Do you have the right HR foundations in place to support your business?

Guest Post

As an employer we are continuously looking for exciting and cool new things to apply within our organisation. What you always want to check first, is that you have the basic foundations right.

Do you have the right HR foundations in place to support your business?

Not unlike the heart in your body, your 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 ensuring that you have everything in place to make your company run smoothly.

And in order to move towards a goal of becoming an employer of choice and/or add those exciting additional perks or ideas that employees may want, it’s imperative that you spend the time and start with setting up clear foundations.


If you don’t, you run the risk of your employees possibly 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, standards, values and processes.


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. Depending on your ‘employer type’ is dependent on how creative or what type of language is used here. For example, if you are more professional and highly compliant in style your language may be more formal vs more fun and flexible, your language will be more ‘flirty’, pictorial, succinct and direct. Telling the organisation story and what is important however in whatever language you use is a critical part in getting employees to connect to your business.

Your handbook may cover 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).


Rather than written language, standards involve the manner in which you operate day-to-day in your business and even more importantly, what are your non-negotiables that would determine a poor fit for your business?

The standard you walk past is the standard you accept, but what are those standards you will not walk past as a company and a team?

Do you know what these standards are?

Do your team know what they are?

Do you and your team actively manage other team members against these and call them out on them?


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You can’t grow and build a company without defining your values. But even more than that. They need to be known by every team member and lived.

So it’s not just about putting them up on the wall or pulling them out once a year. It’s taking them and translating them into everything you do. That is the only way to get consistency and true connection to them. Again also defining your non-values can be even more powerful than defining your positive values.


Your HR processes revolve around your key HR activities, such as recruitment, induction, performance management, performance development/career planning, salary reviews, 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.

Now after discussing this, honestly think about your organisation and ask yourself these questions…

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?

Conduct our Culture IQ to see how you benchmark against 13 key areas of business, and where your strengths and opportunities lie.

Take the assessment for free below.

Paulette Kolarz
Managing Director

Growing and Inspiring Great Workplaces

Paulette Kolarz is widely recognised as one of Australia’s leading authorities in Human Resource Management and Leadership Development. As the founder and Managing Director of BespokeHR Paulette is passionate about growing and inspiring great workplaces. Truly partnering with her clients, she designs and implements effective people, leadership and management strategies to help take businesses to the next level. As a keynote speaker, educator and mentor, Paulette inspires people through her practical and humanistic approach to leadership. With an unwavering belief that ‘You can’t have good HR without great leaders’, Paulette focusses on equipping leaders with the skills, knowledge and tools required to build productive, high performing teams and great organisational culture.