Top 3 Ways How an HR Consultant Can Help You

By Dianna Conover

Small businesses face quite a few obstacles in today’s demanding world. Resources are tight and you are trying to manage your budgets and cut costs wherever you can. A lot of times, HR is the first to go. Who needs it, right? You can take on the responsibility yourself or delegate it down to your managers to hire, terminate, and discipline your employees… Right?

Not really. There is a lot more to HR than hiring and firing. HR establishes fundamental building blocks for your organization, ensuring that everything you do from payroll to performance reviews is in compliance with all of those complicated state and federal laws.

I’m sure you're thinking, “Okay Dianna, I can see HR’s value, but I really can’t afford a full-time HR person.” Understandable. That is where hiring an HR consultant can really help. Not only do you benefit from the expertise and experience of a seasoned HR professional, but you can do it without the cost of paying for a full-time salary. You only pay for the time you need!

While an HR consultant can help you in many ways, here are the top 3 ways an HR consultant can help you:

Legal Compliance

Employment laws can be complicated. All it takes is one mistake, and you can get served with a costly lawsuit. HR consultants are trained in the ins and outs of employment law and how to protect your business, including compliance in hiring, firing, and general employee relations. Armed with extensive knowledge of FMLA, OSHA, USERRA, and a wide range of other regulations, a consultant can advise you on best practices, posting requirements, minimum wages, and even helping with managing the constant updates that are required.  

Outside of employment law, there is a ton of other legal requirements that your business must comply with. Do you know that each of your employee files requires a minimum of 3, separately maintained files? Do you know that violations on your employees’ I-9s can lead to fines of up to $16,000? Scary, right?

Bringing in an HR consultant to audit your files, fix mistakes, and help you build a system to maintain compliance going forward, can ultimately protect your business against costly fines and penalties.

Policy and Procedure Development

Every business needs a handbook whether you have 10,000 employees or 10. Handbooks outline the rules, regulations, and expectations you have for your employees, not only ensuring their success but covering your back in employee disputes. Whether it is outlining how your employees earn and take vacation time, how they dress, or how they can take a leave of absence, developing a policy in your handbook that is inclusive and compliant can be challenging.

While a well-written policy provides guidance on how things operate and can protect you against harassment, discrimination, and other claims, a policy that is not fully developed can open you up to costly litigation and other issues.

Having an HR consultant review, revise, or develop your handbook or policy & procedure manual, will help you create a culture where there is consistency and control, where employees are protected against actions that might endanger their employment, and ensures that all relevant laws and regulations are addressed to protect your business and add accountability.  

Hiring

Let’s be real, hiring employees can be a pain. It takes a ton of time that, honestly, you don’t have. It is figuring out where to post job ads, screening through hundreds of resumes and applications that are not what you are looking for, and then you are tasked with screening and interviewing candidates.

Hiring an HR consultant can save you valuable time by managing your hiring needs, including managing job boards, finding passive candidates, utilizing innovate recruiting methods, shifting through resumes to identify top candidates, screen those and present you a pool of qualified, talented individuals that can make a difference in your organization. Hiring new employees is critical to ensuring the success of your business and you want to do it right, the first time. Don’t waste money, and trust your hiring needs to an HR consultant.

The bottom line is that every business, large or small, needs some kind of HR presence. Bringing in outside help can not only bring you a fresh, new perspective that is free of any biases of your organization, but can also take the burden off of your leadership team in managing a complex, critical piece of the business that they might not be fully equipped to do so.

Arts HR can give you the peace of mind that your people functions are in capable hands so you can dedicate your time to focus on your company. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

 

The Power of a Thank You

By Dianna Conover

The holiday season always gets me thinking about how to appreciate those who mean the most to me. But the power of thanking those who matter to us is not in how big of a gift we give but in how genuine we are with our thank you. Same applies to our workplaces. During the holiday season employees look forward to time off, Christmas bonuses, holiday hams, and other goodies that the employer provides but are you doing what you need to do all year long?

Creating a culture of recognition and gratitude is not impossible. It’s making changes one step at a time. It’s teaching people to be appreciative of others before they walk out the door. The number-one reason most Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. In fact, 65% of people surveyed said they got no recognition for good work last year. (Gallup, Tom Rath and Donald Clifton, How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life, 2001) I can hear you saying, But Dianna, we are a small business! We don’t have the budget to have a recognition program! So, what if I told you than you could do it for less than $10 a month?

Recognition programs don’t have to be expensive. They just need to be genuine, immediate and consistent. You start from the top with your leaders and allow the feeling of being appreciated ripple through your organization. Am I saying that your leadership needs to be thanked first? No. Not to exclude them but they should be the ones to start this process. Costing less than $10, hand written thank you cards are a great start. Dream a little dream with me; it’s an average Tuesday afternoon and you are working away at your desk and the president of your company walks up to your desk and hands you an envelope and he says, “Thank you for what you do for our organization. You are really valued.”  You look around and all your coworkers are watching and your manager is smiling. You might blush or think that you are being punked but then you proceed to open this envelope and you have a hand written card from him with a few sentences saying how much he appreciates the work you did on that last project, or with a specific client. That would make you feel pretty amazing, right? Right! While the President or other members or the Leadership Team might not consistently recognize others for their work, by them starting the process, it opens the door to peer-to-peer recognition, manager to employee recognition and even employee to manager recognition!

If you wanted to take an additional step, investing in your recognition program can make a significant difference. When companies spend 1% or more of payroll on recognition, 85% see a positive impact on engagement.  (SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012) Let’s say that your average yearly payroll is $150,000. 1% of that equates to $1500 a year. Imagine what you can do with $125 a month! It can go towards a monthly pizza party for the office or Friday bagels. It can go towards an employee of the month program or pool the money into a quarterly award. The options really are endless but when you put in effort in appreciating the people who support you, the results are undeniable!

Recognition programs are not only a great retention tool and engagement builder but it is also a great recruiting tool. Need to seduce over that rock-star candidate with one more reason to join your company? Try recognition. Need to find top talent. Recognition works! Part of human nature is the need to feel validated for what we do. They want to feel appreciated and people want to work at an organization that values its employees. Promoting your stellar recognition program is one more reason that you will look better than that other employer trying to snag that rock-star.

Timing does matter on this. If you wait a week or two to recognize someone, they might have forgotten what they did. Time is of the essence. Create a culture of saying thank you often, right away and with sincerity and you will see a much happier, engaged workforce!

If you would like help creating a recognition program that is perfect for your own unique organization, ARTS HR can help! Contact us today to get started!