Being an HR professional today means dealing with a continually changing landscape of federal, state and local regulations. With laws governing what information you can include in a job advertisement and the questions you can ask during an interview, the responsibilities of compliance begins well before you make your first hire. Further, as our guest on this first episode of eESI’s podcast series–Practical HR Tips Managers: Identifying Riskstells us, employment laws aren’t always intuitive. To stay in compliance, HR teams must be proactive when it comes to identifying risks and mitigating them. 

Our special guest on this podcast is eESI’s Melina Bassey.


Compliance begins with awareness and knowledge

Our guest, Melina Bassey, is an eESI HR Business Partner with over 20 years of PEO experience. She says that to maintain your company’s compliance you must have legal awareness. Employers shouldn’t make assumptions about the employment laws that affect your business, but take steps to understand them. Doing otherwise can result in some unpleasant and costly surprises down the line.


During our interview, Bassey tells us that not only is awareness of the law essential, but also awareness of your company’s internal policies.  Your managers, supervisors and members of the HR team should be well-versed in your internal policies and procedures. Managers should know when and for what reasons to contact HR or seek legal advice. The should also understand the proper procedure for initiating an employment action. 


Leadership must nurture a compliance-focused culture

Additionally, Bassey points out that it is important for your businesses leadership to set the tone for compliance. Without a top-down commitment, employees may fail to report wrongdoing. Even worse, a lack of leadership may open the door for toxic culture to develop.  


As the authors of The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture explain, “For better and worse, culture and leadership are inextricably linked. Founders and influential leaders often set new cultures in motion and imprint values and assumptions that persist for decades.” And, in the new world of social media and instant news, bad corporate behavior doesn’t stay a secret for long writes Fraser Marlow in You Can’t Hide a Bad Workplace Culture: Some recent examples of #CultureShaming for the Energage blog.


Keep identifying risks by asking, listening, and learning

So what should employers do to identify risks and prevent them? Bassey recommends that HR managers familiarize themselves with their local, state and federal laws and also check in regularly with employees. They need to set the example of proper behavior.  She also suggests that HR managers be open to criticism and pay attention to what employees are telling you during exit interviews. To discover more of what Bassey has to say, be sure to check out the podcast.

And, if you need help with making sense of your compliance program, contact eESI’s team of experts. We can help you identify risks and improve your processes to eliminate them. Because the success of your business is our business.