“In many ways, all managers are and must be HR managers.”  Most small-business owners know they must wear many hats, but not all  managers have considered themselves human resource managers.

Years ago I attended a seminar presented by a prominment employment law attorney.  For two days he presented information on a variety of legal issues that I continue to find helpful.  However, he began his presentation with his “Five Golden Rules of Human Resources.” These simple guidelines have helped me more than any other takeaways from numerous presentations since.  I hope you will lfind them helpful, as well.

  1. Remember that you never have to make a permanent employment decision on the spot.  Take the time necessary to consider all the ramifications, and enlist help from other professionals, when necessary.
  2. Train all management employees to protect the company.  It’s not enough for the CEO to know how to handle various dicey situations that may arise.  Make sure all managers have regular training on legal and other issues.
  3. Document accurately.  Perhaps you have heard, “If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen.”  This is especially applicable in situations of employee misconduct; investigations of harassment; and employment decisions impacting hiring, promotion, and discipline.
  4. Read and know the company’s policies and prodecures.  While you’re at it, know and understand federal and state employment laws.  Be sure to enforce them all consistently and fairly.
  5. Be humane- respectful, confidential, and non-condescending.  Treat your employees as you would wish to be treated.

Thank you, Sam Matchett, for these simple yet powerful guidelines that all managers, whether or not HR managers in title, can apply.

Carol  Nibley, SPHR

Please feel free to contact us for any small business HR support you may need.


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