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Managing Your Most Important Business Asset - People

Managing Your Most Important Business Asset - People

  • 19 August 2019
  • By OCBC Business Banking
  • 5 mins read

People are the core of any business. However, managing them can be just as difficult (or even more so) than managing the business itself. People are, after all, only human — complicated creatures with rich emotional lives and a host of competing motivations.

Small business owners have to balance the other parts of the business with the various aspects of human resource management. These include recruitment, hiring and retention, training and development, performance, payroll and benefits, cultivating a healthy workplace culture, and intra-organisational communication.

It’s difficult, but if you get it right, that’s when the business can really take off.

An Evolving Employment Landscape
The rise of freelancing and the 'gig economy' is also changing the employment landscape, adding even more complexity to the challenge of human resource management for small business owners.

Singapore's Ministry of Manpower has estimated that self-employed residents make up 8.4% of the workforce, having risen to over 220,000 — an increase of some 20,000 between 2017 and 2018. This is a large number, but still a far cry from other nations. In America, for example, an estimated 36% of workers (57 million) are part of the gig economy.

The figure in Singapore will continue to grow, as we expect some 73,000 more jobs in this sector to be created by 2030.

Three Key Areas for Succeeding at Human Resource Management
Success in human resource management is no simple task. But as the Pareto Principle states, 20% of tasks are responsible for 80% of the results. So, focus your energy toward these two key areas.

#1 Employee Retention
Interestingly, financial incentives are being taken over by other, more important factors to the Singaporean employee when it comes to things they look for in a job.

These factors include:

  • confidence in the company’s senior leadership team,
  • sufficient support from a manager regarding work-related issues,
  • career development supported by training,
  • work-life balance,
  • and opportunities to try new things.

As these don’t require nearly as much financial resources as salary increments or bonuses, they’re an easy win and are things every small business should look at to improve employees’ job satisfaction and therefore retention rates.

#2 Systematic Employee Tracking
The words 'systematic employee tracking' can seem a bit ominous, but it's nothing of the sort. Given how important your employees are to your business, it only makes sense to track metrics about them. For example, staff on annual leave, number of employees across different levels, or even employee satisfaction.

The last one might be surprising, but the data shows otherwise. A study by Korn Ferry found that firms that engage and enable their employees possibly see 4.5 times more revenue than those that don't.

#3 Making sense of the numbers
Tracking employee metrics is pointless if you’re not effectively using them to gain insights to put into action. HR reports can help to guide the business in a number of ways, such as identifying problem areas with processes or staff, or gaps where sales and workflow processes or communication could be further improved.

The bottom line is, you need numbers, and you need to be able to understand what these mean in order to use them. But how can you as a small business owner, keep an eye on the staff, and the numbers, and make sense of them all — without the support of a large dedicated human resources staff?

Enter technology.

Three Apps You Can Use for Easy and Efficient Employee Tracking
Apps can help you manage your workforce in an easy manner, and here are three that you could use.

A comprehensive employee management software that allows you to set employee schedules and tasks, track and manage time, attendance, and leave, plus handle payroll and measure performance. It includes a platform for intra-organisational collaboration and communication. Integration with Xero and QuickBooks is also supported.

It is a scalable solution, ideal for small businesses all the way up to large enterprises. Pricing is monthly and is charged on a per-user basis, depending on which features you need.

Justlogin integrates employee management with invoicing capabilities. It’s not only configurable to suit your company's exact needs, it also streamlines employee management features such as leave, timekeeping, payroll, benefits, and expenses – in a single app.

Everything is also on the cloud giving you access to your information and management capabilities anytime, anywhere. Like Deputy, pricing is monthly and charged per user.

When I Work
When I Work is the leanest option of the three. This is reflected in its pricing, which lets you use its basic features (scheduling and communication) for free for up to 75 employees. Additional paid features include attendance tracking, longer-term scheduling, and more detailed task management. It integrates with QuickBooks but not Xero. Like Deputy, its payment model is based on a per-user basis charged monthly.

Start Right. Start Digital

Keen on digitalising your human resource experience? Consider OCBC’s Start Digital bundles that provide your business with up to 12 months free subscription for selected apps.


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