This is the non-negotiable part of HR. Employers cannot reduce their expenditure on legal compliance when it comes to their people and meeting their employment obligations.
- Prevention is better than defence! Defending legal claims made by an employee against an employer is far more costly that preventing them occurring in the first place; this can be achieved by ensuring that all employees are employed under the right employment contract and the employer is meeting their minimum legal obligations.
- Train a member of your existing team to be responsible for the workplace health and safety responsibilities for your workplace to reduce your reliance on external providers.
- Automate your induction and recruitment processes to ensure greater legal compliance.
- Effectively communicate changes in the business. If you are stopping or deferring investment in the business this may be viewed negatively by employees so be sure to present the business case for such decisions openly.
- Ensure you are meeting your legal minimum requirements when it comes to paying employee redundancy packages, seek HR advice before proceeding with redundancies so avoid costly disputes in the future.
- Replace farewell gifts and leaving celebrations with more intimate morning teas or in-house events, which employees can cater for.
For those organisations that are fortunate enough to have an in-house HR function, it is critically important that HR is focused on the current priorities and requirements of the business. This may mean that the HR agenda that existed a year ago in boom times is put on hold so the organisation can respond to any new challenges they are facing.
—Tina Radford is managing director of HR Business Solutions (www.hrbs.com.au).
Motivate staff without spending a cent
There are many ways employers can retain and motivate employees without added overheads. You just need to get creative. Employers need to increase recognition and praise to their employees; it costs nothing and can make a big difference to employee morale. Think outside the box; issue thank you cards to employees for doing a good job, they are meaningful but inexpensive. Get the whole team involved by replacing costly employee events with lower cost family days where employees can bring a plate and the company can organise the event to promote a work-life balance. Make sure everyone in the company is a part of the change. Introduce boardroom lunches and morning teas for informal inter-company networking which is a more cost effective alternative to paying for external networking opportunities.