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HR for Small Business

image Larry A. Hobbs, B.S., M.B.A., SPHR & SCP

EXTENDING THE REACH - Is there a website or resource that allows small employers to obtain immediate responses and guidance on Human Resource issues as they surface? It is becoming more challenging for small employers that do not have full-time HR Managers to understand all of the requirements, and to know how to deal with frequent employee challenges.



     Most small and medium-sized businesses suffer from the same dilemma described in the question above. More and more subjects and issues are being put under the “umbrella” of HR Management. Here are a few ways to address the problem:
•    Send someone on the staff to as many local seminars and HR-related meetings as you have the time and funds for. This is usually an office manager, an administrative assistant, or a supervisor from operations.
•    Join the local Human Resource Management Association; the annual dues are minimal. They conduct monthly meetings that concentrate on a program, lesson, workshop, or speaker related to an HR topic.
•    Get on the “Alert List” of the U.S. Department of Labor. They e-mail frequent updates about employee relations, Federal regulatory changes, and mandatory posters.
•    Conduct an “HR Audit” that reviews your current personnel management policies and practices. There are about 15 critical subjects that need to be examined --- and it does not really take an HR practitioner very long to do the review and write the report.
•    Have someone on your staff join the Society for Human Resource Management, a national association. SHRM members receive legislative, legal, diversity, bench-marking, compensation, benefits, and other useful information every two weeks --- some of it is hard-copy, but most of it is electronically distributed to the members.
•    Additionally, SHRM members have unlimited access to many resources: form samples, policy samples, white papers on about 50 subjects, and the Resource Center in Alexandria, VA to answer questions.
•    HRM also provides HR certification on the “HR Body of Knowledge.” Certification is obtained through studying and testing.
•    Make certain that your current Employee Handbook and the related personnel management forms are current, thorough, accurate, clearly written, and in compliance.
•    Train each salaried staff member, particularly managers and supervisors, in subjects such as principles of management, communication improvement, performance evaluation, record keeping, discipline, and leadership.
    These are some of the things that need to be done in order to stay up with “HR best practices.”
    Mr. Hobbs has more than 30 years of Human Resource and training experience. His extensive background includes positions as a Personnel Management  Specialist with the Federal government and a Human Resource Manager for the General Dynamics Corporation.
Throughout his career he has performed a significant amount of consulting, training, writing, and university-level teaching; with more than 40 published articles. Larry assists companies with policy development, problem-solving, writing employee handbooks, investigating discrimination/harassment complaints, supervisory training, and many other HR topics.
    Larry has a B.S. from Abilene Christian University and an M.B.A. in Organizational Behavior & Management from the University of Alaska. He is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Senior Certified Professional (SCP); as well as an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management.
    Hobbs served on the Board of Directors of the San Antonio Human Resource Management Association (SAHRMA) during 2014-15.

Larry A. Hobbs, B.S., M.B.A., SPHR & SCP, is an HR Specialist who assists employers in policy development and training. Telephone consultation is always free --- (210) 316-4206.

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Reesa Doebbler reesa@constructionnews.net