Shifting Gears is good but it Creates its Own Problems

When deep in conference with his senior managers about complex strategic issues facing the company, nothing is more annoying to a business owner than a question about a relatively simple HR issue from one of his location managers not at the meeting. Not only is the train of thought wrecked but the owner must completely shift gears to answer. The process is time consuming and ultimately extremely frustrating.

The problem is mainly one of focus. Simply put, the priorities of your managers, although generally in line with yours, do not exactly match them. Still, the expectation is that, in a certain situation, they make the same decision that you would. Your managers understand this fact but do you?

The Engine May be Running but the Car is in Neutral

Location and office managers typically have a lot on their plate. Checking with you is not high on their list of priorities unless they have been reprimanded in the past for not following some vaguely worded or non-existent policy. In the latter situation, a manager will not endanger his job by making a precipitous decision. Instead, he will allow an undesirable situation to continue until he can get clarification and approval from you as to how to proceed. Like the car in the heading, the entire process consumes time and energy but actually gets you nowhere.

Providing a comprehensive and detailed set of HR policies can relieve this problem to some extent. Certainly, managers will be more confident to proceed if the policies are clearly delineated. Still, the problem of oversight exists and a system must be developed to ensure compliance with company policy. The car may not be in neutral anymore but this isn’t Le Mans and you also can’t drive for 24 hours straight, every day.

Finding a Substitute Driver

Fortunately, there is an alternative to being the only driver in your company. A Professional Employer Organization can relieve you of some of your HR responsibilities. You can still be the navigator and decide where the company is heading, but a PEO can get you to your destination faster and with a lot less risk.

A PEO provides the resources to properly administer the HR policies and procedures of your company. They have experience, expertise and the time to devote to HR issues without the need to interrupt your busy day. A good PEO will help all your managers with the HR process and deliver improved results with or without your input.

Forget Those Sunday Drivers

The people who only take their cars out on an irregular basis have a justifiably poor reputation regarding their driving skills. The situation is no different when it comes to the implementation of HR policy. If you do not administer the policy on a regular basis, even the most well-intentioned manager or business owner will make mistakes. A PEO avoids this problem in its entirety.

Professional Employer Organizations were specifically created to deal with the HR and administrative duties associated with running any company. The point is to leave the owners and executive staff free to concentrate on the development and growth of the company. PEOs are comprised of HR experts with a broad range of experience across many industries. Sometimes, the solutions to HR problems are not immediately apparent to the inexperienced.

Every PEO faces varying HR issues every day and the superior ones have developed a repertoire of differing strategies to deal with every type of issue. No other aspect of your business requires the same combination of interpersonal skills and attention to detail as human resource management.

The employees involved must be handled in a personable and professional manner but, more importantly, the company policies and procedures must also be followed. In addition, any required paperwork must be completely and accurately completed. There is very little room for error in the HR process. In short, human resource management is not something that should be left to the Sunday drivers of your company.

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.