The immense value of a professional employer organization (PEO) becomes apparent during a crisis. The ongoing health and global financial crisis that the world faces allows you to learn more about the value of a PEO. Once you understand the value of a PEO in a crisis, you may decide to outsource some of your needs to a qualified service provider.
1. Stay Updated on the Latest Regulatory Changes
You may not realize the value of a PEO until a crisis makes it impossible for you to stay current with regulatory changes. Regulatory changes don’t stop during a pandemic or global financial crisis.
Depending on the industry you work in, you may find that you face a rapidly growing number of regulations during a crisis.
Business owners don’t have time to keep up with sudden changes in regulations. Running a small business takes too much time already.
You could hire a compliance officer, but that means your company will spend about $69,000 on a qualified employee.
Outsourcing regulatory compliance to a PEO makes the job easier and more affordable. PEOs work with several businesses in your industry, so they can dedicate time to learning about the newest regulations. When you outsource to a PEO, you get better compliance at a lower cost.
2. Get Help Managing a Remote Workforce
COVID-19 forced many people to work from home. Ideally, a vaccine will eventually make it safe for people to go to work shortly. Regardless of how the pandemic changes, though, about 70% of companies say they will let some employees continue working from home.
Many employers say that remote work has improved productivity. Companies want to continue a trend that enhances productivity and potentially lowers workplace costs connected to utilities, rent, and insurance.
Companies can only reap the benefits of a remote workforce, however, by learning how to manage people working outside of their offices. A PEO can help you adapt to the changes required to manage remote teams. For example, your business may need help:
- Training employees to use new tools.
- Onboarding new employees who work from home.
- Choosing software that keeps managers and workers connected.
- Learning to overcome common issues other companies face during transitions.
Unless you already have a work-from-home program, you can’t expect your current HR professionals to undertake such a challenging task. An experienced PEO knows how to make your transition as seamless as possible.
3. Get Guidance for Keeping Your Employees Safe
Employers should take responsibility for keeping their employees as safe as possible at work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released several guidelines in May 2020 for handling COVID-19. The recommendations include:
- Performing daily health checks.
- Improving the work area’s ventilation system.
- Encouraging employees to wear masks.
The full list of guidelines may or may not apply to you. How can you know unless you already have experience reducing contagious illnesses in the workplace?
PEOs have experience in workplace safety, so they can assess your areas to address concerns. As the crisis evolves, experts from the PEO can help you adapt to the latest recommendations.
4. Increase Your Operational Efficiency
At the moment, you probably don’t know your company’s operational efficiency because you can’t compare it to the effectiveness of other organizations. You only see what you experience, which makes it nearly impossible to determine where you can improve.
A PEO’s HR outsourcing services eliminate ambiguity to give you a clear view of your business’s efficiency. Hiring a PEO also gives you an opportunity to improve your operational efficiency without retraining or adding to your HR staff.
You find the value of a PEO when you outsource your HR services to it. PEOs perform HR tasks daily, so they know how to do their jobs efficiently without making mistakes.
A crisis makes efficiency more critical than ever. The government has failed to provide timely relief to small businesses in states affected most by COVID-19. Even companies doing relatively well can expect to see lower profits in 2020. Improving efficiency makes it possible for your business to weather the storm.
Improving your efficiency may provide benefits long after the crisis has passed. Businesses that see how much a PEO helps can make themselves leaner and more profitable for future success.
5. Oversee Your Unemployment
The coronavirus crisis has forced many companies to layoff employees. A record 14.6 million people lost their jobs in March 2020. Nearly 10 million lost their jobs during April.
Having millions of unemployed people puts stress on everyone, including the companies that lay them off.
When you layoff someone, your state will ask you to complete some documents and confirm the reason for laying off the person. Unemployment doesn’t take much effort during normal operations. During a crisis, though, you could find yourself processing hundreds of documents. To make matters worse, you may not have the staff members you usually rely on to process the paperwork.
PEOs work with unemployment documents frequently. Processing the forms doesn’t take much time or effort for them. Plus, a PEO can ensure that all of the forms get completed correctly. You don’t have to worry that a mistake will come back to haunt you or your employees.
6. Get Assistance When You Rehire Employees
When the economy recovers, you will want to rehire some of the employees that you let go during the crisis. Unfortunately, you may not have the HR staff needed to process returning employees.
Some of your rehires may also need additional training. A few months away from work can degrade the skills that made your employees attractive when you hired them. Now, you may need a program that identifies who needs further training and who can return to work immediately.
You can leverage the immense value of a professional employer organization for a short time while you rehire employees. You don’t necessarily need to keep using the PEO’s services. You may find that you prefer the PEO’s efficiency and positive results so much that you become a client.
7. Adjust Your Policies and Procedures for the New Normal
The post-pandemic workplace will look different from the one you used to know. Depending on your industry and the size of your business, you may need to adjust your policies and procedures to align with the new normal.
Policy changes may include:
- Schedules that let some employees work from home during part of the work.
- Improved security standards that let remote employees access data without making private information vulnerable.
- New options for requesting personal and sick days.
A PEO’s HR outsourcing services will help you adjust policies and procedures to protect your staff members. The experts working at PEOs know the diverse options that companies can choose to stay safe and effective. Their experience will put you on the track to success.
8. Improve Communication With Employees
You must stay connected to your employees even when a pandemic forces you to work in different places. Do you know which tools will improve communication without putting privacy at risk?
A PEO can improve your communications by evaluating your current plans and identifying opportunities for improvement. For example, you may want to start using apps like Slack to improve communication and project management. You may also need to schedule more remote meetings so employees and managers can talk to each other. You can’t hold meetings in person, but that doesn’t mean people can’t have virtual face-to-face discussions.
Recruit a PEO to find communication problems and areas for improvement. After the crisis ends, you might find that your new approach to communication makes your workforce even more efficient than before it started.
9. Improve Your Business Continuity Plans
Any crisis can reveal problems with your business continuity plan. The most recent crisis may have shown you that you relied too heavily on an in-house HR department. You may discover that you don’t have a plan in place for:
- Processing payroll.
- Managing paid time off.
- Recruiting and training new employees.
- Adapting to technologies that can help your business survive.
Every business owner and manager has a limited vision of what the future could bring. No one saw the impact of coronavirus until it suddenly affected millions of people. The crisis seemed to happen overnight, so few organizations had business continuity plans in place.
PEOs spend a lot of time planning for possibilities. Becoming a client gives you access to insights that you would never have considered.
Schedule a Consultation With America’s Back Office
Schedule a consultation with America’s Back Office (ABO) to learn more about how a PEO can benefit your business. Each organization has unique needs. ABO can give you customized plans that help your company the current pandemic and future crises as they happen.