3 Musts To Mitigate HR Compliance Risk
As a Human Resources professional, chances are you are drowning in the acronyms of workplace law and regulation. ADA, COBRA, DOL, ERISA, HIPAA, FLSA, NRLA, etc. — They can add up to a big HEADACHE.
They keep you up at night and occupy far too many hours of your day. Whether you work for a small company and you are the HR department, or you manage a large and well-staffed team, you have a huge range of responsibilities. There are more demands on your time than ever – from employee on-boarding and training, to compensation and employee integration. But unless you can ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws, it won’t matter how well trained and integrated your employees are.
So, What Should You Do First?
If you have a system that you can count on to ensure compliance and mitigate the risk of penalties, you will sleep better at night and will have more time for your other duties. Whatever system of compliance you have, it must revolve around the following three key areas:
- Knowledge – What you don’t know will always hurt you
- Process – Best intentions can get lost in translation
- Accountability – Good output relies on good input
Regulations from ADA, COBRA, DOL, IRS, ERISA, HIPAA, FLSA, NRLA are complex.
1. Knowledge – What You Don’t Know Will Always Hurt You
Know all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations and the documentation required for compliance. Whether you do the research in-house, or you partner with another organization – it is the HR professional’s responsibility to understand current requirements.
Just take a look at today’s newspaper, and you will be reminded that the regulatory environment is constantly evolving. You can’t rely on a quarterly review of your compliance requirements when things can change with the stroke of a pen. The learning process needs to happen 365 days a year.
2. Process – Best Intentions Can Get Lost in Translation
Just because you are aware of all laws, regulations, and documentation requirements, compliance is not guaranteed. Not everyone on your team will be up to date on compliance issues, so steps to ensure compliance must be institutionalized into business processes.
There are many tools and resources available to help your company with compliance issues, for example:
- The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- Partnerships with back-office operations outsourcers (e.g., PEO, ASO, payroll processors)
- HR consultants
But don’t forget that these tools and resources must be combined into a coherent, well-structured, and complete set of processes and procedures that every team member can follow.
3. Accountability – Good Output Relies on Good Input
Assume that your knowledge of compliance has been codified into a business process. You have documented the complex set of steps that must be carried out to ensure compliance and the production of documentation of that compliance. You have communicated the process to your team.
So, now compliance is guaranteed, right? Wrong! Why? Because you work with humans. No matter how good your processes are, you must rely on every team member to perform his or her tasks as expected and on time. Even the best of systems will break down if data is not entered.
A lack of accountability can lead to inconsistent and inefficient results and unnecessary risk. The final piece of the puzzle is to institute a work environment in which each team member knows what is expected and is held accountable for performance.
Bringing It All Together
CommandHound is a compliance and accountability tool that adds that extra layer of oversight to ensure that all your critical compliance milestones are met — every time, on time, as expected. CommandHound has been designed from the ground up to help HR professionals mitigate risk by driving accountability across the board.