Before I discovered a dream career in Human Resources, I was a young 20-something hotshot promoted into management in a university’s business administration office.
I thought I knew everything … until one of my employees suddenly stopped showing up for work regularly, leaving me occasional voice mail messages saying she was too sick to come into work. And then I realized I had no clue what a manager was supposed to do about an employee who dropped in and out of work at her leisure.
I knew I wasn’t supposed to just yell “You’re fired!” the next time I saw her. I knew I probably shouldn’t silently tolerate her absences that were driving me and her co-workers nuts. I had a vague belief that a manager wasn’t allowed to ask an employee about their medical condition. So what was I allowed to say or do to get this employee back to work?
My manager referred me to a lady named Liz in the Human Resources department. By letting me vent, calming me down, reassuring me that the situation could be corrected favorably, and coaching me step-by-step through every interaction with my erratically-absent employee, Liz pushed me forward until the problem was fixed. Her wise advice was exactly the support that I desperately needed to legally handle this new-to-me management challenge.
Was I the only manager ever to be stumped by a weird employee situation? Heck, no. After now spending 25 years in Human Resources myself, I know these two truths:
1) wherever there are employees, there will always be employee complaints, drama, and “strange” situations that detract from a company’s business focus and can’t be ignored; and
2) managers without their own seasoned HR experts on staff will always be glad and relieved to have clear, practical, and effective HR guidance to keep them out of legal trouble while solving their employee challenges.
After rising through the ranks to become an HR executive and company officer, I recently left my role as a Vice President of Human Resources to found HR Allies, a company singularly focused on solving employee relations issues for owners and managers who don’t have their own on-staff HR experts. I created HR Allies because I believe that companies of all sizes deserve access to the same highly-experienced and credentialed HR subject matter experts that the Fortune 500 companies have on staff already.
Our consultants offer small, medium, and growth-stage business leaders just what they need now: advice and guidance to successfully navigate employment laws while addressing and resolving their workplace challenges like EEO-type complaints and toxic employees.
HR Allies isn’t a full-service HR consultancy, nor are we interested in pitching clients on the less-tangible, more “pie in the sky” aspects of HR strategy. Our proprietary solutions are designed to quickly resolve the employee challenges that clients face now. And though we aren’t attorneys, each of our consultants has more than 20+ years of employee relations experience so we know how to handle employee complaints compliantly and much less expensively than an employment attorney. In those rare instances that it turns out an employment attorney is needed, we have plenty of them in our network that we can bring in without you having to start the guidance process all over again.
Though I’m not at all new to Human Resources – and am quite expert at the negative turns that a team member’s employment might take – HR Allies is a new business and will only succeed if it’s serving a need that clients have. Are employee problems interfering with your business success? I look forward to hearing from all of you as we take this journey together.
Danielle Verderosa, the Founder and Chief Human Resources Consultant of HR Allies, has 25 years of HR experience in the hospitality, senior living, warehouse/manufacturing, and defense security industries. Most recently a Vice President of Human Resources for a 104-year old contract management services company, Danielle has the HR industry’s top professional credentials and has been the recipient of several top awards honoring her integrity, leadership, and business excellence.