Minimizing the Effect of Political Uncertainty on Your Business

To borrow from an ancient Chinese saying, we live in interesting times.  The national economy remains in flux and the political environment just might be more volatile than ever.  The Republican Party accuses the sitting president of failing to improve the jobs market and overall performance of the United States economy.  At the same time, the Democratic Party argues that the Republican Congress has obstructed the president's economic agenda at every turn.  These two positions are, of course, contradictory and the discord provides a clear example of how inability to compromise deeply impacts the ability to govern effectively.

In this uncertain environment, business owners find it difficult to succeed, if not simply survive.  The failure of the governing parties to compromise on legislation related to job creation, business taxes, employment benefits, health care benefits, regulations effecting industry in general and the workplace in particular makes it ever more challenging for an enterprise (be it public or private), to confidently strategize for the next three months, never mind the next three years.

There are many external factors that can influence how you do business over which you have no control.  Issues such as legislation, business tax rates, OSHA,  workers' comp regulations and rules governing the workplace/working conditions, to name but a few.  There is however, one aspect of running your operations over which you do have significant control:  Human resources.   Note that we say "significant control", not complete control; although employees are yours to choose and direct, you must do so within the confines of laws and regulations that govern the workplace.  While the political "powers that be" can't seem to come to agreement on issues, you have the added challenge of anticipating (guessing?) what future laws may be enacted and then setting your rules accordingly.

Needless to say, having employees requires work even in the best of economic times and periods of political calm.  Hiring, training, supervising, disciplinary action and termination/separation from employment make up the "life cycle" of employment.  Payroll and unemployment taxes, workers' compensation expenses and group health benefits are among the many items for which your business is responsible, costly both in terms of time and money.

While you need human resources to run your business, it is possible for you to relieve yourself of the uncertain costs and administrative burdens of managing those employees.  A professional employer organization enables you to outsource HR, allowing you to focus almost exclusively on the mission-critical tasks that will ultimately determine your success.

When we say outsource HR, we mean truly "outsource."  A professional employer organization, also known as a PEO or employee leasing company, assumes the administrative tasks associated with managing your human resources, including:

  • Payroll processing
  • All payroll tax filing and reporting
  • Sourcing and administering employee benefit options
  • Procuring workers' compensation coverage

Of course, in order to truly outsource HR, you must make sure that your PEO assumes the responsibility of keeping your organization in full compliance with government regulations and reporting requirements applicable to the workplace and employees.  An effective professional employer organization does just that because the contract between you and the PEO establishes a co-employment relationship, one that reduces your administrative burden and mitigates your business risk while but still allows you to maintain control over day-to-day management of employees, including hiring and firing.

There are many benefits that will accrue to your organization should you choose to outsource your HR.  In order to determine which PEO is right for you, evaluate whether it offers the following services:

  • Benefit Outsourcing
  • Outsourced HR
  • Payroll Administration
  • Workers' Compensation Coverage and Claims Management
  • Safety Programs/Consulting
  • Recruiting
  • Training Services
  • Performance Management
  • Outplacement Services
  • Background Screening
  • Drug Screening

Many among us don't enjoy discussing politics and try to avoid the topic at every turn.  However, sometimes politics finds us.  Whether running a corporation, small business or non-profit organization, you are subject to legislation and government rules and regulations, all of which spring forth from the political arena.  You can minimize the effects of political activities on your business if you outsource HR by utilizing the services of a professional employer organization.