Many small shops think that having an HR professional on staff might be overkill. After all, you’re just a small company, practically family. Your managers and supervisors should be able to keep up with HR type responsibilities, right? Well, probably not as well as they should.
Your Middle Management is Overwhelmed
It’s hard to be a manager or supervisor, and in a small shop they tend to wear multiple hats. Often doing some of the workers functions as well as managing them. When you ask them to take on the additional duties of human resources, something’s going to get neglected. Unfortunately since many see HR duties as “soft people things,” they are often the first to get ignored. Afterall, you can neglect a few HR tasks before the effects are known. If you miss steps in an assembly line the problems are obvious right away. In the mind of middle management, HR is the easiest thing to set aside, possibly with full intentions of returning to it when you have time. Time that so often never comes. You may think because you have a small staff that your managers should be able to keep up with this, but it’s not their area of expertise or enjoyment. If they both manage and do HR for their direct reports you are essentially doubling their workload. This can push your middle management out even faster than your entry level.
Your Front Line Workers Don’t Know You
Even in small family owned businesses there can be a gap between entry level and front line workers and the owners and upper management.You might think that they can talk to you anytime they need. You probably believe the reason you don’t hear from your employees is because everything is going fine. More than likely, this isn’t the case. If you have an employee who is unhappy or uncomfortable with a situation at work they might hesitate to talk to their immediate supervisor, they may view that person as at fault. At the very least, they may have a reasonable concern that this person will be biased.
For many workers the idea of talking to someone above their everyday manager is intimidating at best, and hard to manage at worst. How often do you see these employees? How much do you know about their day to day work? This is why having an impartial and in-between party such as HR is so important. An HR person’s job is not to make sure a certain number of products get made or sold each day, they do not have a quota. Their role is to work for your people, thus that is the lens through which they look at all concerns. They can be a trusted person without a personal agenda. They have an ability to look into any issues from multiple sides and decide if and how upper management needs to be informed or involved. They make any issue less personal and more professional.
Machine Shop HR Daily Duties
In addition to handling employee concerns and situations you’ll find many day to day tasks that HR will be of tremendous help with. The main three at any company are compliance, hiring and retention. You will find with an HR professional that your hiring process becomes so much smoother and more efficient. You will get more employees better suited to the job when someone can truly dedicate time to finding them. They can identify the skills and experience needed for a position and post it accordingly. HR can also work with current employees on career development and progression. This helps people to not feel stuck in a rut and they tend to stay with a company longer.
And of course, having someone who specializes in the legal aspects of your job relieves such a burden off other employees who just want to get the job done. Most people working an assembly line or production machine do not want to spend time researching laws that might affect their work.
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You’ve got enough to worry about. Let your workers do what they do best, your managers manage and your HR deal with all their work. We can provide you with the tools you need! Check out our website for more information.