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Dear HR Lady



Q: Is it my responsibility as a business owner to train and/or develop employees?

A: Well it depends who did the hiring. Did you hire the right person for the job or did you under-hire assuming that they can learn the job through your close supervision and training and then you can pay the new hire less? There is nothing wrong with this decision, but if that's the case, then you are responsible for training because that was the agreement you made (spoken or unspoken). Additionally, if you intend on promoting from within then yes you are responsible for developing an employee to prepare them for the future job within your company. Promoting from within is a great career path plan for employees and a smart decision for your bottom line. It creates loyalty which improves retention and it also prevents the loss of organizational knowledge and expertise.

Please know that training is for the job the employee is doing today, while development is for the job that an employee may do tomorrow either at your location or at another company. In the end, it really comes down to your business philosophy as well as compensation. As we know, if you were bringing in the best of the best (in regard to skills), you're also hiring them at the highest rate of compensation for that position. Many small businesses say I cannot afford that, but I can afford to wait it out and train them. But then, what really happens is you run out of time to actually conduct the training and development and lose the employee anyway. If you plan on conducting your own training and development, make sure the trainer is suited to do that - plenty of time must be allotted over several months and someone with patience and empathy should be in charge of these tasks.

If you need assistance with training and development, contact BlackRain Partners. Review our course summaries to discover how we motivate, engage and educate employees towards improved communication and productivity. Also, review our 6 and 9 month programs for Sales and Leadership skills.

Q: Should I conduct drug testing at my practice? Why and how?

A: Yes. As a small business owner who is dealing with highly sensitive medical information of patients and also potentially sample prescriptions, a drug test is highly recommended. Why and how? The answer to why is related to lower workers compensation insurance rates, increased workplace crimes including theft, fraud, violence and workplace accidents which can destroy your business. The National Safety Council reported that 80 percent of those injured in "serious" drug-related accidents at work are not the drug abusing employees but innocent coworkers and others. If you were involved an accident at work caused by your co-worker, how would you feel if it was preventable? What would you do? Call a lawyer. You bet!

The great news is that the how is pretty easy. Most walk-in clinics or urgent cares can conduct drug testing for new hires random screenings and or after accidents that happened in the workplace. They're fairly cheap and you could probably get a decent pricing of about $100 a person. You can set up an account with the clinic and possibly get a discount as well. Setting up an account is easy and during times of chaos, such as hiring and/or a workplace accident, you will not have to worry about going with the employee to the clinic to pay the bill. They usually have your credit card on file or send you an invoice. Most clinics can also assist you with the selection of employees for random drug screenings throughout the year. Obviously if you only have four people in your company and you do a random every month the odds of them getting chosen are extremely high. It is even more important to make sure there's no discrimination involved in these random decisions, therefore outsourcing the selection is critical. Finally, a third-party vendor can also help you through the sticky situations dealing with medical marijuana and other prescriptions drugs that may be dangerous for use in certain workplaces. Until marijuana is legal at the federal level, it is still a substance that most workers compensation insurance companies do not approve of.

Speaking of safety, did you know that OSHA has an On-Site Consultation Program which offers no-cost and confidential safety and occupational health advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites? Be prepared by starting with drug screenings for new hires and consider random drug screenings for current employees, especially for those who are driving a vehicle as part of their job and/or handling highly sensitive information such as patient files, patient credit cards, sample prescriptions and prescription pads.

"The HR Lady," is Wendy Sellers, leadership coach, author, speaker and COO of BlackRain Partners, a business consulting company focused on coaching, training, development and HR. She has a Master of Healthcare Administration, a masters in human resources, SHRM-SCP and SPHR certifications. Wendy's leadership book, "Suck It Up, Buttercup" is on

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