When I was first hired here at SmartBooks in May 2010, the company was still very young and very small. There were only seven people on payroll – by far the smallest company I’d ever worked for! In my first three years here, I helped grow the business to more than 30 employees. I had the opportunity to shape my role and craft my job title to what HR meant to me.
In many companies, especially large companies, Human Resources has a somewhat negative connotation. We are the police, the disciplinarians, the ones you only hear from or go to when there’s a problem… We do the hiring, the firing, and the write ups for poor performance. That’s not at all who I wanted to be for our employees, so when given the choice, I decided not to adopt the “Human Resources Manager” title. Instead, I crafted the title “People, Talent, and Culture Manager”.
People – I wanted to be a caretaker, not an enforcer. I wanted to be there for people, not policies. I wanted to put the “humans” back in Human Resources.
Talent – I was responsible for identifying and recruiting new hires for the team, true, but I was also responsible for fostering the talent already in the company. I wanted to nurture and advocate.
Culture – SmartBooks is without a doubt the most unique company I’ve ever worked for, and as a result, we have pretty unique team members. Maintaining the positive aspects of our culture while adapting to change – in our team’s needs, in our clients’ needs, in our work environment – is a challenge, and I wanted it to be a core focus of my role.
In July 2015, I transitioned from the internal role to my current client-facing role, and I adopted a more traditional title so our clients would understand at a glance just what I did. I became the Client HR, Payroll & Benefits Manager. However, I haven’t abandoned what HR means to me.
Your Human Resources person, whether in house or outsourced, should be a true partner because HR touches every part of your business. We manage employee onboarding and offboarding. We help implement best practices and processes. We put out the fires that erupt when those practices and policies are not followed or when emergencies occur. We stay on top of changes to local, state, and federal laws to ensure those practices and policies are up to date. We analyze data on hiring, turnover, compensation, and performance to ensure you can meet your business goals from this perspective. We assist with payroll and benefits data to ensure proper wages and deductions are posted. We make sure that information is properly managed so your accounting team has the correct data for your bottom line. I’ve always felt that Payroll is an extension of Human Resources because nothing is more personal to your employees than their paycheck.
I love learning, and the best part of this job is the opportunity to learn about the individual businesses of our HR + Payroll clients. Every client, and every employee of every client, is unique, and it’s been so exciting to expand my HR and Payroll knowledge of different industries. I feel as though I’ve made a positive impact for those clients, and I look forward to continuing to help them navigate this world.
What does HR mean to you and your business? What challenges are you facing that SmartBooks can help you with?