With constant changes in laws governing human resources, small business owners may be facing risks that they didn’t know about. While large companies have a team of human resources and legal experts to help mitigate these risks, these teams are often cost prohibitive for small business owners. However, ignoring them could open your business up to a variety of liabilities, including lawsuits. Lynda Zugec, human resources professional and founder of The Workforce Consultants, offers advice on limiting risks as well as potential resources you can use to make sure that your own human resource policies are current.
(Photo courtesy of Lynda Zugec)
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
The landscape of human resources is ever changing. Staying on top of these changes can be time consuming and costly. It can also be overwhelming, but there are many resources available. According to Zugec, one of the tools that a business owner can use is a human resources audit. In these audits, a consultant reviews the policies and practices in place and advises business owners on areas in which they may be vulnerable. She explains the benefits of these audits as follows, “The items of the HR audit are subsequently prioritized in terms of their importance. An HR audit can provide the small business owner with an understanding of what needs to be done and a road map for getting there. In this way, the small business owner can make decisions after weighing costs, risks, and exposure, and only take on what they are prepared for.”
Tap Into Your Resources
Most Small Business Administration groups and advisers have information available regarding human resources laws as well as other information. Those resources specific to human resources may be more comprehensive. States Zugec, “…small business help centers provide access to materials and experienced individuals who can assist. Human Resource Associations are also a helpful resource as they typically provide information on different topics and can answer any questions small businesses may have. There are online providers of HR resources that can keep small businesses updated on HR laws. In addition, HR consulting firms are always open to keeping clients updated on new HR laws and the changes that are occurring.”
Before you find your business on the receiving end of a human resources problem, take a proactive stance and figure out where your company’s gaps may be. Paying for a consultant up front to come audit your business may save you from a costly lawsuit in the long run. Take advantage of these resources and get what you need to close your gaps.
Lynda Zugec is a human resources professional with experience in multiple countries. Prior to founding The Workforce Consultants, she was a Human Capital Advisory Services Consultant with Mercer Human Resources Consulting, Ltd. She and the other professionals at The Workforce Consultants are dedicated to providing human resources solutions to clients all over the world.
Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.