HR Basics
Join us as we sit down with Nyla Shafiq, the People and Culture Manager at Exo Digital, to get the lowdown on Human Resources 101 for small and medium businesses.

Nyla views her role in Exo Digital as acting as a buffer between the business and the team. She tries to bring both sides to the table by understanding the business side of things from the Director and Founder of Exo Digital, Robert Wijaya, understanding what’s happening within the team and figuring out a way to make them work together.

The point at which a business owner needs to bring in an HR expert

Knowing when to pull the trigger on hiring an expert is dependent on numbers within the business.

In a team of 10 or more people, communication and managing so many stakeholders can become overwhelming.

Everyone has different expectations, but it’s helpful to have a People & Culture person to provide a different perspective and clarity on company expectations.

At this point, it might not be justifiable for a full-time role, but having a consultant to discuss these questions can be beneficial.

Once you have a team of 20 or more people, you can justify bringing in a full-time person.

It’s too much to solely put on the business owner at this point. They need to focus on growing the business. It leads to the people side of things often being forgotten or pushed off, leading to a high rate of turnover.

Consulting with an expert to implement policies and procedures

It’s essential to have someone there to bring up ideas and ensure that ongoing challenges amongst the team are being discussed.

Creating a place where the team wants to be is crucial and is sometimes difficult to achieve as a small business.

Often, business owners are determined to grow the business but forget that providing some structure and support to their team is just as important. That’s where it’s helpful to have someone to support you.

Policies to take into consideration for any business of any size

It’s hard to pin down specific policies. It’s more about sharing the process or method or what happens in certain scenarios. It comes down to communication and having that material available to the team.

For example: If you have a large team of sales folks, there will be things like travel, reimbursements and expenses, so you need to be sharing or creating the process around this.

If teams are growing and there’s a lot of work to be done, what’s the process in allocating resources? Do we want to invest in freelancers? Do we want to grow out teams? What is the best way to discuss options?

Nyla Shafiq

Providing that platform to share ideas and comment on what the business might be lacking is critical. It doesn’t have to be formal, just ensuring the team understands there is support available, and there is a process to acquire that support. 

The importance of communication

It all comes back to communication. Sometimes it’s just a silly thing of telling the team that something is okay and encouraging them to talk about it.

Nyla Shafiq

Sometimes it makes a difference to let them know that they can come to you with ideas or concerns. Communication and being open with the team is crucial.

The essentials of managing team progress and achieving goals within individual roles

For People and Culture, we can guide Line Managers through the admin process, but in terms of feedback and career development it’s always best to get that advice from your Line Manager.

Nyla Shafiq

That’s the person that you’re working with the most. They know the most about what your day to day looks like, what your challenges are, how you started with the business and how much you’ve grown in the last six months to a year. That feedback is a lot more valuable than People and Culture sharing what they think about your work.

In terms of being on the people side of things, they can provide that platform and advise on team views or thoughts on processes depending on the team’s challenges and cultures.

What does the team need from them, and what would be valuable? If performance issues or a challenging teammate comes up, they can advise on those areas too.

HR 101 in a nutshell

Getting somebody in on a contract or full-time basis to support the business owner gives the business the best support possible to manage the Line Managers and the wider team.

They also provide fundamentals in terms of admin, procedures, frameworks and all of the support needed to ensure that all of the people within the business are set up for success.

Get the processes and procedure right. Consult with an HR expert if possible. Maintain clear, open communication channels. When you’re ready to bring an expert on full-time, make sure they understand your challenges and can set up all the different admin and support mechanisms for the team to keep growing.

Paris Goodwin – Marketing Manager at Exo Digital

Exo Digital can help you streamline your online offering to support business growth. Book an info session or give us a call on 1300 929 992 for more information.

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