thanked him for letting him go. They were much happier in a job they loved and were thriving in their new field.
When people are in the wrong place in your business, they won’t perform well. You need to make sure you have the best people in the right positions doing the right things to help your business grow.
The last section of your HR framework is your recruitment funnel. Map out a clear recruitment process to make onboarding new members of staff much simpler. This not only ensures you are attracting the right people to the right roles, but it also makes your business look more attractive to potential recruits.
The recruitment process will look different for different companies, but a structured starting point will look like this:
● Start with telephone interviews to narrow down your search before you spend time with people in person.
● Next, move on to a group interview to talk about the company and find out more about potential recruits without the need to schedule dozens of individual meetings.
● Create a standardised application form to compare different recruits more quickly.
● In-depth, one-to-one interviews with the best candidates (this should include taking them on-site to evaluate their interactions with existing staff).
● A thorough reference check to ensure they recruit is who they say they are.
With a solid recruitment process, you’ll have a curated team of only the very best people. This breeds a positive culture that people want to be part of and a brilliant environment for individuals to excel within their roles.
Once you have a new recruit in your business, they should be put through a preliminary induction program. This is a three-month probation period where you check in on day one, week one, month one, and month three to ensure the new team member is fitting in well and meeting your standards.
In his book, Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh talks about how he offers each new recruit $2000 not to stay in his business after they’ve done their induction. This is a way of ensuring the person is fully committed to the company and the culture they have built. By turning down that money, they are showing a passion for the business. If they take the cash, it’s money well spent because that person was never right for the role.
The next level of our HUMAN model is unity. Once you have a clear framework in place that clearly shows what you expect from your team and the culture you want to create, the next step is uniting your team and making sure everyone understands the ethos of your business.
It’s hugely important to get people behind your values and to pull together toward collective goals. Having this unity means your team can work cohesively and without friction. Having just one person who isn’t committed to the culture you’re developing creates an anchor that holds the business back.
In Simon Sinek’s book, Why? he talks about the importance of getting people to understand the culture of your business and why they buy into it. He also talks about how this has a knock-on effect on your customer base. The culture of a business attracts customers, so having a positive culture you are proud of means great customers who are a joy to do business with.
A client of mine found the pandemic incredibly difficult to navigate and his business was put under immense pressure because of the changes. But he told me it was the company culture that helped them pull through; his team supported each other, communicated well through Slack, and were able to stay focused and get back on track when they were able - all because they were proud of their roles in the company and didn’t want to see it suffer.
The culture is the glue that unites your business so it’s crucial to have a culture that your team can all get behind and support.
Once you have figured out your company values, put them up on your notice boards, have them on computer screens, consistently refer to them in meetings. And use these as a basis for decisions to move your company forward.
Your values should become the DNA of your business, the thread that unites your team and draws in the right clients - all helping to create a business you are proud to lead.
The third level of HR is the multiplication of your HR resources. This means using your new recruitment system to grow your team so you don’t have to be the person at the centre of every decision. Having people in charge of HR and recruitment means your business can expand when it needs to without your constant input.
Even if you’re currently running a small business, multiplying your team should be a tiered process so you constantly have managers and leaders in place overseeing the growth. And with a structured recruitment process already mapped out, you can be sure your company is bringing in the right people at the right time.
The cost of hiring the wrong people is extremely expensive, so getting the right people is crucial. No matter what your onboarding process looks like - whether it’s personality testing, emotional intelligence testing, trial periods, etc. - focus on multiplying strategically with only the very best people.
The fourth letter in our HUMAN model is A for achievement. The level is figuring out how to create more performance achievement within your business.
Every business needs to have performance management across every sector - not just the sales team, but each department. There should be metrics that measure, manage, and reward progress to keep each member of staff aiming for success.
A bonus structure of some kind is popular, other companies make every team member a partner with shares (like John Lewis).
Whatever strategy you decide is best for your business, it should encourage everyone to perform at their best and aim for tangible metrics. Reward and celebrate achievements to encourage others to put the effort in and create a culture that puts a spotlight on your employees when they are doing well.
Having this positive culture weaving through your human resources means people won’t just show up for work for a paycheck - they’ll be invested in performing well and pushing the company forward.
In the final level of our human resources sector, we talk about having a ninja in your business. This is a high-level expert in HR who knows how to put the best policies in place and make sure you’re protected.
Your HR director will be in charge of hiring new team members, implementing the best training strategies, and encouraging great performance. They know how to foster an effective team and giving people the tools they need to achieve within their roles.
Ultimately, the HR director will turn your business into a people factory, an academy that provides the best learning opportunities for your employees to grow and move through the ranks to higher management positions.
We refer to your HR director as a ninja because you have very little input in their operations. They are stealthy, silent, creating a positive environment and work culture behind the scenes. You’ll know they are doing a great job when you have a business that runs smoothly, is a great place to be, and have a successful team that’s happy to be in it.
Sector Six: Marketing
So far in the Bright Seven Sector Model, we’ve talked about the crucial sectors within your business you need to have working smoothly to grow and expand your business without running into bottlenecks.
Now you have these parts of the business running more smoothly, it’s time to look at the external side of your business - marketing.
Many of our clients struggle with being consistent in their marketing efforts and aren’t sure where to allocate their marketing budget for the best results.
In the next section of our guide, we’ll dive into the crux of marketing your business and how you can optimise this sector to help bring in a consistent stream of new clients.
Watch the video below to learn even more about HR
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