Building a New Bridge

The importance of healthy human resources

By: Connie Laughlin

Human resources (HR) is the bridge between the employer and the employees. As with any bridge it needs to be built to code, as well as superintended by highly trained and certified specialists.

When building a bridge, know your worksite requirements, talent capability and available technology. If a business hires an “HR person,” how connected is this person with the owner of the business? Does this person or department have the buy-in and full support of management to implement appropriate human resource initiatives? And how does a business owner know if “HR” has the needed certification, training and expertise to set policy and procedures for their talent pool? These are all excellent questions!

Preparing our workplace for a better tomorrow
Without the buy-in of core management, any HR initiative will fall short. Each department has an end goal in mind; with that said, all must align their strategic initiatives to work in harmony with one another to ensure goals are met. HR must work with departments, not around them.

Management teams might need strategies to engage employees for morale and production purposes, or the business might be downsizing a department and, therefore, counting on HR to ensure a smooth and effective way for them to see progress.

Are your HR personnel up to the task?
Today, many employers continue to ignore the necessity of HR. For example, businesses must post some federal and state labor laws, so if the “all-in-one poster” isn’t posted, one might wonder if owners are intimidated. Maybe they threw their poster in the trash rather than post it out of fear an employee might ask questions about a law and they aren’t educated enough to know whether a law pertains to them or not. Lack of knowledge always leads to low morale – and lack of knowledge when building a bridge may lead to death.

Can HR quantify their role in a business as an added value, not just added work or cost?
The ROI isn’t clearly defined for those who haven’t actually spent time harvesting fruitful benefits and appreciating the risk management HR brings to a business. So business owners don’t jump at the chance to spend money and or their time on the development of HR. For example, rules on sick leave and bereavement can become a real problem if they are not properly managed.
Hire a labor and employment lawyer to help you write an employee handbook. Employee handbooks are very important – it’s mandatory to invest your time to create one. Companies without healthy HR programs might find they have unhappy, unmotivated and/or less productive employees.

Fortune 100 companies are big on HR. Employees in management-level positions are trained in a myriad of HR coursework. They’re on top of employment laws, cutting-edge leadership skills and other proactive techniques and processes. While fortune 100 companies have extensive HR departments, they absolutely realize the importance of having everyone working with personnel trained, too. These skills improve production and lower liability for the corporation.

Work smarter, not harder or longer
Your personnel are your most valuable asset. Maximize their talents, train them appropriately, discipline proactively and tactically mentor each for abundant production. A business is working at a disadvantage if owners don’t care or grasp the importance of having either learned the skill sets or access to a seasoned and certified HR professional. This goes for any type of business, and for any size, from two to 2,000 employees.

Winning is about having the right people in the right seats on the bus. If an employee isn’t a good fit for the job, everyone suffers. Here, too, is an excellent opportunity for a healthy HR department to shine as they can assist in the hiring process. For example: What questions can be asked, what questions are taboo and what questions might be asked to uncover negative traits or one’s best qualities for a specific role?

Change is part of life! If we do things the same way continuously, we’re doing it wrong. We’re stagnant if we’re not utilizing advances in technology, more effective ways of communicating with one another and staying up-to-date with new laws and mandates. Reach out to an attorney specializing in employment law if you’re not sure.

Wait – there’s a better way!
Partner with a certified professional employer organization (PEO). When you utilize one outsourcing service company for all your HR (payroll, HR, workers’ compensation insurance, safety – benefits optional), you’ll receive a plethora of value.

• Contained employee cost
• Reduced employee liability
• Streamlined operations, driving financial gain
• Specialized and compliant procedures and policies
• Certified HR guidance
• Safety and risk management strategies
• Efficient payroll administration
• Cost- effective benefits

Outsourcing HR is a growing trend today, and for good reason!

Connie Laughlin is a business consultant for UniqueHR. For more information on outsourcing your human resources, contact her at 361-852-6392 or

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