By Anica Oaks
Small businesses often struggle with human resource needs because of limited manpower and financial resources. However, here are six fundamental sources of HR support that will help small businesses make better decisions and stay competitive.
The Local Chambers of Commerce
A local chamber of commerce, or other business alliance organization, will offer useful resources and networking opportunities for small businesses. A chamber of commerce is the first step in reaching out to the local community to obtain legal, financial and commercial support. Many chambers of commerce have employees whose primary function is to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses. As part of this, many chambers of commerce partner with local community colleges to offer free workshops and formal business training.
The Small Business Association
The Small Business Association (SBA) is the federal government’s organization that supports small business development. They offer a wealth of educational resources and training modules that can answer almost every business question through their learning center. As part of this, the SBA offers online and in-person training and mentoring. Local SBA officials are available to assist small businesses through counseling and on-site training. In fact, most local chapters offer inexpensive training events through their Small Business Development Center.
The Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the premier HR organization that is dedicated to promoting best HR practices. They provide valuable resources for HR topics, legal issues and public policies. They also offer beneficial how-to guides and HR policy templates. Their HR process and procedure standards are the benchmark for companies around the world. They also offer education resources for HR professionals through seminars, webcasts and their e-learning platform. This includes their popular Essentials of HR Management course. Finally, they also offer regular publications, such as their newsletter and HR magazine.
The Department of Labor
The Department of Labor (DOL) is charged with promoting and protecting both the employed and the unemployed. Part of this goal involves regulations that protect employees’ rights concerning wages, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and other critical laws. For example, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the standards for overtime pay. In fact, the DOL enforces over 180 federal mandates that protect workers across America. Every HR professional should familiarize themselves with the DOL’s major laws and principle statutes.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is one of the major DOL programs that guarantees employees the right to work in a safe workplace. Certain industries are more heavily monitored by OSHA, such as the construction, manufacturing and agricultural industries. In fact, industries that employ people in dangerous environments performing hazardous work must have an active OSHA-friendly safety program that goes above and beyond legal and industry standards. Otherwise, surprise OSHA inspections can result in hefty violation fines and temporary business closure.
A Human Resources Information System (HRIS) is a great way to centralize and standardize information. This is especially important because HR tasks involve continual updates to very different tracking systems and include topics such as benefits, performance reviews, disciplinary documentation, and even hiring protocols. Integrated data means that HR managers will be able to generate in-depth reports that can help them streamline operations and obtain accurate HR numbers, such as the turnover rate. You can compare available programs with HRIS software reviews. Finally, HRIS programs can also act as a central access point for safety procedures, company policies and employee handbooks. As a result, HR professionals can spend their time on more important things.
To sum up, managing human resources can be a challenge for small business owners. However, there are excellent tools and resources to help small business owners with their HR needs. This includes the SBA, DOL and using HRIS software.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.