Managing HR issues comes with a variety of rules and regulations that every small business owner should be aware of. Businesses are governed by many different rules, and any business is likely to have its share of employee relations issues. How these issues are dealt with can influence employee morale, and if the person managing HR functions isn’t aware of HR laws, it can even open the company up to legal issues.

Director of Consulting Services Dr. Katie Packell provides research and analytic support for client projects at Reliant Talent Solutions, a Tulsa-based talent management solutions provider. Working with clients in a variety of industries and job functions, she has designed and implemented job analyses, selection-based assessment systems, survey initiatives and other talent management activities across a number of different organizational applications. Now, Dr. Packell gives the lowdown on how to handle HR effectively when you don’t have a human resources department.

katie packell Damage Control: How Your Company Can Deal With Human Resources Issues Responsibly

Katie Packell
(Photo courtesy of Katie Packell)

Don’t take shortcuts
Owning a small business comes with expenses, and it can be tempting to cut corners to cut costs. However, Packell advises small business owners not to do so when it comes to hiring and training. “The HR issues that should be most top-of-mind for small business owners are the one with the most potential for damage. Topping the list are poor hiring and people management practices. Trying to shave costs by skipping steps in the hiring process, and not creating a clear position description, or not running a background check, checking references or otherwise making a concerted effort to objectively vet the candidate can ultimately cost the business ten times what it initially saved. Similarly, trying to informally address employee issues by skipping the documentation process invariably leaves a business vulnerable to suit.”

Use your resources
Like many parts of business management, what you don’t know could come back to haunt you later. If you’re not familiar with human resource guidelines and policies, there are cost effective resources available. Packell states, “For complaints and all other HR-related issues, the single best way for a small business to kick start their system building is to leverage all the great resources provided by SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management). For less than $200 a year, quite feasible for most small businesses, SHRM members have access to an HR advisory service, state and federal compliance resources and a plethora of customizable HR tools.”

Managing employee relations is an essential part of running a business, but doing it ineffectively can open your business up to liability and legal issues. By thoroughly managing your hiring practices and seeking information from seasoned professionals, you can manage your employees more effectively.

This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for Small Business Pulse


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