One thing is for sure, your small business is never going to be the same after 2020. Still having a small business this far into the year with everything that has been stacked up against it is no easy feat. Congratulations. The stress of COVID-19 has affected everyone. Adding the stress of keeping your small business going during rough times is all the more straining on the human will. But life and work must go on. As small businesses put together their plans for reopening and getting back to work, states have issues health guidelines they must follow in order to stay open. In all this planning, how does all this impact HR for small businesses? What things should small business owners do going forward that will impact this very important function?

HR for small businesses is hard enough in good times. Small business owners are typically doing the job of CEO, CFO, Billing, Customer Service, and HR. Unless your business is in the field of HR, it’s highly likely that your HR process has been ad-hoc at best. Now what?

HR For Small Businesses Will Have To Include Policy Making 

Does your small business have an employee handbook? What about a written manual for office procedures? It isn’t usually on any small business owner’s to-do list to make sure an employee handbook gets hammered out unless the pain of not having one becomes evident. Usually, something has to happen before a small business owner decides things have to be in writing. Having an employee handbook not only makes communication between the small business owner and employees more clear, but it can also help in cases of employment litigation as well. 

No one ever thinks about an employee suing them. It happens more often than you think. When things aren’t in writing, speculation over what the rules mean abounds. If you want your employees to follow your lead and your instruction, you need to put it in writing. There have to be standards. An employee handbook does that for a small business. 

With that in mind, policies and procedures for how to handle COVID-19 guidelines in the workplace also need to be in writing. The risks to your small business if you don’t have these policies in writing is huge. Don’t wager your life’s work on procrastination and hoping for the best. Get this policy book on COVID-19 done as soon as possible. 

HR For Small Businesses Has To Include Better Benefits 

Now that a pandemic is threatening to take the health of every citizen on the planet, healthcare benefits are top of mind. Does your small business offer healthcare benefits? Are you happy with what you offer? Are your employees? Your mediocre small group health plan benefits might have passed as acceptable before, but your employees need to know they are properly covered if disaster strikes. COVID-19 is making your employees more conscientious of their health. Make sure your benefits reflect what is necessary to keep them covered when they need it most. 

Thinking About Liability For The Business Is A Real Concern 

What would happen if one of your employees or clients got sick by being exposed to COVID-19 at your workplace? This kind of scenario was not on any small business owner’s radar a year ago, but questions keep coming up around who is liable if such a thing should happen. Have you thought about the legal ramifications if something like this were to happen? Talking to your insurance agent about what you might need to do to up your coverage and what you can do to protect yourself is worth looking into. You might also want to speak to your attorney about what you are legally responsible for around protecting employees and clients around COVID-19. 

You can stay up all night worrying about the legal implications of reopening your small business or you can do something to protect your future. There is a simple solution to all of the above considerations. PEOs are organizations that come alongside small business owners to make sure their HR functions are current, legal, compliant, and cost-effective. PEOs provide solutions for all the above areas of concern and usually at a lower cost than what small businesses are paying now. 

A PEO can save your small business by protecting it from liability in the areas of HR compliance. If you need help with your HR functions and want better benefits at a lower cost, contact us today for a free consultation. We can show you which PEOs would be right for your business needs at no cost to you. What are you waiting for? Savings and security in the new normal is a 20-minute phone call away. 

If you’d like to find out more about how PEOs can help you provide great benefits and payroll management at less than you are paying now, contact us today for a free consultation.

Kristy St-Aubin

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