Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - CAREERS -

How could this sit­u­a­tion and oth­ers like it be avoided? The an­swer is, by not play­ing the psy­cho­log­i­cal game of wait­ing un­til you get into trou­ble. Frankly, there’s no or­ga­ni­za­tion that’s too small for good hu­man re­source ad­vice. That’s be­cause as soon as you have em­ploy­ees, you need to abide by em­ploy­ment leg­is­la­tion and to treat em­ploy­ees ap­pro­pri­ately. The rule of thumb is that if you have 75-100 em­ploy­ees, you need on on­site hu­man re­source pro­fes­sional. Oth­er­wise, se­cure ac­cess to a ser­vice that is avail­able on an on-call ba­sis.

Let me share with you how a hu­man re­source pro­fes­sional can as­sist your or­ga­ni­za­tion and/or cor­po­ra­tion.

Staff re­source plan­ning — HR pro­fes­sion­als can as­sist with staff re­source plan­ning at any point in your busi­ness cy­cle be it startup, growth, down­siz­ing and/or suc­ces­sion. Your hu­man re­source pro­fes­sional needs to sit at the strate­gic ta­ble and be part of man­age­ment de­ci­sions so that they can pre­pare and pro­tect your or­ga­ni­za­tion at all times.

Re­cruit­ment and se­lec­tion — most gen­eral man­agers and su­per­vi­sors are not aware of the many le­gal­i­ties of in­ter­view­ing. This leads to com­plaints of dis­crim­i­na­tion. HR pro­fes­sion­als on the other hand, have the skills to build com­pe­tency and skills maps, job de­scrip­tions, job ads and in­ter­view ques­tions that en­sure the right per­son for the right job at the right time while ad­her­ing to ap­pro­pri­ate leg­is­la­tion.

Com­pen­sa­tion and ben­e­fits — let’s face it, em­ploy­ees want to be paid fairly for the amount of ef­fort they put in. Hu­man re­source pro­fes­sion­als can set up a pay struc­ture that en­sures fair­ness and eq­uity be­tween all jobs in your or­ga­ni­za­tion. Oth­er­wise, you’ll soon find new em­ploy­ees are paid more than es­tab­lished work­ers while an em­ployee salary raise might be based on a man­ager’s emo­tions of the day.

Em­ployee re­la­tions — em­ployee com­plaints and con­cerns brought for­ward but not ad­dressed and/or not dealt with ac­cord­ing to em­ploy­ment stan­dards and/or hu­man rights leg­is­la­tion is frankly what causes em­ploy­ers the most pain. A hu­man re­source pro­fes­sional un­der­stands th­ese re­quire­ments and can as­sist you to re­solve com­plaints be­fore they re­sult in a for­mal com­plaint, a fi­nan­cial penalty or resti­tu­tion and all the bad pub­lic­ity that fol­lows.

Pol­icy man­ual devel­op­ment and train­ing — ev­ery or­ga­ni­za­tion needs an up­dated pol­icy man­ual and a method to keep it cur­rent with chang­ing leg­is­la­tion. Su­per­vi­sors need to know how to ap­ply the poli­cies while em­ploy­ees need to know what their rights and obli­ga­tions are. A hu­man re­source pro­fes­sional plays a key role in de­vel­op­ing a pol­icy man­ual, con­duct­ing the needed train­ing and is al­ways avail­able to an­swer ques­tions on pro­ce­dure.

Train­ing and devel­op­ment — stay­ing ahead as a leader in your in­dus­try sec­tor re­quires con­tin­u­ally up­grad­ing of equip­ment. The same strat­egy ap­plies to em­ploy­ees; they must be­come con­tin­u­ous learn­ers. A hu­man re­source pro­fes­sional can as­sist by de­vel­op­ing a train­ing plan, help man­agers to iden­tify com­pe­ten­cies, as­sess and de­velop train­ing strate­gies, eval­u­ate pro­grams and search out train­ing ven­dors.

Per­son­nel records man­age­ment — per­son­nel records is an­other area where em­ploy­ers fre­quently en­counter com­plaints and sub­se­quent le­gal is­sues. Hu­man re­source pro­fes­sion­als know what spe­cific items are to be in­cluded, who has ac­cess, when and how em­ploy­ees are al­lowed ac­cess and how to pro­tect in­di­vid­ual pri­vacy. Poor record man­age­ment sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases or­ga­ni­za­tional risk.

The pro­fes­sion of hu­man re­sources has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 25 years. To­day, hu­man re­source pro­fes­sion­als are highly trained and ap­ply strate­gies to pro­tect your or­ga­ni­za­tion in the com­pli­cated world of em­ploy­ment leg­is­la­tion. So, take my ad­vice, avoid play­ing the psy­cho­log­i­cal wait­ing game where you just won’t make a de­ci­sion while hop­ing your hu­man re­source is­sues will re­solve them­selves. Be­lieve me; they’ll only get worse with­out pro­fes­sional help.

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