The role of proactive HR in your growing business

Freelance Business Support

Emily Fuller (pictured above) is our Passionate PA based in Weymouth and West Dorset. She is exceptionally qualified in HR with a decade of experience working in successful large businesses. She is now using her skills and knowledge to help her clients revolutionise their businesses by providing the perfect mix of bespoke business support services and HR guidance. 

In today’s world, there has never been a better time for growing entrepreneurial businesses to move from reactive to proactive HR approaches.  You may well be thinking that with only a small number of employees, proactive HR (or indeed any professional HR consultancy) is just for the ‘big boys’ – but you’d be wrong. This is exactly the reason why Emily is passionate about helping local entrepreneurs get the right support, at the right time.

Here’s why Emily thinks it should matter to you.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, accounting for 99.9% of the business population. But, I truly believe they are missing out on some huge potential gains by not placing the focus on their people as their biggest asset, and proactively managing it. It is SMEs that will pull the economy back to its feet in the aftermath of the pandemic, but in order to do this there really needs to be a step change in how they utilise HR practices and procedures in order to keep their people engaged, thriving and committed to following the journey of the business all the way through the turbulent times ahead.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, SMEs make up around 60% of employment within the UK. All too often though, small and medium sized businesses tend to only see a need for professional HR support when things have gone wrong and issues arise such as the need for a disciplinary or redundancy programme.

With SMEs employing more than half of the workforce, why is it generally regarded that it is only the ‘big employers’ that can use proactive HR for their own advantage? Time and time again, SMEs allow themselves to fall into the endless issues associated with reactive HR such as poor hiring choices, disengaged employees and reduced employee productivity; all of which are often not dealt with for months, or even years, and as a result have a massive negative impact on the bottom line, efficiency and overall productivity of the company.

My clients don’t fall into this trap.

Why be Proactive?

Proactive HR has been proven to add value through improving the bottom line as it strategically aligns the objectives and vision of the business with that of its employees. Proactive HR involves:

  • Employee engagement
  • Employee wellbeing
  • Talent pool development
  • Succession planning
  • Personnel management
  • And much more

For example, mental health issues cost businesses on average £1,300 per employee, per year, in the UK. In reality, in small teams of fast growing businesses, this cost is much greater when it is one of your employees that is suffering with mental health issues. Investing in yourself (or your managers) so you can identify and support mental health issues and put in place flexibility and support mechanisms for your employees can help you to significantly reduce the impact. Solutions and approaches to mental health are equally as applicable and effective for SMEs as they are for large employers, and the costs don’t have to be a barrier. This sort of support can be provided by me for significantly less than £1,300 per employee per year!

SMEs that invest in proactive HR stand to gain in a multitude of areas…

Employee Engagement & Wellbeing:

  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Reduced recruitment and onboarding costs (on average, it costs six – nine months of an employee’s salary to find their replacement)
  • Reduced stress on other employees ‘filling the gap’
  • Engaged employees
  • Increased productivity and morale
  • Improved employee satisfaction with bigger commitment and loyalty to the business
  • Becoming an employer of choice and building a strong recruitment brand
  • Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism
  • Reduced costs and time spent on firefighting or reactive HR

Talent Planning and Personnel Management:

  • Reduced cost and time to hire new employees
  • Proactive use of government initiatives such as the apprenticeship levy
  • Hiring the right people first time though a structured process that suits your business
  • Reduced indirect costs of the wrong hire (absence and performance issues)
  • Reduced opportunities for grievances; in my experience, 9 out of 10 disciplinaries and grievances could be resolved and avoided if dealt with proactively at the outset thus saving time, costs, staff morale and productivity

Succession Planning:

  • Planning for the future workforce, not only replacing those that leave but also planning for the skills that are going to be needed in the medium to long-term; this could be the difference between the business being a market leader or failing in the future
  • Creating and nurturing the next generation of management!

How do you put this into practice? 

I understand this can feel overwhelming but, the fact you are reading this says you care deeply about your people – and that’s a superb place to start.

Working towards making proactive HR a key element of your business will naturally create a culture synonymous with best practice. In turn, this will realise the benefits listed above, and more! Growing entrepreneurial businesses often do not have the capacity to employ internal HR support but that’s where outsourced specialists like myself add most value. Plus, the additional positive of engaging me as a Passionate PA is that I offer a truly unique package of services, not just focused on HR but also offering more general Business Support to help you grow at pace. I simply love rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in! 

I have created a flexible set of Business Support and HR packages to suit entrepreneurial businesses at each stage of growth. If you would like a free 1 hour discovery call to discuss how a partnership with me could transform your business, please email me. I’d love to talk.

Emily Fuller MCIPD
T: 07387 989 692
E: emily@thepassionatepa.co.uk
Let’s connect on LinkedIn

Sources – Government Website and Centre For Mental Health.


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