Being a managing partner in a small company (Urbian), directing really smart technical and creative people, I’ve learnt to love and hate HR.

I actually remember saying I never want to grow a company, where we actually need a HR person, even the name Human Resources sucks, it makes people sound like a commodity.

Two years ago, we landed some great clients and we were forced to grow the company really quickly, with additional staff recruitments. A decision I slightly regret, but will discuss in another post. Long story short, I was out my depth and called on some help from a great strategic HR consultant, Gwynedd Theron.

I remember the first few months thinking how on earth did we get this far without HR help. Gwynedd was a breath of fresh air, from getting employment contracts cleaned up, to regular performance reviews, assisting us with promoting, firing and hiring.

Not only the practical elements, but the emotional help of dealing with people, being the sounding board to ensure that every decision we made was a fair, unemotional, unbiased decision for the future growth of the company and ultimately that person. After a while, I realised as much as I was enjoying being involved in HR, it took a lot of my time, around 1–2 days a week. However the company needed my time for strategic and new business efforts, which were putting strain on the company.

As much as we all loved a flat structure, it was doing more harm than good, even when we were only around 20 staff members. To overcome this, we had to implement some company processes, frameworks and the mighty organogram. One of the best processes we implemented was ongoing, anonymous 360 peer reviews. It gave the staff the opportunity to have their say within the company and it also helped us, as management, identify what was and was not working within the company.

However this process still took a lot of our time, so we decided to build our own software to streamline the process so staff members can do the peer reviews at a time that suited them, on-the-go in micro-moments.

We called it Hi5 and it has worked amazingly well.
Go take a look and try it out!