HR is Human Relationships

This month, we have been discussing our HR philosophy, explaining how legal and compliance and the “nuts-and-bolts” of human resources are vital components of what we as HR professionals do every day, but do not fully define what we believe HR truly is. HR = Human Relationships.

This definition means that the human resource department’s overarching goal is cultural and professional relationship development that helps drive the organization towards their mission and vision. HR professionals are tasked with ensuring that the relationships employees have with the organization and with one another all function cohesively. We believe that HR should focus on employee engagement and building relationships between managers and their employees, and not just the “black and white” side of human resources.

In our modern business setting, professional relationships have become critical to the survival of organizations. How many clients or successful employees have come about due to a professional relationship? Within your organization, your success as a manager depends on how well everyone (from employees to executives to receptionists) interacts.

This is where HRCentral steps in. In addition to assisting you with the legal and compliance and the nuts-and-bolts of HR, we specialize in helping you provide your managers with the tools and resources you need to engage and empower your employees to ensure the development of these mutually beneficial relationships.

Establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial and productive relationships with your employees doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. With the right resources, knowledge, tools, and support in place, developing and managing employees at an individual level or strengthening the relationships between a dynamic group of employees can be an effortless and successful process that will help your organization alleviate unnecessary conflict, focus on customer and client satisfaction, and be the successful organization it has the potential to be.  At the end of the day, your employees are not just a resource, they are a mutually beneficial relationship that can help drive your organization forward.

HR is Human Relationships. THAT is HRCentral.

Employees: Partners versus Resources

For years, HRCentral has held the belief that your employees are your most valuable resource, and as such we strive to help you work with your employees to achieve the end result of mutually beneficial relationships. While we still hold true to this idea as it applies to many workplace situations, it is also true that our employees are so much more than a resource. Our employees are our partners.

In leadership roles, we are so often taught how to effectively manage employees. How to coach and mentor, how to train to ensure productivity, and how to effectively discipline when things go wrong. While these are in invaluable skills that every supervisor should have in their arsenal, there are times in which it pays to treat your employees as equals rather than subordinates, proving to them that you are just as willing to work for them as they are to serve you.

Elle was working overtime one week trying to finalize a new batch of operational manuals she had recently finished editing for her team. Her manager, Stephen, had offered to help her finish printing and binding the documents for an upcoming training, but Elle told him she had it covered. The night before the training, Elle was still at work at 8:00pm, when the printer decided to no longer cooperate. Stressing about her looming deadline, Elle reached out to Stephen who was in the office within 30 minutes. With the two of them working together to resolve the printing issue and teaming up to finish preparing the bound copies of the document, the job was done within an hour versus an extra three had Elle finished the project alone. Elle developed a new found respect for Stephen when he stepped up to assist her in any way he could, feeling that her work was valued, and that he appreciated and truly cared about her as an individual.

Earning the respect of your employees doesn’t take a lot. This can be accomplished by relatively minor actions, including: taking the time to truly listen to their concerns and suggestions; communicating with your employees on a regular basis and keep them well informed; and taking the time to work with them, proving that you are willing to get down in the trenches and work alongside them as equals.

Treating your employees as equals, as partners (when appropriate) can prove to be the difference in merely managing a group of individuals and managing an efficient, productive, and engaged team. Invest your time in your employees. When your employees feel that you truly respect them, that you value their work as well as their worth as individuals, the results can prove to be advantageous in countless ways.

What are the “Nuts-and-Bolts” of HR?

The “Nuts-and-Bolts” of human resources are all the black-and-white, day-to-day duties that HR associates and supervisors deal with on a regular basis. Things such as employee performance, disciplinary action, EEO tracking, leave administration, among other duties that tie into employee management make up this component of what HR does every day.

Last week, we discussed compliance and the legal aspects of human resources. Compliance correlates directly with the “nuts-and-bolts” of HR in that in order to perform one of those duties, say the administration of employee discipline, it is vital to have compliant processes and documents in place.

Mark has been having difficulties completing a number of the essential functions of his job due to excessive absences and tardiness. His frequently being late or leaving early has resulted in his work having to be handed to other employees as he does not have the time to complete those tasks. Sarah, his supervisor, has determined that it is time for corrective action, and refers to the Employee Handbook to review the policy for the disciplinary process.

