As a business owner, human resources plays a major role in the operations of the organization. They are the first line of defense in ensuring your policies are correctly drafted, implemented and enforced. This can get complicated, as they must develop training programs along with your risk management team to educate each employee on your security protocols, procedures, and measures to be taken for infractions. In the event of incidents, the human resources department is responsible for taking the lead on the investigation and moving forward with disciplinary procedures.
They should be able to define roles and update responsibilities on an ongoing basis to ensure the organization’s processes are in order. It is their job to adhere to all regulatory agency policies, and comply. Every policy and procedure in your organization should be well-documented, following industry standards and best practices.
While this may seem centralized to one department, it is a huge undertaking. Human resources includes your employees’ conduct, security, data security, cyber security and other areas that directly impact the organization. This all begins with recruitment – getting the right employees and making sure they remain vital assets to your team.
How is this done?
It begins with the recruitment process. Human resources is responsible for maintaining the integrity and standards of the organization. That means they must meet the criteria, including education, employment history, and financial and criminal background requirements. This requires a number of tools to ensure they meet all the checks and balances.
Once the prospective employee gets past the initial stages of the process, having them go through a simulated set of scenarios can help determine whether the prospect will be able to perform the job. Even if they do not have a lot of experience, your team should be able to determine if the prospect will be able to catch on quickly. Their interaction at the initial stages is a good indicator of what you can expect.
Other areas to focus on include:
Code of Conduct
This is a very important element of your human resources process. Your HR team should be well versed in establishing a code of conduct by which your employees should follow. The Code should have instructions on protecting your IP and any other sensitive data. The HR team is responsible for ensuring every employee understands this policy. Having them sign a document of acknowledgement will protect the organization and any liability that may result from a negligent employee.
It’s no secret that security firms have evolved to the point where every person on the staff must protect the organization against cybersecurity breaches. With employees working on location and remotely, the need for additional security measures is high. The IT policies should work in conjunction with any risk management policies to establish how data, files, and internal servers can be accessed. There should also be specific software in place to handle remote applications. As a company, social media is almost a must. The policies should also include how employees should present themselves on social media, accessibility and posting to media sites using company property. When data breaches occur, there should be a chain of command for reporting and containment.
The HR department should be able to protect company data when staff is working remotely, ensuring that the security controls are aligned with the company’s overall objectives, goals, mission, priorities and strategic initiatives.
What if the security policies are violated?
In the event security protocols or parts of the Code of Conduct are violated, the human resources team must lead the way in conducting a thorough investigation. Although management should be alerted, additional steps and disciplinary actions do not come into play until after the investigation has been conducted.
There may be instances when the management team does not agree with the human resources staff. This could be problematic. It is in the best interest to have a human resources representative at all strategic meetings to advise on what can and cannot be done on behalf of the company and employees. Maintaining the integrity of the staff and operations should always be a top priority.
If you have a smaller firm and do not have a human resources team in place, it is wise to have an HR consultant working on your behalf to put these policies in place. The key is making sure your human resources team is well-trained and able to maintain protocols both internally and externally to minimize risk and maximize the way your firm does business.