The human resources process is crucial to the success and longevity of a small business or company. Even if the company has one employee, performing some human resources tasks is necessary. Business development, profit, marketing and advertising are all related to human resources — and a business’ bottom line. As a result, small business owners should consider pursuing some form of formal human resources training.
What Is Human Resources?
Human resources is a mixture of tasks combined to drive a business’ most important asset: human capital. In larger corporations, the human resources department is comprised of a number of positions. For example, the department may employ a human resources director, manager, analyst, employment compensation specialist and a benefits manager. Human resources professionals also work closely with the accounting department in the processing of payroll in some organizations. However, in a small business, the human resources department may consist of one employee: the business owner.
Human resources professionals perform a range of tasks. They apply their knowledge of labor law to ensure the company does not violate employment regulations. One of the main tasks in human resources is the recruitment and training of new employees. A small business needs talented employees well versed in the company’s policies, procedures and bottom line. As a result, recruiting the most qualified talent and providing a core group of training programs is important. In addition, preventing high employment turn over rates is a function of human resources. Professionals in the industry offer a mix of benefits that attract and retain employees.
What Training Is Available?
Business owners can take a number of small business HR training courses. Owners can choose from introductory, specialty or legal courses that offer a foundation in understanding the field. An introductory course can offer training in the different roles in human resources. Examples inlcude benefits and payroll, disciplinary action; recruiting, hiring, training and employment termination and benefits.
Small business owners also have the option of taking specialty courses. Specialty courses offer the opportunity to focus on the area that is most relevant to the business. For example, a small business owner interested in starting a benefits program can focus on this area only. Benefits courses offer information about the options available, working with insurance plan providers, administration of benefits programs and possibly negotiating the terms of programs.
Other options include HR law, workplace safety, job descriptions and training handbooks, compensation, record keeping and performance management.
How Are Training Courses Delivered?
Small business owners have a number of delivery options. Today’s technological advances offer distance courses and owners can take advantage of distance courses as well.
In addition, students of small business HR training programs can take advantage of a number of options related to course times. Some courses are offered as self-paced options online while others offer a more structured and traditional environment.
Human resources management is an integral part of running a small business. Human resources training programs offer small business owners the opportunity to manage their employees effectively and efficiently.
Let’s face it: HR is where everyone goes when there’s a problem – especially in a small business. The problem is, HR may only be one or two people – and HR is only one of the hats they wear!
Many of the workers, managers, or business owners tasked with being “the HR Department” have to be the jack of all trades, handling not only their “normal job”, but also the multitude or “HR things”, such as payroll, workers’ comp, and benefits. And when faced with handling HR compliance or employee relations issues (a.k.a. conflicts and complaints) feel like they’re sinking in quicksand!
So: How do you handle the volume of “HR stuff” without losing your sanity, negatively affecting your other responsibilities, or making compliance mistakes?
We have the solution: a one-day, comprehensive training program designed specifically for the small or one-person HR Department!
Here Is A Quick Snapshot Of What You’ll Learn:
What are the basic things I can – and can’t – ask and do during the hiring process?
How – and when – can I use independent contractors, yet avoid all the lawsuits and bad press I see daily?
How do I handle the vast amount of benefit rules and regulations: FMLA, ADA, COBRA, Workers’ Comp, and more?
What is the proper way to comply with all of the payroll rules and regulations: garnishments…travel pay… gifts and awards…independent contractors…multi-state taxation?
How do I keep updated on all of the changing employee benefit and payroll laws and requirements?
What are the best ways for me to coach my employees
Which are the “best practices” for handling employee performance issues?
What time management skills can help me to better manage my multiple priorities AND have a good work/life balance?
Human Resources staff perform a critical function in the human resources department, ensuring that the needs of personnel and management are met. However, as well-trained and experienced as HR staff can be, they could still make mistakes due to negligence, ignorance of the law as well as certain procedures, and a lack of sufficient knowledge. Find out what the top mistakes HR staff makes and how to prevent them:
Ineffective employee communication and lack of documentation - Human Resources is expected to bridge the communication gap between management and employees. The problem with poor communication is that it not only creates misunderstanding, it can also lead to liabilities.
The same is true regarding documentation, documents are not only a record of transactions and agreements, they are also proof that these events actually occurred. Without sufficient documentation, conflict can arise that could prove costly to the company in the future.
Solution: HR staff should always try to assess the efficacy of communication efforts with employees by establishing guidelines on the methods to be used for disseminating information and on the expected outcome. If there is any indication of communication failure, corrective measures should be implemented right away.
Records should also be kept to ensure that actions are documented. This is to provide the management with documents to use for future reference and to protect the company from possible legal issues.
