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Whether or not you have a full time, official HR department or not for your small business, there are going to be times when you need some expert HR consulting advice. Two of those times are clearly during downsizing and upsizing.
The fact is, there are numerous federal and state regulations regarding hiring, firing, training, wage laws, and other matters that come into play when expanding or contracting your workforce. It would be very risky to attempt these kinds of major adjustments without a clear understanding of the issues involved.
Key Pieces Of Advice While Downsizing
It's never ideal to reduce your work staff and potentially contract your business' growth. In some situations, however, downsizing becomes a necessity. Perhaps you are relocating, need to cut expenses to make ends meet after the business has slowed, or are outsourcing HR or IT services to save on overhead. There are examples like these when it should be considered.
The first thing to do when considering downsizing is to calculate carefully how much you really stand to gain. All too often, reduction in employees does not create a corresponding reduction in labor costs because remaining employees end up working more overtime and production may lag when skilled workers are missing or no one is available to come to the rescue when someone doesn't show up on time (or at all).
The second point is to make sure you identify specific problems downsizing is meant to solve. And, you really need to also have a rebound plan - how to get back the labor you need later when growth resumes, for example.
Third, you need specifically focused HR consulting advice so you don't violate any regulations when making terminations, laying someone off, cutting salaries or benefits, or any other necessary actions. You don't want to destroy employee morale and productivity, spark an exodus of your retained employees, or get hit with lawsuits by those you let go in an improper way.
HR Consulting For Upsizing
It is a happier occasion when you are planning to expand your business by hiring new staff, but it is no less fraught with potential legal pitfalls for the inexperienced. An HR consultant, tapped at just the right time, can make all the difference in the world.
Acquiring and retaining top labor in your industry's "space" requires a plan rooted in time-tested experience if you want the best results as quickly as possible - while avoiding the pitfalls. Interviewing and hiring can be riddled with its own legal dangers. Done wrong, you could open yourself to a discrimination lawsuit even though you didn’t knowingly discriminate.
Promotions, distribution of employee benefits, raises, time off work, and scheduling decisions are examples of positive changes that could still contain complex regulations which you don't want to accidentally violate. The bottom line is, expansion has to be done in an organized, compliant fashion or else lawsuits, fines, and tax issues could cripple your plans right at the moment you were about to reap the benefits of your business growth.
There are many times during the year when an unfamiliar situation could pop up that would make having an HR consultant invaluable to you. One time that comes up every year is during your benefits open enrollment. But the value is also particularly obvious during the less frequent times of downsizing or upsizing.
To dig deeper into how HR consulting can help you manage your business better or for immediate access to an experienced HR consultant, feel free to contact Summerlin Benefits Consulting today!