Case Study, Consulting Services Human Resources Consulting: A Gold Star Success
 
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CHALLENGE

Not even law enforcement agencies are experts in all laws. This is especially true of those regulations that an organization is subject to as an employer. Managing a workforce requires human resources professionals—or access to a team—who understand the risks associated with navigating employment laws in a complex environment.

As organizations grow and employment law compliance becomes more burdensome, it is critical to have HR resources in place with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to manage federal, state, and agency rules and regulations.

In the case of one of our law enforcement agency clients, a key operational employee was tasked with managing the organization’s HR function. Although this employee had performed finance, accounting, and payroll processing for 200+ employees for many years, complex HR issues—such as EEO reports, ACA compliance, and overtime pay rule changes—were new and challenging to navigate without formal training or previous experience. Tasked with numerous other duties and lacking adequate HR guidance, this employee turned to internet research (which is often incomplete) to help fill in knowledge gaps, but lacked confidence in the accuracy and credibility of these online resources.

Further, the lack of HR experience proved a hindrance in understanding how best to use the information that was obtained.

To make matters more challenging, this employee was considering retirement and the organization had not addressed succession planning to ensure risk management relating to HR compliance. The processes and knowledge that this key employee had gathered would be lost if a suitable replacement wasn’t hired within the limited timeframe available.

As we began our assessment of the HR function, specific concerns began to surface:

  • Areas of potential conflict with published federal and state employment law guidelines, posing risk in employment recordkeeping
  • Effects of an outdated, “old-school” culture
  • Undefined roles and responsibilities in key positions (i.e., segregation of duties)
  • Lack of accountability
  • Inadequate procedures and controls
  • Lack of employee engagement
  • Lack of HR skill and knowledge necessary to support the workforce

APPROACH

Through our strategic approach to problem solving, P&N helped this client identify areas of risk, inefficiency, and ineffectiveness in their organization. During the HR assessment process, P&N quantified the risk, helping prioritize and address compliance issues and inefficiencies to improve the operations and morale of the organization. P&N also qualified the need to add an experienced HR professional to the organization to help ensure compliance and performance were in accord with applicable employment laws.

HR Approach

RESULTS

Client leadership supported the initiative to improve the office’s HR function and began working with the P&N HR consulting team to develop procedures necessary to reduce the risk of fines and penalties associated with non-compliance. An implementation plan was designed with key goals to bolster morale and make progress in achieving compliance, and P&N launched a recruiting initiative to identify an HR professional to support the growing workforce. P&N led the search for an HR Director and facilitated the recruitment efforts, which ultimately resulted in the client selecting a qualified hire for the position.

During P&N’s ongoing relationship with this organization, they have evolved from having an HR function lacking the skill, knowledge, and experience to handle complex HR issues, to gaining an understanding of their obligations as an employer and realizing the positive influence HR can have while serving dual roles as employee advocate and employer risk manager.

With the immediate risks addressed, adequate resources in place, and next steps for the HR function mapped out, our client is better positioned to maintain compliance and support workforce initiatives that are critical to the success of their organization. P&N’s HR consulting team remains a trusted advisor to this client by providing ongoing advisory support, and works collaboratively to assist them in achieving their workforce objectives through strategic HR management.

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