There are two things in life that are guaranteed to make you feel isolated and out of control at times, one is being a parent and the other is being a business owner. There can be periods where you feel inadequate to the task at hand and certain that you are ranked as one of the world’s worst performers.

Ultimately its not what you know, in my view, but who you know that can really assist and get you to realise that everyone struggles from time to time. By expanding our network of contacts both as parents and business owners we meet people who we perceive are better and worse than us and the learning experience either way is both powerful and reassuring as we learn and grow.

One of the difficulties in the area I deal with in trying to help people, is the notion that it is far better to take a proactive approach to workplace matters than simply dealing with things as they arise. Many small business owners, often through naiveté or lack of knowledge, don’t see the need to set up management systems within their business and remain blissfully unaware of the many compliance requirements that are mandatory in workplaces. These employers constantly sustain a reactive approach to issues which can mean that they lurch from crisis to crisis at the mercy of circumstances that, with some forethought and planning might have been avoided or reduced. Workplace and employment related issues can be a source of intense frustration and emotional distress.

However, because so many small business owners are trapped working ‘in’ their business the opportunity to work ‘on’ it is limited and – let’s be honest – in my area of expertise accessing support and advice is often costly which further discourages proactive action. There are any number of providers out there who will endeavour to convince you that their online services are essential, that you are doing things unlawfully and that your risk exposure is such that they feel justified in charging you many thousands of dollars for services that, in reality, you may never need.

It remains my view that if you are seeking support and assistance in the area of industrial relations and human resource management then there must be a strong and personalised relationship between you and the provider. This is because the ‘trust’ element is particularly important, along with the requirement that any provider must know and understand you and your business and deliver the knowledge and support tailoured to your particular needs which no online service can achieve. The whole idea is to empower and liberate not disenfranchise and entrap through withholding of knowledge or access to services which promise much but deliver little, and which are often freely available elsewhere.

  • Clearwater Workplace Solutions

    Rob Littlewood, is an experienced Risk Manager with a demonstrated history of working in human resources and industrial relations. Rob is a valued friend of Engine Room Hub and is a regular contributor to our platform.