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If you're running a small business, which in Australia means having fewer than 20 employees, you might think that HR (Human Resources) doesn't really apply to you. However, as online learning on the subject shows, that's not the case at all! Whether talking about the provision of first aid course training or Health & Safety, you have an obligation under Australian law to adhere to the rules. 

Can A Business Function Without HR?

Honestly? In the modern world? No, it can’t. You don't necessarily have to go as far as hiring an HR manager, but it's something that needs to be covered by someone. That person then has to act as a point of contact for your employees in case they have a grievance or need to get advice on Health & Safety at work. HR is very much a requirement for Australian businesses. 

The reason for this is that there are a number of employment laws that need to be adhered to. They’re far-reaching and include…

  • Equal Opportunities
  • Anti-bullying, harassment & discrimination
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Drugs & alcohol use
  • Returning to work
  • Codes of conduct
  • Gifts and favours
  • Leave provisions

These rules apply whether your employees are working from home or carrying out their roles in your workplace. So, let’s see how to go about implementing what’s required. 

How Can Small Businesses Improve Their HR?

Every small business will have its unique way of working, but some basics need to be put into place that apply to everyone. Here we look at five of the most important. 

  • Tip #1 - Create a Manual For HR Policies & Procedures

In order to be consistent in the application of HR rules, it’s important to have a centralised reference point for all employees. This typically takes the form of a manual that covers every aspect of your business, from administration to recruitment. 

The good news is that there are dozens of free templates available online which can be customised to suit your business. 

  • Tip #2 - Also Create an Employee Handbook 

As online training in HR shows, employees can benefit greatly from having an employee handbook to refer to when they need to find out important information. It should contain info relating to company culture, guidance for new staff, disciplinary procedures, and hours of work. 

Also covered will be things like holiday entitlements, training and development, and termination. With something like this in place, your staff should never be in the dark about anything. 

  • Tip #3 - Leverage Modern HR Software

Thanks to the advent of the internet, dealing with your HR obligations is easier than it’s ever been. Offer assistance with all aspects of HR, from onboarding to performance reviews; these intuitive software solutions make things easy - even for novices. 

The marketplace is replete with software options like Happy HR, BambooHR, and JazzHR that make light of what can be a very complex task. 

  • Tip #4 - Carry Out Performance Reviews

Another vital part of the HR support you provide for your employees is periodic performance reviews. Usually carried out on a one-to-one basis, performance reviews offer an opportunity to provide constructive feedback about how they’re doing in their role.

It’s also a great opportunity for staff to raise issues and for employers to offer suggestions on how to overcome them. 

  • Tip #5 - Offer Training & Development 

Something else that needs to be offered as part of your HR offering is training and development. What we’re talking about is a face-to-face or online training that allows employees to do their work more effectively. It also has the added benefit of improving staff retention. 

70% of staff would consider leaving their current job for businesses that offer training & development opportunities, so you neglect this aspect at your peril. 

OCA Online Learning - The Easy Way to Develop Business Skills

As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate, but your HR obligations can be made so much easier when you have the necessary knowledge. The simplest way to get this knowledge is through video-based CPD-Endorsed short courses online, like those found in our great-value HR Management Skills Bundle

Ours is viewed by our students as the best online education Australia has available. Why? Well, as you can see by watching our Student Study Demo, our training comes with 1-to-1 mentoring and offers a mentally stimulating way to learn. It’s so different from text-based learning that it’s almost a different field! 

To find out more about what we offer, visit us today at, where you’ll find details of our full course library (that covers over 20 different industries) and our flexible payment plans that make our cheap training even more cost-effective and accessible.

Alternatively, to get in touch about anything else, call 1300 611 404 today or drop us a line at [email protected], and we’ll answer as quickly as we possibly can. 

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