Sarah consults with her HR Manager and HRCentral to draft the written warning. As she wants to address not only the issues surrounding Mark’s absences and tardiness, but also the essential functions of his job, she refers to his job description as well. Both the Handbook and the Job Description (both prime examples of compliance) are up to date and clearly written, providing Sarah the resources to effectively manage her employee, and allowing her and the HR manager to perform this “nuts-and-bolts” aspect of HR effortlessly.

HRCentral works with its clients on these “nuts-and-bolts” issues every day. Whether the situation surrounds administering employee discipline, putting together a performance improvement plan, helping an employee go out on a leave of absence, or recruiting for a new position, HRCentral can help you navigate the day-to-day issues that arise as well as the more serious problems that pop up infrequently. Having compliant documents in place will always help make these “nuts-and-bolts” tasks that much easier to manage.

A Sticky Situation

Compliance. That thing that most frequently comes to mind when we hear the words “Human Resources” and the thing that managers most fear when a ball is dropped and issues arise. Compliance is more than just making sure that you follow a certain set of rules. Organizations have to comply with State and Federal employment and labor law regulations, ADA and ADAAA requirements, OSHA guidelines, and all manner of benefit-related rules, not to mention however many industry and organization-specific policies and procedures the company has in place. How do you keep track of it all!?

After recently terminating their HR Manager for failing to perform the expectations of her job, a credit union with 5 branches and over 50 employees has realized that the HR office is a complete mess and is in dire need of some attention.

After attempting to find some documents in the office, the President discovered a number of regulations that had not been followed and countless compliance issues. Confidential paperwork was scattered in piles throughout the office, notices for unemployment had gone unopened for months, personnel files were not locked up nor appropriately organized, and other documents were not filled out or stored based on federal standards.

FMLA and state leaves of absence had not been properly administered or tracked, resulting in a number of disgruntled employees who were not notified nor did they receive the benefits they were entitled to. With potential suits looming, it was time to get the office and processes whipped into shape.

Having utilized HRCentral for some management training years ago, the President reached out and arranged to have an HR professional review and organize the chaotic space. Within a few days, HRCentral had reviewed, shredded, and organized the mountains of paperwork and personnel files, ensured confidential documents were properly filed and locked away, and had developed and implemented processes for leave administration and effective tracking for other systems.

Luckily, the office was organized before any major compliance or employee-related issues occurred, though this is not always the case. With our expertize in legal and compliance, HRCentral is able to tackle the stickiest problems, making sure that your company is compliant in every applicable way, giving you the peace of mind that we strive to provide to each and every client.

Peaceful Easy Feeling

How much is true piece of mind worth to you? Like many mangers, executives, and business owners we have many things that keep us up at night. Finances, client satisfaction, sales, and employee management. What tools do you use to create that peace of mind that you seek?

Samantha, a store manager for a local business, has been up all night. Earlier in the day, Samantha overheard some of her employees discussing a recently separated employee who was filing a wrongful termination suit with the Department of Labor, alleging that she was discriminated against by Samantha because she took a leave of absence. Samantha knows this is not the case (the employee was terminated for performance-related issues that had been occurring both before and after her leave), but the thought of potentially being sued over this has caused a considerable amount of stress for Samantha.

The next day, Samantha went to HR to discuss what she had heard and to review the employee’s file, the Employee Handbook, and other applicable policies to determine if, during the course of the employee’s disciplinary documentation and subsequent termination, she had made a misstep or if policies were not followed. At that time, both Samantha and the HR Specialist contacted HRCentral.

After talking with their dedicated HR Professional and going over documents and policies, it was determined that Samantha and her company had done everything right during the course of this employee’s employment and disciplinary process. The Handbook was legally compliant and policies were clearly outlined (a result of their recent, annual Handbook update) and as HRCentral was consulted for assistance in drafting disciplinary warnings and the termination letter, all documents were equally compliant and clearly communicated.

Samantha was able to take a deep breath and felt far less stressed. Like so many managers in her position, these employee relations issues often pop up and it is incredibly difficult to turn off your brain and relax. Having HRCentral available to discuss the situation with alleviated any anxiety she had regarding the potential claims.

The peace of mind Samantha received from ensuring she took the right steps with her employees and having the reassurance from seasoned professionals is critical to her success. HRCentral focuses on helping our clients achieve that peace of mind. In addition to the compliance and legal aspects of HR (e.g. annual and periodic updates and reviews of HR-documents), many of our clients have long-term relationships with us because of that reassurance, because of that “peaceful, easy feeling” they receive in knowing that they are supported and always have someone to turn to with questions or situations that need addressed.