VanAllen Insights

4 Ways to Avoid HR Icebergs

2 min

The Executive responsible for Aviation relies on their Aviation Leader to steer the company safely away from risks; aviation icebergs that may be ahead of them. Most commonly, these are operational or compliance risks.  Thankfully, many resources and agencies are there to support the Aviation Leader navigate the operational or compliance risks.   Unfortunately, there are few resources providing the same guidance for the Aviation Leader in regard to the Human Resource icebergs that arise.

The Aviation Leader can incur significant financial or reputation risks to the company because of their ignorance of Human Resource laws.   For example, recent changes in individual State pre-employment screening laws may catch many Aviation leaders unaware.   In many States, it is now illegal to ask about previous criminal convictions or salary history.  The legalization of marijuana is quickly complicating drug testing requirements.

We find Aviation Leaders who best navigate these icy waters have a Human Resource partner. This can often be someone within the company who knows the landscape or has available resources to get answers.  In smaller organizations like family offices and small businesses, this internal partner may not exist.  If so, these Aviation Leaders will need to identify a key outside expert with whom to partner.  This partner can fulfill many of the functions of an internal Human Resource expert.  Generally, these individuals fall into two categories; human resource consultants or attorneys who focus on human resource issues.   Family Office Associations often have access to human resource expertise and VanAllen can provide introductions to attorneys that focus on human resource risks.

With your Human Resource partner identified, here are the 4 things you can do proactively to avoid HR icebergs:

  1. Build the Relationship – Have at least quarterly meetings with a Human Resource partner to discuss the state of the organization.  Explore challenges, highlight exceptional performance, seek guidance.
  2. Policy Review – At least annually review all the aviation policies and practices to understand where HR risks may exist.  Amend policies and practices as necessary.
  3. Extend the Relationship – Ensure the Human Resource partner has a relationship with all the Aviation team members.  Schedule one-on-one meetings at least annually and encourage the team to reach out to the Human Resource partner should they have any questions or concerns.
  4. Collaborative Hiring – When filling any position within the Aviation Team, leverage and collaborate with the Human Resource partner.  They will ensure the process complies with all local and national laws but also will have processes and resources to help make the process even better.

Aviation Leaders are experts at mitigating operational risks, but often are not equipped by either their experience or training to address the risks associated with managing people.  Having a robust human resource strategy that compliments the culture of your own organization will deflect many complicated issues that could be embarrassing and expensive.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.