Prescription for HR Success

office-875697_1280It may not cross your mind until you have an issue at your place of employment that requires assistance but, have you ever wondered exactly what they do in the Human Resources Department?  It’s got to be more than hire and fire, right?  My most recent guest Carmen Torres helped me to dissect this topic.

Carmen has more than twenty years experience creating equitable and safe collaborative workplace environments for both employers and employees. She has successfully helped small to mid-size businesses establish reliable and stable human resources departments.


Defining Human Resources 

A human resources representative, no matter what the position, is someone who manages all employee files. They manage everything beginning with the time you hire an employee. As an employer having  a personnel filing system and maintaining those files in a manner that if you were to be audited by any agencies, you would be in compliance.  Whether it’s your I-9 files or your medical information, making sure that files are kept accurately and up to date so that you  have easy access to them is the biggest responsibility of an HR representative.  When it comes to performance management or evaluations, or any other matters that require you to look at the employee files those documents should be easily accessible.

In addition to that, it also involves benefits. If your company offers benefits such as vacation, sick or  medical, then the HR rep is also the individual that the employees would be able to go to and ask questions.


Doctoring Employees

One common issue with employers is that they often don’t know how to deal with employee relation matters. Employee relations issues can include communication between an employee and a supervisor or conflict between employees.

Should you find the need to terminate an employee you must know that as an employer, you have the right to terminate an employee at anytime with or without notice, but it is in your best interest to always look at the records before making any decisions. Some key factors to consider if this issue arises would be:

  • Determine if other corrective actions have already been provided to the employee.
  • Provide a timeline of when management has spoken to that particular employee regarding that situation.
  • The employee needs to be aware and understand where they are at fault and have a timeframe to correct the behavior.
  • A plan must be provided outlining actions they must maintain in order to continue with employment with the organization.
  • If you decide to get rid of an employee, you need to consider their age and if the reason you are getting rid of them could be misconstrued or looked at as retaliation.


The Diagnosis

Putting the appropriate HR management steps in place from the beginning will help you. As your company grows, you won’t have to go through a major revamp as you’ll have been doing it the right way from the beginning. However, if you find that you’re a little off track, beginning to diagnose your human resource team isn’t as difficult as you may think.  The best way to start is to analyze where your business is and determine what adjustments are necessary.  The implementation stage will be easy if you do this and develop a few simple checklists to help you on the road back to success.


The Remedy

If  you find that you need to make a few adjustments to your HR department, even if you are just a solo-prenuer you may want to implement one of the  great suggestion that Carmen gave for ensuring that everyone in your organization is on track . Creating an employee handbook is an important step for employers to provide to employees so policies can be made clear on things such as vacation, sick days, benefits and employer expectations.

Carmen recommends organizations do ‘self audits’ on HR so a plan of action can be constructed.

To learn more about this topic visit Carmen’s website at


This is a transcript of a recorded live presentation. It is in spoken-word format. While we have cleaned up the transcript a bit for easier reading, it is not in edited written-word format. – See more at: Improving Your Human Resources Department with Carmen Torres



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