HR Building Blocks & How they Fit Together

Hi, my name is Candace Elliot, and I am a human resources strategist. I've worked with entrepreneurs who would like to attract and keep their ideal excellent, awesome employees and who also want to limit their risk of litigation. I use an approach that's called the Wholistic Human Resources approach, which is something that I have designed over [00:00:30] years of practicing human resources and studying HR and psychology and sociology and the law and all of these things and finding a system that really finds people, keeps them and helps you to avoid unhappy lawsuits.

The foundation of this system are what I call HR building blocks, human resources building blocks, and there are eight of them. Just like [00:01:00] when you build a house, you want to start with a strong foundation. When you're building an HR system, you also want to start with a strong foundation of these building blocks. All of these pieces can be used one at a time or one-off. Maybe your company has some issues in hiring and so you want to look into attracting awesome employees, or maybe you are dealing with discipline issues right now [00:01:30] and so you want to learn more about when things go wrong, what do you do there?

It's wonderful to take these one at a time and use them as you need them. The real magic comes when you create a system that includes all of them together. It's really pretty amazing to see that when it's in motion in the company and it's one of my favorite things to help with. The first building block, the first thing that we start [00:02:00] with is what I call, defining your tribe and what this is defining who it is that belongs in your company. What kind of education do they have? What are they interested in inside of work and outside of work, what are their practices at work and at home? How do they move through the world and why [00:02:30] would they be interested in working for you?

Just like when you are working on your company, you talk about your ideal clients. The same thing works with your employees. You define what your ideal employee is like so that you can then go out and find them. That brings us to our building block number two, which is attracting awesome employees. There are a number of different steps that are involved in [00:03:00] attracting people to your company, starting with defining who they are and the jobs that you have in your company.

But then when you actually have a job and you're looking to hire, we talk about the ways that you get the word out there, whether it's through your current contacts or posting on different kinds of job boards, or creating an incentive program for your current employees. How do you get the word out there? We also talk about interviewing. [00:03:30] Interviewing is such a dynamic process.

It can also be a very data-driven process. We talk about interview questions, question types, types of interviews, and then also interview style. Some people like to do really welcoming interviews, and some people like to do really rigid, prove-yourself-to-me interviews and they're appropriate in different situations for different kinds of company cultures. Building block two is designing [00:04:00] that system so that you attract the employees that you want. It becomes clear through this process who those people are.

The third building block is welcoming your new employees. An employee's first day can be really stressful but exciting time. It's your opportunity to show your new employee what you're all about and what your people [00:04:30] do. We talk about how to develop an employee orientation that feels good and right for what your company does. We talk about legal requirements around hiring people. What are all of those Is that you have to dot and T's that you have to cross to make sure that you're all compliant with your new employee paperwork?

Then also, what does it look like [00:05:00] for the person to understand all of the systems that you already have in place. There's this step of decoding your current employee systems so that your new employee can understand them. As we work longer and longer in companies, these systems just become second nature to us. When we welcome new people, we need to make sure that they understand, if they need to track their time, how they're supposed to do that. [00:05:30]

If we have a project management tool, how they do that, if there's a particular way of say it's a restaurant and there's a particular way of reading tickets and getting the tickets out. These are important systems that we want to make sure people understand right out the gate so that they have less like "What's going on," as they're adjusting to the new workplace.

Building block number four is lifelong learning. Under [00:06:00] this umbrella, our training systems, and our development systems and tools that we have for bringing learning into our organizations. The overarching goal of this piece of the foundation of human resources is to create a learning organization. Not only are your people learning and growing as time goes on, but your organization and your systems are learning and growing [00:06:30] as time goes on. We create systems and then we live with them. As we live with them, we see that maybe some things don't work or some things work really well. We rearrange them to make them more optimal. That's a part of being a learning organization.

Another piece of this is developing training systems that are learner-centered that are really focused on the person who is learning that [00:07:00] information rather than just dictating information to you. Learner-centered learning is a proven system in the world of teaching. It was actually how I learned to teach English as a second language. Another piece of training systems that's really important is creating systems for all the different types of learners.

