When many small business owners start their company, most know exactly what products or services they want to offer and how to differentiate themselves from their competitors. They may even know exactly what they want their future office to look like once the company grows.
If you have a dream for your small business, chances are good that you haven’t been fantasizing about compliance with employment laws, safety regulations and payroll systems. Yet these aspects are vital to the smooth operation of a business, which is why hiring a human resources manager (or department) is a good idea.
HR managers have (unfairly) come to symbolize workplace political correctness and bureaucracy. They are often the punch lines of jokes about the banality of corporate life. Some business owners view HR departments as either a necessary evil or an unnecessary nuisance.
But if you own a business and want it to grow, investing in HR right away is the smart choice. This was the argument made in a recent “Slate” article called “In Defense of HR.” Why do you need an HR manager or department? Quite simply, because your company’s operations could come to a grinding halt without someone in charge of:
- Compliance with labor laws regulating wages and hours
- Compliance with workplace safety laws
- Compliance with laws governing leave, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Making sure that the right people for each position are hired
- Making sure that employees are fired or disciplined in ways that do not invite a discrimination or harassment complaint
- Helping business owners create a diverse team of employees
You may not see the need for an HR manager when your business has only a few employees. But if you plan to grow, it is far easier to incorporate HR into the culture now than it will be when a workplace environment has already been established.
A human resources manager can protect your business from liability on many fronts. If and when things require expertise from outside the company, you should seek the help of an attorney specializing in business and commercial law.
Source: Slate, “In Defense of HR,” Alison Griswold, Sept. 22, 2014