Startup companies face unique Human Resources (HR) challenges, and our client was no different. The business struggled with hiring, onboarding, and compliance. We deployed our HR Fast Start® services. We started from square one and developed an HR strategy that would guide the company through its startup phase and grow with the company as it expanded into new markets, added offices, and grew its workforce.
What is HR Fast Start®?
HR Fast Start® is a suite of services intended to fill gaps in HR knowledge and experience. Although any business can benefit from HR Fast Start®, the businesses that benefit most include startups and businesses too small for a dedicated HR department. Services we perform include:
- Developing an HR/talent strategy to serve as the foundation for the business
- Identifying cultural attributes that will anchor the ways in which the business will operate
- Assessing policies for legal compliance
- Partnering with the business on employee communication
- Creating new HR processes or streamline existing HR processes
- Coaching leaders and teams
- Creating employee training
HR Fast Start® Provides HR Solutions Through a Multi-Step Process
We customize our HR Fast Start® to the client’s needs. We start with a needs analysis.
1. Perform a Needs Analysis
We interviewed leadership and employees about the company, asking them what the company was doing well and where it was struggling. We also examined the client’s HR practices. We identified many specific areas where we could help, including:
• Benefits: The company’s benefits plan service provider was not meeting the organizational goals of the company, particularly in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Moreover, benefits plans were unsustainable.
• Compliance: Policies between U.S and Latin America businesses were not aligned in some areas. Policies and procedures to ensure adherence to state-specific laws did not exist.
• Leadership coaching: Leadership lacked experience dealing with HR issues. They also needed support in creating and using HR tools.
• Talent acquisition: As a startup, the company had difficulty attracting talent. Benefits plans needed adjustment to be attractive.
• Onboarding process: Employee onboarding was inefficient and inconsistent.
• Expectation models: Job descriptions were vague, leaving leadership unable to judge candidates’ fitness for particular jobs or assess their performance once hired.
• Culture: As a new company, leadership needed help articulating the culture they would be promoting to candidates and employees.
2. Develop a Plan
We developed a plan from this analysis. Our plan was wide-ranging and challenged our client to reflect on its business objectives. Fortunately, our client came to us with an open mind and trusted us to develop and implement our solutions. The company needed to revamp its benefits and find a new benefits plan provider. The client needed coaching for better communication throughout the business. The company needed a story to attract talent and policies to onboard new employees efficiently and consistently. The business needed to close an unsustainable service line.
3. Execute the Plan
We did not limit our involvement in providing advice, then abandoning our client. We took an active role in executing our plan.
We focused the client’s recruitment message on employee development goals and the career benefits of working for a startup company that was drastically changing the traditional staffing model.
• We created a generous vacation policy that was more consistent with employee expectations.
• We solicited proposals from benefits plan service providers and selected one that met the company’s long-term goals.
• We revamped the employee benefits plan so that it would be financially sustainable and led the effort to smooth the transition. We developed a change management strategy selling the changes in the benefits plan to employees.
• We developed an employee handbook and policies that would comply with state and federal employment laws.
• We streamlined the employee hiring and onboarding process by creating job descriptions and job offer letter templates so that it could be applied consistently.
• We coached company leadership on general HR issues. We also taught them how to create and use HR tools such as development plans and performance management resources.
• We helped align the policies in the U.S. and Latin America lines of business, finding common ground in the different business practices and legal and regulatory regimes.
• We advised the client to close a service line and coached leadership through the difficult process of preparing severance packages and terminating those employees with dignity and respect.
• We prepared expectation models for positions within the company so that candidates could be matched to the duties and responsibilities of each job as well as the client’s company culture. These models benefitted both leadership and employees by defining each job’s role and the key performance indicators for success.
HR Fast Start® Produced Long Term Benefits
Our client expanded from one market to five markets spread across the U.S. This expansion resulted in a doubling of our client’s employees. The new benefits plans made the company more financially stable, saving the company as much as $40,000. The new benefits provider potentially saved the company millions in ACA compliance expenses. Our assistance helped the U.S. and Latin American lines of business shift their process-based relationship to a strategic partnership. The company’s President and Senior Vice President for North America explained his experiences with Abbracci Group by saying:
• “I would recommend their services.”
• “HR is just as important as sales, just as important as marketing, just as important as finance… They were able to bring that along.”
• “Strategic HR is something that’s very important to the business and should grow right along with the business.”
• “HR is part of the execution of [a client’s] business. If they’re looking for Abbracci to do tactical things, then it may not be a good fit because Abbracci is going to come in and really challenge. And when they challenge, they’re challenging in a way to make the business better and to help the business ultimately execute whatever business objectives they’re trying to execute.”
• “As long as [clients] keep an open mind, and they look at this as a strategic partner to execute their business objectives, then it will be a win-win for both sides.”
We are proud of the results we accomplished with this client. This company’s rapid growth, from one location to five locations and a doubling of its workforce, is just as gratifying to us as it was for our client. This client’s open mind and long-term view allowed us to challenge them to address the issues we identified. We are hopeful that our solutions will help this business continue its aggressive growth for many years to come.
No Challenge is Too Big if You Have the Right Guide
It is always a profound honor to help organizations like this one reach new heights, and Abbracci Group would be more than happy to help yours do the same. No matter how big the challenge, Abbracci Group will put its years of experience toward helping you turn it into a golden opportunity.
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