Modern human resources management involves far more than cutting checks and administering benefits. Instead, it oversees all aspects of employment, from tax filing and talent management to compliance, morale and payroll. Today, companies are investing far more in their employees by partnering with professional employer organizations (PEOs). It wasn’t always that way, though.
Human Resources: A Changing Industry
Did you know that the moniker “human resources management” has only been used to describe the HR industry for the past two decades? Before that, practitioners considered themselves card-carrying members of the “personnel administration” department. That telling term reflects a historic, outdated focus on technical deployment, rather than the more personal aspects of the field.
The very first personnel administration department formed in the early 1900s to address strikes, employee grievances and safety issues. During World War I, the U.S. government initiated personnel development to best deploy munitions factory workers. World War II emphasized the value of recruitment, selection and training alongside morale, health, safety and wage policies. The 1970s also brought a substantial increase in competition for employment. Globalization, deregulation and technological innovation brought rapid change to the 1990s and new millennium.
As a result, companies now prioritize strategic planning and organizational effectiveness. Retirement savings options, paid vacation time, insurance and more are now viewed as the standard, not the exception, to the HR rule. Emerging trends in employment and changing HR regulations also keep small businesses and nonprofits on their toes.
In fact, surveys from Fortune 500 companies show that both current employees and job seekers care most about benefits they receive. A 2019 joint study by The Conference Board, Sirota-Mercer, Deloitte, ROI, The Culture Works and Consulting, LLP reported that disengaged employees cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion per year.
Next, factor in the effect of the global pandemic into every aspect of human resources management. The way that people work, live and interact has fundamentally changed, bringing a shift in work culture and office communication. At the center of the storm, human resources managers are juggling increased responsibilities, new regulations and compliance complications, pressure to improve business practices with an eye to DE&I, accountability challenges posed by remote work and more.
So how do HR managers create safe and healthy workplace environments for employees amidst the chaos? How can business owners ensure the wellbeing and productivity of employees as they navigate personal crises beyond their control?
Many have enhanced benefits with an eye to mental health and offered flexible work arrangements for those with children. According to a Gallup Poll, 62 percent of employed Americans worked from home during the crisis, compared to 25 percent before the pandemic. For the other 38 percent, there’s a slew of changes, from office reconfigurations aimed social distancing to new health-conscious business practices.
Employers have also responded with empathy by providing key resources to support staff in crisis, such as employee assistance programs (EAP). But, a Gallup poll showed that 21 percent of employers did not have any EAP program in place before the coronavirus pandemic. Gallup also reported that 55 percent of employees polled said – whether accurately or not – that their employer did not have a specific program in place to address mental health. Only 13 percent provided any onsite stress-management program.
According to Robert Hensley, president of Integrity Employee Leasing, it’s more critical than ever that new and growing business owners understand the pitfalls facing them today. “Fail to respond nimbly to expectations or regulatory changes, and you’ll risk steep fines or public censure. Human resources should be your major investment this year - it’s certainly mine,” he said.
How Can a Professional Employer Organization Help You?
Human resources management can be stressful. It requires in-depth knowledge about rules and regulations – and failure can result in steep consequences. Time-consuming tasks like employee onboarding, payroll and benefits can also distract an owner from other critical business priorities.
A professional employer organization (PEO) can help small and mid-size businesses avoid these damaging pitfalls. It’s why savvy owners often turn to PEOs like Integrity Employee Leasing for a specialized form of human resources, called co-employment. A form of full-service outsourcing, a PEO performs various HR duties on behalf of the company. Services include:
- Hiring and Retention Practices
- Forms and Documentation
- I-9 Assistance
- Human Resources Paperwork
- Employee Status Maintenance
- Supplemental Benefits
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Performance Reviews
- Disciplinary Issues
- Employee Compensation and Appraisal
- Termination of Employment
- EEO-1 Reporting
- Department of Labor Claims and Compliance
- COBRA and HIPAA Compliance
- Worksite-Required Posters
- Employee Communications
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Administration
- Risk Management
Working with Integrity Employee Leasing can also grant small business owners access to more competitive benefits for their employees. These include health and dental insurance, workers’ compensation coverage and risk management support. Without a PEO partner like Integrity, these benefits typically come with astronomical costs that only Fortune 500 corporations can afford to pay.
Are you ready to elevate your employees’ experience, attract high-quality talent and ensure you are insulated from the ever-changing needs of the HR world? Integrity Employee Leasing would love to explore your strategic HR plan and identify opportunities to improve your bottom line. Contact our team today for a free consultation.