Human resources is a pretty broad category that includes a lot of different functions. When I tell people that I own a human resources consulting company, I get a lot of different reactions. Some people think that means benefits and payroll, some people think it means hiring and firing, and some people think it means I sell a software product.
While there are HR companies that offer all of those things, ultimately human resources is about people. Yes, there are software systems that can provide extremely beneficial information about employees, help you better manage your business, and help you stay in compliance for accounting, tax audits, and the Affordable Care Act. Software systems have their place for many companies, but software can’t help you actually manage people.
It’s easy for business owners to think, “I need human resources help, so let’s go purchase a system.” And while that system does offer benefits for a growing company, it won’t protect you from the day to day challenges and potential liability problems right around the corner.
When it comes to risk management, the people are the biggest risk for any business. The people in your business are the ones who can get you in hot water for compliance with labor regulations, harassment lawsuits, EEOC claims, and much more.
The liability for most companies occurs in the frontline supervisors. They’re the ones who work day-to-day with your employees. If harassment is happening or employees aren’t complying with regulations, the frontline supervisor is going to see it or hear about it first. If they’re not properly trained as supervisors, that information might never make it back to the business owner or HR person, which creates liability for the company.
I attended an event recently where I was talking to the owner and general manager of a company with multiple locations throughout the Oklahoma City area. Each location has a manager or supervisor and a staff serving the public on a daily basis. As we continued to talk, one of them said, “Pretty much all of our supervisors are also in HR, aren’t they?”
The answer is yes. When someone takes on the role of supervisor, they take on some HR functions as well. Unfortunately, not a lot of companies recognize that and provide the necessary training to go with it.
Like any multi-faceted business function, effective HR is about finding the right balance among the different areas. For many companies, that might mean an HR software system combined with the right policies and a person or department focused on training and development.
If you want to ensure your company has the right training for supervisors and proper policies in place to protect your business, contact Why HR today.