What begins as a passion, and is then made profitable by hard work and talent, can eventually become a near unmanageable multi-headed hydra worthy of Greek mythology.
That’s the burden a successful small business owner faces in a digital age where smart SEO and putting a little thought into how a company presents itself online can give a local company a customer base that’s nationwide.
Suddenly an owner who had one great idea has to become a leader of many, capable of making decisions on everything from supply-chain economics to staff sick leave entitlements.
While it’s always a good idea to delegate, there comes a point where delegation starts evolving into additional salaries that overwhelm company growth. That’s when it’s time to start making the most of what remote video conferencing can do for the internal operations of a growing business.
Online Human Resources
The easiest way to ease the burden on a multi-tasking workforce is to identify the core operations of the company–the parts essential to creating a product or providing a service, and then streamline all other facets.
And the most common candidate for shrinkage is the human services department. In fact, around 85% of businesses are already outsourcing at least part of their HR functions. Payroll and 401K responsibilities have long been outsourced to expert providers and fund managers, while there are a plethora of recruitment agencies that thrive on whittling down employment candidates to a manageable handful so a business can make a final decision.
But there are many other facets of an HR department that keep a business of any size running smoothly. These include staff training, dispute resolution, performance review, annual and sick leave management, and asset management and auditing.
Remotely sourcing some of those tasks can be trickier if a business doesn’t want end up spending as much on external providers as they would on an additional staff salary.
Video conferencing, however, can make the task much easier.
Virtual HR on Demand
We’ve written before about using video conferencing to employ remote specialists for specific, on-demand business administration tasks, such as minute keeping in meetings. And the same notion applies to HR services.
Say it’s annual performance review time for a company that employs around a dozen core staff. Without a full-time HR person the burden of creating and conducting those reviews will generally fall to the business owner. And they’ve no doubt got a lot on their plate as it is.
Instead, a remote HR professional could be brought into the office for a few days via video conference to plow through everyone’s goals and grievances in a more dedicated manner.
And let’s be clear, remotely contracting an HR professional is not a technological challenge. At least 70% of the U.S. has access to broadband internet, and that’s enough to power HD video conferencing on a departmental scale, let alone a basic one-on-one chat.
With access to employee records, following a briefing from the top, an HR pro should be able to turn around a thorough staff review in less time than it takes to sing Happy Birthday and distribute the cake on a staff member’s birthday.
Even a high-end HR contractor’s fee for a few days’ work isn’t going to break the bank, and it may even be comparable to the downtime it saves the business owner. And with the owner out of the conversation a virtual performance review is likely to be more honest and worthwhile.
Video Outsourcing Eases the Business Owner’s Burden
Apply that VC-powered mentality to a host of other HR functions, and an owner can radically trim their non-core business responsibilities.
Staff initiation can become something more akin to onboarding with a dedicated HR person able to give new employees a thorough grounding in what the company is and how the employee’s role fits the operation. There’s even opportunity for the HR contractor to check-in with staff as they grow into their role, giving them an impartial mentor to speak to via VC.
And that impartiality could be an asset during any low-level internal dispute resolution. Again, all parties could meet easily over a video call, and, without getting into legally binding territory, discuss matters with an impartial, expert moderator in attendance. You can even record the entire discussion, in case you end up entering that legal territory after all, as many VC providers now provide the service as standard.
It’s the kind of assistance that helps lift some of the working burden from a small business owners’ shoulders, without introducing a new financial burden.
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