Harvis, Inc Human Resources
"Helping people solve employment issues"
What is HR?

Human Resources (HR)

What exactly is HR ?

The impact of HR on a workplace, or lack thereof, is sorely underestimated by many business people.  Most small employers were exposed to Human Resources when they hired their first employee.   Its from this basic hiring responsibility that many employers misunderstand "hiring" as the primary responsibility of HR with some firing and policies or benefit renewals tossed into the mix.  The aforementioned items are merely pieces of the total HR puzzle.

Each workplace has a different set of roles and compliance responsibilities to address.   Just like a plant manager or bookkeeper may have different roles at each company, the role of HR is also varied upon the workplace and the historical responsibilities assigned to it.   Every employer develops a culture of valid and irrational reasons why certain HR responsibilities are handled the way they are.  For this reason, some employers do a better job at using Human Resources to protect their business than others.  There is always room for improvement if you're willing to improve.

Our goal is to understand why a company puts certain policies or practices into place, then provide suggestions to implement customized solutions to "make a workplace better".  Human Resources is understanding the laws and practices available then implementing the right ones ; better ones to ensure the ongoing success of a business and protect it along with the people who are a part of it.

How does Harvis help employers ?

Harvis becomes the "go-to" contact for owners and managers on whatever Human Resource needs they may have.  We compliment what is already being done from a "HELP DESK" perspective to help those responsible for HR to be efficient and productive.  Our business references are available upon request.

Harvis provides an array of
HR Services to small businesses in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Our Services improve communication and increase employee productivity by getting everyone on the same page in terms of workplace responsibilites.  Owners and managers gain from professional HR structure and insight needed to proactively plan for and address employment issues before they become costly problems.  Harvis sets up HR structure, provides interactive forms and insight to teach customers how to use this new HR technology to their advantage.

Is HR structure required for a business to survive ?
No, but it helps.  A business can survive without HR, as many do, however a lack of HR structure can be evident to new employees, customers and important business partners.  Employee interactions, communications and morale are big indicators.  One reason smaller companies might not focus on improving HR is because they first need to keep their business profitable and just haven't the time to stop and understand the advantages of what a solid HR program offers. 

In reality, fundamental HR standards can be implimented at a worksite by a professional with just a small investment of time and effort.  Unfortunately due to management's lack of time and experience, these basic Human Resource initiatives continue to be ranked at the bottom of the daily priority list.  

For example, consider how much money is wasted by companies when they have to replace a new hire who wasn't the best fit for the position.  This is just ONE of many areas where better HR standards and training would save time, money and employee morale.


When do we establish a Human Resource department?
Your business may not need a full time or part time HR person right away - or ever.  Many businesses have the capacity to handle HR responsibilities by delegating in-house.  This is a great way to spread out the responsibility of HR so long as the people handling the responsibility are not putting the business at risk through their rules, actions, comments, techniques, etc.  At the same time, it's fair to say many managers could use a level of HR training including policy and procedure updates in order to learn better ways to accomplish their goals. 

For businesses without on-site HR help, chances are things keep clicking along; until that day something happens and there's a realization that HR help was needed months before.  At some point, the way managers are trained to handle employment issues yesterday will not apply to the way things need to happen tomorrow.   

Most businesses will never be large enough to require teams of HR people with specializations in information systems, payroll, interviewing, recruiting, training, safety, insurance, compliance, legal and more.  So, when delegating those duties, think about "whats the experience of the person picking up the load" and "when is it time to take HR to the next level" ?   What is best for the business?

HR people love imposing silly rules, right ?
Managers and employees at all levels have likely held adversarial relationships with authority figures at one point or another.  Whether "employees" agree or not on the way policies are laid out, the responsibility of HR is to protect the "employment aspect" of the business from legal action, liability and general business risk.  Businesses rely on managers to clearly communicate, document, and enforce policy even when managers and subordinates may feel a certain rule is unnecessary.  The role in HR is to play an active role in understanding where people, policy and processes create risk- then address it.  If at all possible, the risk is proactively addressed through the implementation of the right policies that apply to each individual business for that point in time.  Rules are made for exceptions, not norms.  

HR builds policy according to company wide ownership directives and employment best practices; and therefore the role and scope of HR varies from one company to the next.  Workplace culture and work standards also dictate norms in behavior and expectations, however it's up to management to define whether their business is status quo or the preferred workplace in the industry.  This distinction comes with the help of HR best practices.  HR helps assure the right level of best practices are in place to keep the company and the best employees moving together in the right direction.  There is no room for the wrong employees- no matter what position they hold.

What's the most important responsibility of HR ?
That answer varies greatly depending on who you ask.  Even the most successful businesses can exist as they continue to struggle with ineffective managers, unmotivated employees and other inefficiencies.     HR touches every level of a business and therefore any actions taken or ignored has a significant ripple effect.  Each business should develop prudent HR practices to address areas that continue to be a problem before moving on to address new concerns.

Is HR high up on that proverbial "hat rack" ?
Yes, right next to strategic planning, finance and payroll.  Since most businesses will never have more than 30 employees, the owners and managers of small companies are left holding the HR bag including the duty to handle employment issues.  Human Resources is an executive management responsibility that ties together the employment planning and operational resources needed to provide goods and services to customers.  For this reason, HR is closely held as a responsibility of owners and upper managers who already have a "full hat rack".  In many cases, these overburdened managers have nobody available they can trust to help.

HR Absence at the workplace means ....
When owners or managers feel they're the only one who can address workplace employment issues, time and attention are taken away from running the business and the business can suffer.  Often its a lack of time or HR experience that allows a workers' comp, overtime or other basic compliance issue to perpetuate. 

Much of HR is about knowing what applies to your workplace and what new techniques you can use to better handle employment issues before they get far out of hand.

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