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The big 5-0: What you need to know when your business approaches 50 employees

Growing a business is an enormous challenge. It can be exciting and daunting at the same time. For you to expand and succeed in your new company size, you should be aware that some HR processes you usually carry out may change.

When you approach the 50-employee mark, there is a boatload of information and HR regulations to be aware of. The burden of getting to grips and complying with these new challenges and regulations is heavy on any business. 

So what do you need to be aware of right now?

This article will help you navigate through the key pieces of employment legislation. Discover how using HR transformation software can simplify your growing workforce with these five solutions.

1. Manage absence and sick leave

Increasing the number of employees creates a raft of issues. The more employees you have, the more workload you have! And that increase in workload requires having the right systems in place.

Tracking employee time is an important task for HR teams and managers. Without robust HR reporting tools, businesses face inaccurate sick pay calculations, wrong annual leave entitlement, and risk not complying with HR rules and regulations, such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Mental Health in the Workplace, or Equal Pay Act (1970).   

Given the fact that thriving employees are 4x more likely to work for a company that ensures equity in pay, your organisation must have systems in place so absence and sick leave are managed fairly.  

“As we grew, I was unable to keep up with all of the requests accurately and effectively,” says Angela Billman, Director of Operations at Acumen, which used Appogee to manage employee absence. “With the number of requests I was getting as we doubled in size, it was easy to mis-track things. This was costing the company money or the employee to lose time off depending on which mistake was made and what could be done to rectify it.“

Keep track of all HR operations for a workforce with over 50 employees using HR software solutions that simplify administrative tasks. This could be: 

Document the steps it takes to consistently perform important HR tasks for a larger workforce. As you grow, these standard operating procedures can help train and guide new employees so they fully understand your leave and sickness procedures.

2. Store employee information

If you have more than 50 employees, you may have to put in place measures to consult with employees about changes in their employment.

The Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) regulations request businesses with over 50 employees to consult on changes to their pension scheme, or other business information if an information and consultation agreement is requested. 

Did you know that employees can ask to be kept informed and consulted on employment issues, such as working conditions and employment prospects?

There are, in fact, hefty penalties for employers who don’t comply with such requests. Publishing giant Macmillan was fined £55,000 for failing to comply with consultation requests about management decisions affecting the day-to-day employment of its workforce. 

Secondly, if your business is in the US, then the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will now apply to you. You must provide information about health insurance coverage, preventive care, and healthcare costs. This helps uninsured people with pre-existing medical conditions get affordable healthcare. 

Store employee records safely and securely with tools like Appogee HR and comply with new legislation. Employee profiling data shows basic information and contact information– allowing you to consult with employees regardless of work location, or whether they’re on sick or maternity leave.  

3. Carry out performance management

As your company expands, a detailed overview of your team’s activity reduces. It’s normal for small businesses (SMEs) to employ people who can do a little bit of everything. 

However, as your employee headcount nears the 50 mark, you may start to notice that some employees have more work than others. You want a performance management solution that gives 360-degree feedback, is enjoyable to complete, and is meaningful for you and your expanding workforce. 

Poor business planning affects performance. Companies that can navigate around workforce challenges stay afloat. Fix unfair workloads and employee dissatisfaction with performance management tools. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), who's responsible for what tasks, and when with flexible review templates.  If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, track sales per employee and set smart sales goals for each employee, invest in sales training, and motivate their employees to perform better.

  • “We recently implemented the Goals and Performance Reviews portion of HR Success and it has been an incredibly helpful tool.  From the 360 Feedback to the actual review questions, I feel this has been a game-changer for our company culture”. –Britt Chavers, Office and Human Resources Manager at ASE Direct 

Lastly, task duplication and complicated HR software can negatively affect employee satisfaction. Make sure your expanding workforce has access to collaborative work management software. You’ll have a growing team that’s 85% more likely to say they’re happy at work!

As your company grows, so do new positions. Cope with the challenges of growth by having systems that enhance accountability and transparency. Build a team with performance management strategies and take the burden off you so that you can focus on business goals; the continued growth and profitability of your business.

4. Record employee time

Some circumstances in business are unavoidable, but having a fair workforce is something you can control. This includes the process of handling time off when you reach 50 employees.

Staff illness, a breakdown in childcare, and emergency family situations all need to be dealt with fairly, without bias. If your usual approach to agreeing to employee annual leave, for example, is an ad-hoc conversation over the water cooler or a quick text message–it’s about to change. 

If your organisation usually deals with leave requests on a case-by-case basis, surpassing the 50-employee mark will require more structure and compliance with business policies. Record employee time accurately and consistently by:

  • Developing annual leave, paid time off, and sickness/absence policies in consultation with employees
  • Include these policies in your company handbook 
  • Update your onboarding procedure with updated policies

Record employee time with leave and sickness tracking solutions and make sure salaries are correct. It’ll reduce the risk of making unauthorised deductions–the second largest tribunal cause over the last 10 years. Withholding all or part of an employee’s pay without consent or a legal reason for doing so can seriously affect working relationships and lead to an employment tribunal. 

Plus, SMEs in the US will also need to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act, under certain conditions. This legislation allows employees to take up to twelve weeks leave from work each year, for a new baby, or to look after a family member who is ill.

5. Reduce security risks

The more employees you have, the greater the risk of a data breach—even the increasing likelihood of recruiting an employee who is distrustful. 

As more employees use electronic devices to carry out their roles, such as mobile phones or laptops, the greater the need for protection. Include remote and hybrid employees using home internet providers and the risks increase even further. 

Working with remote employees demands you pay special attention to the technology and security they use. In fact, 20% of organizations have seen a security breach by remote employees

As you approach the 50-employee milestone, pay careful attention to how employee information is stored.  Protect your data with role-based access. Use software applications that are designed to control and restrict access to data only to those who are authorised. Security within applications gives each user an assigned role (User, Manager, HR, or Administrator)--controlling and limiting the access based on your configuration. 

Having said that, with all the security measures in place, there is still the possibility of employing someone who is distrustful. An increase in workforce numbers may tempt you to cut corners and save time. But, a customisable online onboarding portal will keep you on track with requesting employee information and records, prompting you to revisit an employee's past–with alerts when documents are overdue or outstanding. 

Prepare for the next stage in your growing business with Appogee HR

It’s exciting to prepare for the next developments in your business. Having a workforce with over 50 employees is a key milestone worth celebrating. It gives you a chance to reevaluate your working practices.

Having said that, these can be stressful times. Use these tips to help streamline and protect the business you’ve built, and continue growing with fewer headaches.  

Have HR software integrations that assist you with complying with regulations and take your business to the next level. 

Our HR and productivity software solutions are designed to meet the growing demands of your business. To see whether Appogee HR Success is right for you, why not request a demo or try our software for free for 14 days?

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