Failure to get updates on current legal requirements
Laws change. It is an inevitable fact of life, particularly in the workplace. If an HR staff continues to implement company policy based on outdated laws and regulations, this could leave the company open to complaints and even legal violations.
The HR department should always make sure that policies comply with new laws. Updating employee handbooks and using supplements if necessary should help address this issue.
Due to the nature of their work, HR staff are often exposed to privileged information in the company, ranging from how much salary a new employee is receiving to the type of disciplinary action an erring employee is getting to who is going to get fired. Problems could arise if this confidentiality is breached by the very people who are supposed to uphold it.
HR staff should keep in mind that they are secret keepers and not secret sharers. The integrity of the department and the company itself rests on their ability to keep confidential information confidential. This is their responsibility and not their choice.
Making decisions based on personal feelings
HR staff frequently have to make decisions that can affect an employee’s work. Sometimes, this means foregoing personal relationships in order to ensure that any action from the department and/or the management complies with existing policies and laws. This can be especially trying particularly when friends and/or family members are involved.
Although there is nothing wrong about considering personal feelings when making a decision, these should not be the only reference point that should be considered. Use existing policies, laws and regulations along with company practices to determine which action is best and that results are fair to all concerned.
All human resources professionals need to stay up-to-date on the latest changes in legislation and processes. Just because the benefits in your organization have not changed does not mean there has not been changes to COBRA. All employees are eligible for COBRA when they are let go. Understanding eligibility and compliance is extremely important and can affect your office’s efficiency if even one team member is not on-board. If it is time to schedule COBRA training for HR departments, learn how to choose the best training so all of your specialists are equipped to handle processing or to answer COBRA questions.
What Do You Need to Learn
Being COBRA compliant is not as easy as it may sound. With all of the changing rules and regulations, you need a proper understanding of legislation, procedures, and even design options if you do not want to fall victim to court cases. To get the most out of your training you need to choose a class that covers a variety of different topics. Look for a course that will cover the laws and will also give you administrative tips so you can run your office more efficiently. Some of the topics that should be covered include:
* Plans that are subject to COBRA
* Who is covered by COBRA?
* The COBRA Notice
* Qualifying events and notices
* The timeline
* Billing and collection
* Termination of COBRA
* Rules and requirements
* Family and Medical Leave Act
* Coverage rules and special circumstances
Now that you understand what the class should cover it is time to choose a course. You will have to tell the training provider how many participants will be enrolling at the time of enrollment. If you are assessing who needs to enroll in the class you should determine who will handle calls and plans. You should send your benefits and HR managers as well as new staff members. You should also send administrative staff and administrators who work directly with your team.
When you complete training you can keep your team up-to-date so you stay COBRA compliant. Make sure you review the cost of training per employee and choose a provider who will keep you educated and informed whenever new laws are set in force. Improve your areas of weakness in your HR department and choose training classes that will help you make sense of it all.
For more COBRA info take a look at this video from HR Training Center:
Is the significance of making use of an HR training course lost on you? It is always a good idea to invest in your people, but what benefits and returns on investment does training HR and staff have that you should be interested in?
Better Process Efficiency
The skill sets your workforce possesses need to be constantly honed to retain their competitive edge. Naturally, you employed staff who are qualified to perform their current tasks, but improving a company entails leveraging strengths, improving on weaknesses, and identifying areas of improvement in every aspect of business – including staff skills.
Of course, there will also come times where business changes render some skills unnecessary as well as fuel demand for new ones. Training existing human resources helps save on costs of acquiring new ones with the skills and qualifications required by business changes.
Increased Employee Loyalty
Training your workforce also helps in several other aspects that dictate just how loyal they will be to the company. Contrary to general preconception, an employee’s salary rate is not the only significant factor that decides company loyalty. In fact, a combination of work-life balance, career advancement, and salary is what dictates how happy – and thus how loyal – an employee is to the company.
Providing offline and online HR training allows employees a break from their regular work duties, making it a work-life balance improving aspect as well as a career advancing option for existing staff. It can even help them stay focused on their short-term goals which eventually lead to fulfilling long term endeavors.
Improved Employee Retention
Given that an HR training course can help increase company loyalty, it only follows that it therefore helps improve employee retention. This may seem counterintuitive, because after all, should it not be the case that trained employees have better chances at seeking greener pastures?
That may be the case, but as mentioned earlier, satisfied employees who are given career advancement opportunities stay happy and loyal. It is also only practical for them to stay in the company where their training can eventually lead to promotions and further career progress.
Now these three benefits – better process efficiency, increase employee loyalty, and improved employee retention – are all well and good on their own. What they all lead towards, however, is much better: more company profits. With better efficiency means more productivity, and with fewer employees leaving, expenses can be focused on other important business concerns aside from acquiring new workers.