How to Protect Your Business in the Midst of Policy Change

by Chris Dardis

As human capital leaders, we have a responsibility to protect and grow our companies and their cultures. Usually, HR professionals rely on tactics like robust screening and interviewing processes, employee relations conversations, engagement surveys with follow up action plans, risk mitigation meetings with legal teams, and many more. But recently my eyes were opened to an additional tool that can be useful in removing road blocks to growth.

This year I was asked to participate in an HR focus group meeting regarding state policies on a few key human resource issues facing employers. Specifically, the conversation focused on challenges related to health care/health insurance costs, wage and benefit mandates, and workforce issues.

The meeting was run by two lobbyists who work for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. The audience was made up of several HR leaders from small and midsized companies from around the Twin Cities. The lobbyists took turns talking about proposed mandates in motion within our state government that would affect each of our companies.

The meeting was a wonderful opportunity to understand the pros and cons of each of the bills that are currently moving through the house and senate. Additionally, it gave HR leaders a chance to discuss changes or compromises that would shape the final outcome of any new mandates regarding family leave, medical benefit costs, and additional operation reporting requirements.

After attending this meeting, I realized that to protect our businesses, we can’t simply wait and see what healthcare premiums do in the coming year, just as we can’t blindly implement government mandates. As HR leaders we need to consistently speak with industry lobbyists and government leaders and tell them what laws we need (or don’t need) in order to advance our companies and cultures.

To learn more about how to get involved with local legislation, visit the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce website and click on the “Advocacy” tab.

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