The foundation of any successful small business is a solid HR plan. This strategic document sets the standard for ethical and positive behaviour at work. Without an HR plan, businesses can suffer from issues that could have otherwise been avoided. From productivity loss to legal fees, there’s no shortage of risks you can avoid if you have robust employment policies in place.

Not sure where to begin? No worries. We have provided free and super valuable HR templates for small businesses who want to set up their HR well. These free templates can be downloaded with a simple click of a button and used within minutes.


What is human resource planning for small businesses?

Human resource planning is the ongoing process of systematic planning to identify the current and future needs of your business. This involves evaluating your business’ workforce structure and protocols. HR planning ensures your business maintains a steady stream of skilled employees to remain productive and profitable. 

Creating an HR plan typically involves a structured written document that offers a precise summary of your HR planning efforts and related policies and procedures. This document can be easily shared with your colleagues to ensure all teams are aligned to help the business achieve its strategic objectives.


What does a successful HR plan include?

For a successful and functional HR plan for your small business, you’ll need to cover the following:

  • Hiring and dismissal procedures
  • Compensation and salary schedules
  • Training and development
  • Safety procedures
  • Workplace culture


With these in mind, let’s take a look at the three primary HR templates you need to help you cover everything required in your HR plan.


Start creating an HR plan in 3 simple steps

Ready to create a strategic HR plan that will power your small business? Here are the steps and free templates you need to help you succeed:

  1. Standard HR policies

Human resources policies and standards are guidelines for hiring, compensation, work processes, leave, training, promotions, work environments, and other important functions. HR policies outline how a business will treat its people and property.

Our FREE HR Policy Templates can be downloaded and used within your business by simply editing the fields indicated.

Download and start using your policy templates for:

  • Annual leave;
  • Discipline & Termination;
  • Equal Employment Opportunity & Anti-Discrimination;
  • Remote Working & Working From Home.


Download your Free HR Policy Template here 

A Performance Management Strategy should also be part of your Standard HR policy framework. Dealing with underperforming staff involves a series of strategies, from setting clear expectations to providing coaching and feedback. To help you manage staff underperformance in the workplace while ensuring compliance throughout the process, we have created a free Managing Underperformance Checklist for small businesses that can be downloaded and used instantly.

Download your Free Managing Underperformance Checklist here 


  1. Compliance

HR compliance ensures your business implements and adheres to employment laws and obligations. All businesses must maintain HR compliance to avoid penalties, fees or legal action. Every business must work by a set of rules imposed by local, state, and government authorities that cover your obligations around hiring, promotions, firing, and other personnel matters. This includes legislation outlined in The Fair Work Act, the 11 employment standards set out in the National Employment Standards (NES), and Modern Awards. 

An HR compliance checklist can help simplify the process. Simply download your FREE 10 Point Compliance Checklist to get started.

This free checklist will help your small business stay ahead of its compliance obligations and mitigate any risks. 


  1. Employee Contracts

The legalities surrounding employee contracts can be daunting for most small business owners. Every employee contract is unique which can heighten the risk of misunderstanding and errors. It’s typically the responsibility of the employer to draft and provide the contract of employment to their employee/s prior to their employment commencing. 

An employee contract should clearly outline:

  • The job role and responsibilities
  • Employment type (e.g. full-time, part-time, or casual
  • The length of the employment period
  • Rate of pay and benefits
  • Entitlements to annual leave and personal/carer’s leave
  • Confidentiality, privacy and responsibility statements
  • Termination of employment


To help you get started, use our free editable Employee Contract templates that can be downloaded and used straight away. These templates will help you to navigate different types of employment and the different workplace rights & protections for each. 

Download your Free Employment Contract Templates for:

  • Casual Employment;
  • Part-Time Employment;
  • Full-Time Employment.

Putting your HR Plan together

Now that you’ve got the templates and checklists you need, you’ll want to bring it all together to create an actionable HR plan. Simply outline the information you would like to include in your HR plan and use all or pick and choose from the customisable HR templates to suit your needs. Edit the templates so they speak to your business and download and share with colleagues as needed. There are no right or wrong rules when it comes to the length of your HR plan. But typically, 1-5 pages will suffice.

Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, human resources planning and creating HR plans can be daunting and not to mention, time-consuming. Yet it’s vital that it’s done in order for your business to remain compliant and ethical.

To help you further, you can utilise HR software to streamline your planning and reduce time-consuming administrative tasks.


It’s time to get started

With a solid HR plan and strategy in place, you can increase your company’s chance of success. With HRConnect’s collection of free professional HR templates, all it takes is a few minutes to produce an HR plan that is tailored specifically to your small business. 

These resources are to get a business started. If you need on-demand workplace advice contact HR Connect today.



The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact HR Connect for advice.

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