Avoid a heart attack: Build your HR foundations to pump blood into the organisation

Not unlike the heart in your body, the HR foundations set the pace and pump blood throughout the company.

But instead of beating actual blood, it’s policies and employees.

It’s setting procedures in place to recruit, attract, onboard, manage, develop and retain employees.

It’s creating the base policies, processes and systems that promote excellence before you jump head first into other exciting rewards and/or benefits.

It’s everything that makes your company run smoothly.

And in order to become an employer of choice and add those exciting additional perks employees may want, it’s imperative that you spend the time and start with setting up clear foundations.

WARNING: If you don’t, you run the risk of your employees taking the perks for granted or not delivering the results in the best way or not respecting what they’re being given.

If you take care of your heart, then everything else continues to operate.

To give your business a heart start, you should have the following four areas in place: policies, procedures/standards, values and processes.

Then you can start to add the fun perks — maybe even that pool table that sounds so cool.

Build your HR foundations before you add perks


Put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboards and tackle putting together the policies your business will follow for all employees.

We’ve found that the best way to capture your policies is through an employee handbook.

Your handbook covers everything from dress code (for instance, you might say it’s business casual but employees are allowed to wear jeans every Friday)… to how to handle a complaint.

These policies not only cover the basics for employees (such as highlighting the process to take annual, sick and family leave), but also the tools that start taking you down the path towards becoming an employer of choice (such as study/professional development support, additional parental leave additions or flexibility benefits).

Procedures or Standards

Rather than written language, procedures or standards involve the manner in which you operate day-to-day in your business.

Do you know what your standards are?

For example, if you state in your handbook that your business hours are 8 am to 5 pm, but as a matter of course, managers don’t penalise employees for arriving late or asking to leave 15 minutes early — on occasion — then that’s a standard your business has in place.

Just make sure any procedures are documented or well known, followed and not abused by your employees.


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

You can’t grow and build a company without defining your values.

So it’s not just putting a mission in place, it’s taking it and translating that into values that are part of everything you do — from recruitment and onboarding to career development.

They not only need to be defined but documented and detailed throughout the organisation as a starting point for them to be lived.

Set up the right policies, procedures, values and processes for HR.


Your HR processes revolve around your key HR activities, such as recruitment, induction, performance management, performance development/career planning, exiting staff and training and development.

There are also other really important processes which are not as commonly thought about, such as how to give and receive feedback in your business, your communication daily/weekly/monthly and how you build and measure accountability — all of which are critical for success.

Honesty time now: How clear are you on your foundations? When was the last time you reviewed them? Do they actually reflect the type of organisation you want?

Do you want to get clear on your foundations and much more?  Our 90-day Culture Accelerator program takes you step by step through what you need to do in order, or if you want to fast track and get our help to do it for you, just let us know.

Next: Are you ready to take the first step and avoid a business heart attack?

The first 90-Day Program started last month, and we’re already getting excellent feedback. Our next session is planned for 1 May 2019. Fast track your leadership and culture with our new 90-day Culture Accelerator Program.

Want to join the first group that has just started, get in early for our second 90-day group or get started on something personalised for your business?

Simply send me an email with the subject line: “Help me with HR!” and we will help you work out what you need and what is the best fit.

Does this sound like a process you need to go through? Is your business running into HR issues? Get in touch with me in one of the following ways:

  1. Sign up to our BespokeHR Community to receive complimentary access to free useful tips and tools that help navigate your way through people issues.
  2. Like and follow the BespokeHR Facebook page for free to receive inspirational quotes, reflections and current issues.
  3. Fast track your leadership and culture with our new 90-day Culture Accelerator Program.
  4. Book one of our 1-day intensive leadership programs—commercial, practical and highly tool-based to get you walking out with immediate value, clear implementation, quotes, steps and actions. Our next session is a 1-day Business Owner Session on 8 March 2019.
  5. Private consultation. Work directly with me and my team to help set up your people platforms up for success, just reply to this message, with “Private” in the subject line, and tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you the details!