Attention Deficit Disorder in the HR World

Using a checklist is often seen as a panacea for solving complicated or unfamiliar tasks. Airline pilots use them as a matter of routine before every flight and they are some of the most technologically adept and responsible people on the planet. It seems an obvious conclusion that location managers could bring the same attention to detail when dealing with HR issues if given a checklist. The manager would expend less time and energy and the company would see a better bottom line.

The problem, however, does not usually lie in the HR policies devised by a company. Instead, it is the implementation of those policies that most often fails. Unfortunately, even with the benefit of a checklist, many managers are simply too busy to adequately deal with HR issues including such common ones such as counseling or terminating employees. Through the usual day, office and location managers are routinely torn in several directions at once and their full attention is rarely directed at one thing. This institutional ADD is simply a function of the environment in which they work and is not really their fault.

A Typical Day at the Office

Company policy may dictate that a manager set aside an appropriate time and place to properly implement company HR policy. The manager may actually succeed once in a while but good intentions will not eliminate the need to deal with customer complaints, urgent home office requests or any emergencies that can interrupt the process.

This reality is true at every step of an HR procedure. Not only is the actual interaction given short shrift, but preparation is usually inadequate and documentation often remains incomplete. In the plainest terms, most retail and office managers have too much on their plate to oversee even routine HR tasks with or without a checklist.

Repercussions to the Company

The improper or biased administration of HR policy affects a company across the board. New hires often forego orientation and are not sufficiently trained. As a result, other coworkers must pick up the slack. There is lower all-around morale and decreased productivity. Consequently, there is higher turnover and more HR complaints. In the end, the company pays more in government fines, unemployment insurance and legal claims especially if the proper HR paperwork is not completed and archived.

Disparate Goals

Upper management has the benefit of a bird’s eye view of a corporation. They understand the true cost of poor HR administration. Unfortunately, they see the lack of commitment to HR policy by their lower level managers as a lack of prioritization. The truth of the matter, however, is that the corporate office or the business owner never establishes or measures any metrics associated with HR policy. When a manager’s bonus is dependent on other factors, the message is abundantly clear; HR administration is not that important.

The PEO Solution

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) does not suffer from these deficiencies. Essentially, their entire core competency is the administration of HR. In fact, in their world, nothing trumps the proper and through administration of their client’s HR policy. It is how their performance is measured and why they are compensated.

The beauty of a PEO is that they have a predetermined process that they go through. In this case, a check list is developed for every client and it is scrupulously followed for every policy and procedure of their clients. New employees are never overlooked, their training is a priority. In addition, all the proper paperwork is completed in a timely manner and archived for easy retrieval.

A PEO is an excellent choice for companies looking to improve their HR administration. PEOs are experts in this field and are far more competent to deal with complicated HR issues. They will relieve your location and office managers of a significant amount of important but tedious and time-consuming tasks. Your managers can then focus on their own core competencies and, more importantly, concentrate on the task of building your business.

About the Author

Carolyn Sokol is a founder of which helps match small businesses with the right PEO company for their unique business needs. Her background is in marketing and communications, employee education and training, development of policies and procedures and the ongoing delivery of outstanding customer service.