Many think of HR representatives as something that is there to limit businesses, and they have a stereotype of being the office police, and getting people in trouble for things. But the reality is that human resources reps are there to protect the company from liability. They do this in several ways, but at the end of the day they are the ones protecting you and your company from being hit with a huge lawsuit. There is a lot more to their job than just having talks with employees.
They are also there to assess risks and liabilities in the company, to formulate official company policies and booklets to ensure that bad behavior gets taken care of. But at the same time they also can help you get insurance ride-offs, and lessen your bills. Some insurance companies will pay extra if your HR department does drug testing. Some liability insurance companies will lower your monthly bill if you have sexual harassment refreshers. Some will also give you a discount if you have workplace safety classes as well. The reason they offer these discounts is because informing your policies on bad behavior can mitigate the chances of a bad outcome, something that obviously lowers your risk pool and that is something insurance likes.
As well, fines from OSHA or local government regulatory offices can really stack up, and sometimes they will shut you down if you do not take care of it properly. But by having HR reps on-site, you can make sure those fines don’t happen in the first place.
Another source of savings is something we touched on earlier, reducing the risk of a lawsuit. HR reps will initially identify any sources of potential lawsuits, and make a strategy on avoiding an unwelcome decision should the case ever go to court. They can also take action and make sure any high risk employees either get educated on their actions or if needed take steps to reduce that employee’s workload, and if they cannot change, firing them. But that is only one small part of their jobs. The really important part is the fact that everything will be documented if you have an HR rep. All of those little incidents between employees and the complaints that may arise will not go unnoticed. And with proper documentation, not only can you recognize trends on the whole, but you can also make sure if you ever have to go to court you have evidence to back up any company claims.
The HR reps are on your side, and that is just some of the ways they can tangibly save you money. They can also provide employee support, making sure that you don’t have a high turnover rate. They can also play mediator, which is something that can be done in place of court, which means savings on exorbitant legal fees. They can also take care of paperwork when dealing with new hires, background checks, terminations, promotions and more. The reality is that the true strength is their ability to limit exposure to bad situations and risk, and provide support to your company before things get out of control.