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Ok, where to start.

People are an organization’s most important asset. What is the dollar-and-cents value of good working relations with your staff? Have you calculated what percentage your payroll is of total operating expenses? What are the costs of selecting, training, and replacing your employees? What labor turnover is the result of employee dissatisfaction? In terms of the output and the growth of your business, what is the real money value to you of a highly motivated and loyal work force?

Large companies have a separate personnel department. Most managers of a small business view this "personnel function" as just part of the general job of running a business. It is good practice, though, to think of your personnel function as a distinct and separate part of your responsibilities – only then will you give your personnel responsibilities the priorities they deserve.

The personnel function is generally considered to include all those policies and administrative procedures necessary to satisfy the needs of employees. Not necessarily in priority order, these include:

1. Administrative personnel procedures.
2. Supervisory practices based on human relations and competent delegation.
3. Positive discipline.
4. Grievance prevention and grievance handling.
5. A system of communications.

Looking carefully at the answers to questions in the second paragraph can help you develop a sound employee relations program. Question is, is your company readily available to afford competent HR professionals?

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