Some of us are visual learners, some of us are [00:07:30] auditory learners and some of us learn by doing. We try to incorporate into our learning systems, all of these different ways of learning so that people can receive information better. In the world of lifelong learning and development, I'm creating policies that help people to go out and find educational opportunities that they want to participate in or conferences and building [00:08:00] that into the system of the organization. Creating learning opportunities in meetings can be a really great way to turn a really boring meeting into something that is dynamic and changing all of the time.

Building blocks four, we look at all of these things around lifelong learning. HR building block five is mentorship. Mentorship really starts with coaching [00:08:30] and how to coach people, how to deliver information that can be hard to hear in a way that people can really hear it and internalize it. Being there, providing ongoing feedback, checking in at the end of the day or at the end of the week, or at the end of a project, and helping people to develop building strong relationships with people who are new to our company is one of the ways that they feel like they belong [00:09:00] and they want to stay.

Mentorship also includes more official performance reviews. When we give performance reviews, a lot of times they can just be checking boxes. There are ways to develop performance reviews that really make people feel more engaged in the work that they're doing and help you to keep them as you move forward, set important goals. In this building block, we really look at how to build strong [00:09:30] relationships between leaders and an organization and people who are newer or more junior level in the organization in order to keep all those people interested in working with us as we move into that future.

Building block six is the internal economy. The internal economy a nickname for all of the money that we've spent on [00:10:00] our people. In this building block, we're looking into compensation, compensation of ranges, how to set different compensation for different layers of employees, and levels of expertise and time with an organization. We talk about benefits that can be unique to your organization because of the industry that you're in.

Then also, benefits that are more standard for maybe your industry [00:10:30] or your type of business like health insurance, or a 401k, or other ways to compensate employees if you don't want to go down those paths and if you're not required to. This is that internal, what are we spending on our people? What are we getting for it? Another piece of that is keeping track of your labor costs. Understanding what your labor cost is, how it flows throughout the week [00:11:00] or the month or the year and what you can do to control those costs, what you can do to get better return on your investment.

Building block number seven is when we talk about when things go wrong or how to prepare before things go wrong for if and or when they do. First, we talked about having an open [00:11:30] door policy because having an open-door policy is the way you're going to know about things happening and then be able to do something about them. A lot of times people are disinclined to know what's happening, but if you're running a company it's really important to know what's going on because there is risk that can be associated with things. If there's risk, you want to get in there and mitigate that risk as soon as possible.

In this section, we [00:12:00] also talk about discipline. We talk about a more progressive form of discipline, which is called corrective action planning. This invites the person that you're working with into the process of correcting their behavior. When people are a part of the process of changing their behavior, it's generally more effective than if you just authoritatively dictate what is supposed to happen.

[00:12:30] We talk about corrective action planning. We also talk about terminations, how to go about a termination, steps to take before, up to, and during a termination, what to do after. We talk about what to do if maybe you hired someone, they, and you had the best intentions, you thought that it was a great relationship, but then something went wrong and now you need to do something about it. That's what this one is about. It's really important to have care with the way that we [00:13:00] deal with these situations.

The last building block is what to do, how to prepare for the unexpected. When you talk about when employees leave even if it's the best of fits and you've created all of these systems, sometimes it's just time for people to move on. Sometimes we know about it, and sometimes it's a surprise, but we talk about how to accept an employee's [00:13:30] resignation, how to do their final paycheck, those kinds of things.

We also talk about medical leave and coronavirus things since that's the thing currently, and then we also talk about emergency preparedness. I live in Santa Cruz, California. We definitely have rolling blackouts. We've just had a bunch of wildfires. It's so important [00:14:00] to prepare your business for these emergency things when they can happen. We definitely go over infectious disease, preparedness, emergency, action planning, and a variety of other things that can happen, but that are generally unexpected when they happen.

Each of these building blocks, like I said, if you take them on your own and you work on them as you have the need, [00:14:30] that's a wonderful way to go through this process. If you feel like you want to have a little bit more guidance about going through them you can reach out to me, I'm happy to work with you directly.