There’s a plethora of things that stand in the way when it comes to creating your own business. However, once you've crossed those hurdles and your business is up and running with a decent business plan and a means to continue to execute it, you only have one massive obstacle – human resources. Here are a few concerns that you're going to want watch out for.
Sexual Harassment/Inappropriate Joking
Sexual harassment is an issue in a lot of start-up companies’ repertoire. A lot of companies start off with a handful of people and they continue to work together as friends instead of coworkers. When the time comes for the company to start hiring new people, the originals continue to operate as just friends, ignoring professional protocol. This may mean that the original handful continues to joke inappropriately about things that may be considered sexually explicit.
While this might be good bar talk, you want to avoid having these kinds of conversations in the office since it can lead to your new hires tarnishing your fresh reputation with a slew of human resource complaints about how unprofessional you and your colleagues are. You might find yourself in a world of financial hurt if that employee decides to sue.
In order to avoid things like this try to conduct yourself and your employees in a professional manner and watch what you say around other people. This means you might have to start squashing a few jokes before they start, and act as the CEO. Friends in the workplace are fine, but remember that you are there to work and not make people feel uncomfortable.
Insurance is a big deal for many employees. When they fill out the paperwork and submit it to the appropriate department they expect to get some kind of benefit/reward for doing so. If your company wants to give employees full health coverage and life insurance, you’re going to want to check around and make sure that you are getting the best and most easily accessible insurance you can. There’s nothing that ruins a Monday morning more than an annoyed employee walking into your office, thoroughly disgruntled that the procedure they had done Saturday won’t be covered. In order to avoid these types of issues, check well-established companies for more information on coverage.
The reason you want to go for the companies that are more well-established is because they know what it’s like to create a wholly new company and what you might need based off of your financial needs and company size. Also, to avoid this being an HR nightmare, you’ll want to make sure that you actually follow through with everything and not leave anything up to interpretation.
One of the biggest mistakes made by new companies is that they assume employees are going to be understanding if payment doesn’t go through. This is not a good mind-set. While your employees may be understanding the first little while, you have to remember that they also have bills to pay and that is the easiest way to annoy every single one of them, especially if it’s a repeated behavior.
If payment is going to be late once or twice you need to call a meeting and explain everything. Make sure you make things available for your employees if they have financial needs that need to be met immediately. You should never point the finger at them and tell them that they aren’t getting paid because they didn’t work hard enough. That’s the quickest way to lose a slew of employees and watch your company reputation greatly decrease.
Human resource issues are annoying to deal with, especially since the human resource department seems to have a wholly different set of rules that govern them. You may own the company, but HR will most likely have to report to your investors and/or state panels. You want to avoid making these mistakes and make sure that your HR department is thorough in their affairs and investigations.
Miles Young is a freelance writer, business adviser and tech geek. You can follow him on Twitter @MrMilesYoung.