For many small businesses, the human resources department plays a pivotal role in maintaining and overseeing things such as payroll, health benefits, internal issues involving employees and much more.
In fact, sometimes all those responsibilities prove to be too much for the head of HR to handle, leaving them with not enough hours in the day to handle all the pertinent details. In a worst-case scenario, your company's HR plan consists of an individual or individuals handling the necessary workload without any real experience in this important field.
So, is your small business' HR department finding itself able to handle the workload, needs immediate help just to handle the basics or things have gotten to be a little too overbearing in recent times?
Whatever the case, now's a good opportunity as the year winds down to take a look at the department and see what is working, what may not be working, and what improvements can be made going into 2012.
Is Your HR in Good Shape or Needs Some Work?
In the event you really don't have a sturdy HR plan in place for your small business, then consider a few things:
- Clarification is necessary -- Be sure to clarify what it is exactly your company needs in terms of human resources functionality that will land the best results for the employees. If employees are having issues and/or numerous questions with their health benefits, then make sure the individual handling such inquiries is fully qualified. HR is much more than just cutting a check for someone every two weeks;
- Involve the employees -- Sometimes employees are afraid to speak up, but they are much more likely to do so if their payroll, health benefits or concerns at the office are not properly being handled. Make sure you get feedback from your staff, good and bad. The goal here is not to single out the person in charge of HR for potentially not doing a good job, but to see what needs to be fixed and who is best able to handle that situation;
- Software solutions -- While many small businesses are watching every dollar that goes in and out, it may behoove your company to spend more money on some HR software solutions that will improve the company's needs. Whether it is needed software for payroll, health benefits or documenting employee concerns, having the right software in place can make a difference and actually be cost-effective over the long haul;
- It may be time to outsource -- In some instances; your company may find its best option is to outsource some or all of its HR needs. While this will cost you some more money by having to pay for an outside resource, it will decrease the chances of mishaps internally with human resources, leaving you and your staff more time to deal with other pertinent matters. With outsourcing, you also can pick up speed in handling payroll, benefits and more, thereby creating a happier workforce who knows these important matters will be handled more quickly;
- Eliminating mistakes -- While no system is foolproof, the HR department is one of the vital units of a small business or any company for that matter. Even a handful of errors can lead to the loss of good employees, something no company wants to deal with. If your HR matters are to be outsourced, do a thorough search of companies specializing in such services before settling on one. If you're keeping HR matters in-house, be sure to thoroughly screen and test individuals before settling on the right individual or individuals so you have the right talent in place.
At the end of the day, your human resources department will be an important cog in a smooth-running machine.
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