Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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HR Myths, Busted: "My business doesn't need HR; it's not that hard to just treat people well." Your business already has human re- sources (your workers), and you're al- ready managing them, so it's import- ant to be thoughtful about how you're managing them. Whether or not you treat employees with kindness, the extra burden will fall on certain employees if there are no coherent systems for human-resource manage- ment, and certain issues will inevita- bly arise over time even if everything runs smoothly. It's also important to make sure you're in compliance with local and federal laws. "Once we can afford HR, they'll fix everything." Human-resource management is im- portant for preventing issues from aris- ing, not just addressing them once they do. If you wait for several years before you get serious about human-resource management, it will cost much more to overhaul your entire people systems and company culture, and it may never be ideal. Also, keep in mind that staying in compliance with the law is cheaper than getting sued. until we're bigger." HR services are available from many different organizations at many differ- ent price ranges. Not only are there third-party services that can manage various people systems for you, there are also colleges and HR resource centers that offer education and training for much lower prices than you'd think. There are a lot of ways to invest in hu- man-resource management, and there's a good match out there for a company of any size or income. Insourcing Another great and often underutilized option is investing in current managers' or employees' further education. Many community colleges offer low-cost HR- certifi cation programs that can equip a current manager already handling human resources to keep systems legally com- pliant and gain a broader understanding of the systems involved. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) offers online certifi cation and testing, as do many other universities. Though you might think the costs for online or in-person certifi cation would be prohibitive, it's possible to get certifi ed in human-resource management at many community colleges or online schools for a few thousand dollars, an amount of money even a small business could plan for over a period of time. There is also a treasure trove of free online resources available to help manag- ers and allow other employees to further their education, including information from SHRM and Re:work by Google. When thinking about education, it's helpful to look not just at what you need to do, but also at what other companies ahead of the game are doing. The tech industry, notorious for trying to attract and retain highly valued employees, provides a wealth of data on their successful methods and misadventures in improving company culture and increas- ing employee engagement. Free resources are often underutilized and can contribute to any business's growth and success. Katie Booser, head of people and culture at Bellwether Coffee and former operations manager at Blue Bottle Coffee, says, "There's no shortage of HR help out there. It's easy to think that it's just too complicated to give managers the training to take care of HR needs in-house, but it's not—it's totally doable if you acknowledge that it's important and look around at the resources out there." It's also important to note that even with a home-grown HR manager in-house, con- sulting a lawyer will still be a valuable move at times, since a person without extensive training in employment law could still use some backup in situations where the com- pany stands a strong chance of risking suit. In other words, investing in in-house HR management won't guarantee that outside services won't be needed at times. Pros of Insourcing: • Develops an in-house HR manager • In-house HR knows your company better than outsourced HR ever could • Faster, more personalized HR services than outsourcing Cons of Insourcing: • Hard to guarantee an employee com- mitment after investment in training • Potentially time-consuming as the person gets educated • You may still need to consult a lawyer at times • You will likely still need to pay for some payroll and benefi t services from outside companies HR for Everyone These are just some of the resources that exist for coffee companies large and small. You know your company better than anyone else, and because of that, you're the only person who knows what's best for your business. Think about your unique situation and feel free to mix and match methods. What's best for you and your company? The truth is, anyone can take control of managing their human resourc- es, and everyone should. 94 barista magazine

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