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5 HR Best Practices to Drive Small Business Growth in 2024


  • Building an employee brand that showcases your business’ culture and core values is key to attracting talent to your small business.
  • Training and development opportunities keep your workforce motivated and set them up for sustainable growth.
  • At National PEO we provide customized HR & payroll solutions for small businesses. Contact us to get started!

Even if you are a small business, your HR team plays a vital role in attracting, growing, and keeping talent. Being intentional about how you manage employees puts your business on the path to long-term growth. But where to begin? Defining your HR best practices might be a good starting point.

From your approach towards finding and securing qualified candidates to crafting a compelling package of benefits, HR best practices give direction to your team and support your decision-making.

This blog post outlines 5 HR best practices that small businesses should keep on their radar this year.

Let’s jump in!

1. Strengthen your Employer Brand and Build a Solid Hiring Process

Staffing your small business with competent, skilled employees might be challenging — especially in a competitive market with rising costs, talent shortages, and economic uncertainty.

However, investing time in building an authentic employer brand can help you stand out and be appealing to job seekers.

Consider this when looking for new talent:

  • Craft a compelling employer brand story. Your employer brand story is the narrative that communicates who you are as an employer and what sets your company apart. Use your social media channels and your website to showcase your company culture, values, and the unique opportunities employees can find within your organization.
  • Enhance candidate experience. Make your application and interview processes clearer, concise, and respectful of the candidates’ time. Communicate transparently about the stages of the hiring process and provide constructive feedback to candidates.
  • Create a referral program for your small business. Your employees can be your best brand ambassadors. Implementing a referral program not only accelerates the hiring process but also taps into your existing team’s networks, bringing in candidates who are likely to align with your company culture.

2. Create a Thoughtful Onboarding Experience for New Hires

Your onboarding process should be more than just tedious paperwork — though that’s important, too! It’s your opportunity to make new hires feel welcomed and supported as they start their journey with your company. Think of it as an ongoing process that sets up your employees for success.

“If you help new hires feel acknowledged and included, they will feel safer making an emotional commitment and fully engaging in their new role.”
Vered Kogan, Momentum Institute

Here’s how to improve your onboarding process this year:

  • Add a personalized touch with a welcome kit. A thoughtfully curated welcome kit not only makes new employees feel valued but also contributes to a positive first impression — especially for remote workers. Your kits can include company-branded merchandise, a warm welcome letter from leadership, an employee handbook, and perhaps something fun like t-shirts or socks.
  • Set up a buddy system to ease the transition for new hires. Pair each new employee with a more experienced team member who can provide guidance, answer questions, and offer insights into the company culture. This personal connection helps new hires acclimate more quickly while feeling supported.
  • Create a 90-day professional development plan. Onboarding goes way beyond day 1. Create a plan outlining specific learning goals, training opportunities, and milestones for the first three months. Make sure to schedule regular check-ins and feedback sessions to follow up!
Follow these 5 HR Best Practices to Drive Small Business Growth this Year

3. Stay Compliant with Labor Laws and Regulations

To mitigate legal risks and ensure a safe workplace, small businesses need to stay on top of ever-changing labor laws and regulations. This not only involves federal legislation but also state and local laws.

Staying compliant with labor laws means ensuring fair workers’ compensation, monitoring overtime hours, and avoiding discrimination throughout the entire HR cycle, just to name a few things.

Check out these HR best practices to ensure compliance:

  • Regularly update employment policies. Keep an eye on changes in legal requirements that may affect your business and make sure that your company’s employment policies are always up to date. Pay attention to areas like wage and hour laws, leave policies, and anti-discrimination regulations.
  • Invest in ongoing employee training. Organize regular training sessions on topics like safety protocols, workplace harassment prevention, and diversity and inclusion.
  • Classify employees correctly. Misclassifying employees as independent contractors instead of employees can lead to legal consequences and financial penalties. Ensuring that workers are appropriately classified is crucial for compliance with wage and hour regulations, benefits eligibility, and tax obligations.

4. Invest in Training Opportunities to Drive Growth

Gallup research shows that having opportunities to learn and grow is one of the top 3 reasons why millennials stay in a job position. And yet, a lot of employers are missing the mark and not taking advantage of the opportunity to engage and retain talented workers.

“Stop thinking about HR as a tactical box that must be checked and see it as a strategic way to conduct business.”
Mike Vannoy, CMO at Asure Software.

By helping employees reach their full potential, you are also driving business growth. So, if you are building a training program this year, keep this in mind:

  • Use online learning platforms. Provide employees with subscriptions to platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, or Udemy so they can access relevant courses that align with their roles and career goals.
  • Host workshops and lunch-and-learn sessions. Learning can also be fun! Prepare sessions around topics like industry trends, new technologies, or soft skills development. Invite external speakers or encourage internal subject matter experts to lead these sessions.
  • Create a mentorship program. Allow employees in senior roles to be mentors or less-experienced employees. This one-on-one guidance not only promotes a supportive and collaborative work environment, but it can also shape employees’ professional journey.

5. Build an Attractive Benefits Program for Your Small Business

When deciding to accept a job offer, evaluating benefits plays a decisive role.

For 96% of American workers, employer-sponsored healthcare is considered “extremely important” or “very important”.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

For a small business, crafting an attractive benefits package that prioritizes employee well-being and allows for a healthy work-life balance, leads to a positive work environment and drives growth. Focus on these areas when designing your benefits program:

  • Partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) to offer better healthcare insurance. PEO services are a great alternative for small businesses looking for more competitive rates on healthcare insurance for their employees and seeking expert assistance for navigating complex regulatory requirements.
  • Prioritize mental health and well-being. Include comprehensive wellness programs and mental health resources in your benefits package. This could involve access to counseling services, stress management workshops, or even subscriptions to mental health apps.
  • Offer education debt relief programs. Address the growing concern of education debt by implementing programs that assist with student loan repayment. This benefit can be a game-changer for attracting younger talent burdened with student loans.
  • Support childcare initiatives. Recognize the challenges employees face in balancing work and childcare responsibilities. Consider offering benefits such as on-site childcare, backup care services, or flexible childcare spending accounts.

No matter the size of your business, your HR team plays a crucial role in attracting talent and keeping employees engaged. Rather than seeing HR best practices as a checkbox, you should see them as a vital strategic tool for your business growth.

At National PEO we help hundreds of small businesses across the United States handle crucial HR tasks such as payroll, employee benefits, and workers’ compensation.

Request a quote today and let us take the burden of HR tasks while staying aligned with HR best practices!

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