SUCCESS TAKES TIME. Time to achieve, time to maintain.
But for those who own and operate small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMEs), time is often in short supply. And – understandably – the time they do have is dedicated to running their business. As entrepreneurs, they’re focused almost solely on building, selling and delivering their products and services. Too often, they lack the time – and the expertise – to address important human resources issues like hiring, training, managing, coaching, or even firing.
That doesn’t mean these SMEs don’t realize that human resources skills and training are important. In fact, most are fully aware that they need expert assistance, guidance and support to address their human resources challenges. More and more, these small businesses are finding the solutions they require at Caerus HR Consulting Inc.
“I created Caerus HR Consulting in 2008 (the company was renamed and rebranded in 2016) because I saw a large untapped market in need of strategic and functional human resources services,” says Ramona Packham, president of Caerus. “Then, as now, many SMEs, family-owned businesses and non-profit organizations were neither prepared nor equipped to deal with the growing need for human resources solutions. Not only did they lack human resources knowledge and expertise, they often lacked the resources to hire a dedicated human resources staff. And they weren’t alone – even larger, established companies frequently lacked the HR expertise needed to function efficiently.”
While times have changed – as have the nature of human resources challenges – the basic Caerus approach is much the same as it was in 2008. “Nothing is more important to us than the relationship we have with our clients,” says Ramona. “We are committed to getting to know them and their business.” That includes being available whenever they call, sometimes including evenings and weekends. As a result, says Ramona, Caerus is perfectly positioned to identify the challenges they face, analyze their issues, and develop solutions uniquely designed to meet their needs.
It may also explain why 100 per cent of Caerus’s clients are the result of favourable referrals.
While human resources challenges are often unique – and constantly evolving – small business owners frequently face similar problems and issues. Among the most common ones, says Ramona, are hiring and firing, managing poor performance, and conflicts with fellow employees. Handled correctly, she says, these problems can usually be overcome. In some instances, they may even become opportunities.
Hiring the right person begins with finding the right person, not always easy in today’s tight labour market. While Caerus is not a recruiting firm, it does provide the HR expertise needed to ensure its clients can secure the right person for the right job. Firing is more difficult, says Ramona, and with a shortage of talented workers, should be a last resort.
Identifying the issues that lead to poor or under-performance is key, says Ramona. “Knowing why an employee is performing poorly is usually the first step to improving performance.”
Friction in the workplace is not uncommon but if left unresolved, can damage a business’s performance. Caerus tackles the problem head-on, meeting with those involved – as well as their immediate superiors – when necessary.
Increasingly, says Ramona, small businesses are recognising the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. “They’re looking for talent everywhere,” she says, “from new immigrants to persons with disabilities. They don’t have to be told that diversity and inclusion boosts morale and increases productivity.” Again, Caerus plays a key role, advising and assisting its clients on how best to make their employees feel accepted and valued.
“Every small company wants to succeed,” says Ramona. “At Caerus, we’re committed to helping them do just that.”
CAPITAL Magazine Spring 2020
Ottawa Board of Trade’s magazine
Published on May 21, 2020