When I started my own business, there was one thing I learned pretty quickly — I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

I knew this was the biggest risk to my business, so I started talking to experts and essentially picking their brains. I would ask for assessments of my website, social media activity, package structure, pricing, and more. When tax time came around, I obtained advice from an Accountant.

I truly believe that the expert advice and feedback I was able to receive is what led to the success of my small business.

The same is true when a small business owner starts to hire employees. Typically, small business owners have expertise in their own industry. They may hire a bookkeeper or accountant to manage the financial aspect, and may even engage a marketing or sales consultant.

However, all too often small business owners try to “wing” the people side of things.

The result? It costs them thousands and lands them in court. Even worse, they end up with non-performing talent that limits or hinders the success of their business.

However, this can all be avoided with a workplace assessment.

How does it work?

Every HR Consultant likely has a different approach, but my assessment package starts with looking at the culture, current policies & practices, and total compensation structure. I gather direct feedback from the employees, through meetings with the management team, employee focus groups, and/or pulse surveys.

This allows me to determine the current state of the organization, and uncover the opportunities for improvement. While best practices should be a consideration, I don’t support implementing human resource programs just for the sake of doing it.

A good consultant will identify the need first, and then rely on best practices and/or innovative solutions to address the issue while ensuring alignment with your company’s culture.

Beware of the consultant that tries to sell you a solution before diagnosing the concerns — it won’t work!

What is the outcome?

A workplace assessment should provide an actionable strategy that fits the needs and culture of your organization. You’ll have the option to implement the solutions on your own or engage an expert.

At the end of the day, you will know what you didn’t know, and that alone will significantly increase your chances of success.

And, the good news is that even if you’re an established business, it’s never too late. The only thing worse than doing it wrong for 10 years, is doing it wrong for 10 years and 1 day.

For more information on what a workplace assessment looks like, click here.

Sarah Mullins is the founder of uptreeHR, a Halifax based human resource consulting firm that is passionate about helping business owners manage their people, set clear expectations, and increase performance. We truly believe you can treat your employees well, create an amazing culture, and not break the bank.

To book a complimentary 30 minute consult with Sarah, click here.

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