How a PEO Helps Businesses Navigate COVID-19

It’s never been easy to run a business. While unprecedentedly challenging, the global COVID-19 pandemic is only the latest catalyst for change in a time when change itself has become the new norm. As the world becomes more interconnected, businesses of all sizes are tasked with figuring out how to enact more sustainable business models, deliver new kinds of value, and drive revenue growth. With a worldwide pandemic now also at play, and no realistic end yet in sight, the next decade promises to be a crucial period for make-or-break business transformations.

The business challenges presented by COVID-19 are unique to say the least, and even some of the most long-standing organizations find themselves lacking the resources to truly navigate the complexities currently at hand. Often working with limited staff and resources, small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) are especially vulnerable to turbulence as a direct result of COVID-19.

Most business owners are exceptional at their own trade, but not necessarily great at being an employer. With the onset of COVID-19, businesses are struggling to make sense of new workplace compliance laws, furlough procedures, employee benefits, federal and state financial assistance programs, and managing a workforce during a public health crisis.

For many businesses, the most cost-effective option is to enlist the help of a PEO, or Professional Employer Organization, for expert support in human resources (HR) management. PEOs help businesses reduce HR-related expenses and streamline operations by managing critical HR functions like employee benefits management, risk and regulatory compliance, and payroll administration.

As the business landscape continues to evolve amid COVID-19, the advantages of partnering with a PEO are more apparent than ever. With a PEO, businesses can rest assured knowing that all HR administration and compliance responsibilities are in the hands of certified professionals. They also receive personalized guidance on every HR matter impacting their business – from the most stringent local laws to nationwide CDC guidelines.

One particularly difficult challenge highlighted by COVID-19 is the growing need for businesses to keep up with a near-constant influx of new laws and regulations at local, state, and federal levels. Without internal teams dedicated to understanding each new law and its implications, many small businesses find it especially daunting to keep up with changes in legal and regulatory compliance.

With the support of a PEO, SMBs receive step-by-step guidance to adhere to all legislative changes and complete required documentation; in some cases, a PEO may even handle paperwork and administrative procedures on behalf of clients. Dedicated HR specialists are also available to advise employers on all required workplace signage, compliance requirements, and employee management best practices.

Another major issue presented by COVID-19 is a lack of adequate employee benefits within many small and mid-size organizations. Pricing for benefits like top-tier employee health insurance plans tend to be much higher for SMBs due to their relatively small number of employees in comparison to large enterprises, often deeming premium-level benefits too expensive for SMBs to offer; but it doesn’t have to be that way. A PEO can help SMBs access industry-leading employee benefits while reducing overall costs. This is because partnership with a PEO gives SMBs access to group employee benefit rates typically reserved for much larger organizations. Amid growing public health concerns, it’s more important than ever for SMBs to invest in benefits for their employees – working with a PEO makes it more affordable.

COVID-19 has presented some unexpected hurdles, but it’s also revealed new opportunities for businesses to implement effective solutions to the most pressing modern HR challenges. From managing payroll for a modified workforce, to helping employers ensure their workplaces are fully compliant and safe for employees, the right PEO* always serves as a trustworthy ally to any business.

*Only 1% of PEOs are ESAC accredited, IRS certified and Workers’ Comp Risk Management certified.