What is a business without its employees? According to Leanna Iacobellis, employees are the backbone of a business, making communication absolutely essential between the employer and employee. Communication can be fickle, but that’s where the role of human resources comes into play.
The thought of human resources evokes the image of a big corporation, but Leanna Iacobellis, the business development manager for Regis HR Group and a certified professional in human resources (PHR), stresses how a human resource department is necessary in every workplace.
“You may believe you’re the best business owner out there, but if your employees don’t have the same positive attitude and feel great about the company that they’re with, you’re not going to get your message across,” Iacobellis said.
Since 2008, Regis HR Group has been a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) that provides a range of services to businesses in the areas of human resources, payroll, benefits and risk management. As a PEO, they are able to provide Fortune 500 benefits and support at a cost effective rate for small businesses.
In a town like Gainesville, however, where families and friends tie small businesses together, the idea of human resources may seem unnecessary to some.
“Our goal isn’t to come in and change a culture,” Iacobellis said. “Our goal is to support [the business] and make sure the company is covered, the employees are happy and you can retain the things that currently work for you.”
Regis HR aims to construct a support system that sloughs off the administrative burden for small business owners who struggle with multiple responsibilities. It’s all about keeping employees informed and tailoring their services to fit the needs of the customer. No 1-800 number needed.
“You can’t have the same handbook for three different companies. Nothing is going to be exactly the same,” Iacobellis said. “It’s important that we build that rapport and get to know the company first.”
Their comprehensive service starts with a team of designated specialists within four main categories: payroll, human resources, benefits and risk management. These specialists assess the business, show what they’re offering, explain what it means and ask their customers what they require of them. They also remain with the client for the entirety of the relationship. Being a small business themselves, Iacobellis understands the need of the clients.
“As with any small business; it’s an owner’s baby. It’s their world. It’s what they’ve been trying to not only sustain, but grow.” Iacobellis said. “It’s tough to give up these things. It’s for these reasons, we work out a plan with each client to make sure they are comfortable and understand any upgrades or modifications that we recommend. Everyone has to be on the same page.”
At its heart Regis HR walks the two-way street between the employer and the employee, protecting the needs of both parties. With laws that are constantly changing (e.g.: recent wage and overtime law postponement), it is important to consider both sides in these situations.
“It’s about making sure voices are heard and making sure everybody feels comfortable at work,” Iacobellis said. “Although we’re helping you with compliance, paperwork, and handbooks, human resources is truly about the people.”
ALYSSA RAMOS is a second year Journalism major at the University of Florida with a minor in French. She is an aspiring magazine journalist, a fashion enthusiast, and a Netflix binger with hopes of telling people’s stories through all forms of media. For now, she is still honing her writing skills, but she’s always in search of a good book and a strong cup of coffee.