Do not ignore the human resources side of your business! This happens when things seem to be going well. After all, why look for trouble when you have enough to deal with every day. Relations with employees run the spectrum of emotions, depending on the situation.
Do not be a reactive HR person, professional HR people are proactive in recognizing/rectifying HR mistakes. Avoiding serious problems, will save countless headaches and protect your company against costly legal claims.
Mistake #1: Your outdated employee handbook
Every business, large and small must have an up to date Federal and State compliant employee handbook. If you do not have current rules and behaviors in writing, you are asking for problems. Include laws/compliance changes, which may legally impact your policies.
If you have not spelled out acceptable and expected behavior, by providing tangible guidelines, you may be exposed to costly litigation. Your company employee handbook should be updated, as compliance changes occur. This of course may be difficult to accomplish without automated compliance alerts. As we all know employees should sign an acknowledgment form stating that they received the publication and will abide by its policies. Since compliance changes can and do happen often, we recommend all employees sign off on their handbook annually.
Outdated or No Handbook?
Mistake #2: Be sure you document positive and negative performance
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of writing out policies and operating procedures. Without these you have no boundaries for proper employee conduct. When violations occur, they must thoroughly document. Although it takes time to document when an employee was reprimanded, for example frequent tardiness, it may become needed evidence to support a decision to terminate employment.
Being consistent and documenting employee interactions will help to better address potential litigation that could arise in the future.
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Mistake #3: Not properly maintaining employee files
For compliance, it is important to keep records containing all the personnel documents including employee work history.
Do not include all employee documents in the same employee file. Documents containing employee’s personal information should be kept in a different (secured) file.
We recommend having a file for I-9s, which verify employee eligibility to work in the U.S. Fines add up fast if you don’t have current and correct documents ready when request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
And remember HIPAA, requires employees’ personal health and welfare information to also be kept separate.
Mistake #4: Quick hires and incomplete job descriptions
Hurried hiring and promotion processes can lead to a host of Employers Problems can be compounded when companies hire and promote quickly. Providing a proper job description to potential hires helps alleviate future misunderstanding, problems and sometimes law suites.
Producing a proper job description will help you reduce future hassles. Complete job descriptions will make it easier to hire the best candidate for the job. Bonus! Your new employee will start off with a clear, structured understanding of their job requirements.
Mistake #5: Training or lack of…
Your employees are your companies most important asset. Maximize their potential by providing training courses. Training will increase their success and thereby increase your company’s overall success. Including courses in subjects like Sexual Harassment will contribute to a safer work environment and potentially protect your company against litigation. Training your employees properly should be considered an investment in your company’s future.
Providing certificates of completion for formalized training can increase employee morale, recognition and should always be included in their performance reviews.
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Mistake #6: Insufficient HR policies
Start with an internal HR audit. In the ever-changing world of HR compliance most companies do not have the HR staff or resources internally to ensure compliance. If this describes your company, consider taking advantage of outside resources.
A well-thought-out plan will protect you, your employees, and your company.
Having policies and plans for handling unexpected events reduces the stress, potential liabilities, and costs.
Mistake #7: Employment compliance knowledge
A well-run HR department must be up to date on employment laws and regulations. To do this they will require trusted resources. When in doubt ask for professional assistance.
Being out of compliance with OSHA regulations will bring hours of additional work as well as stiff fines.
Avoiding costly mistakes is much easier than fixing them. Take the time to know the government agencies that regulate your business.
Even in the best of times, day-to-day business operations can distract you from spending time on the human resource side of your business Being proactive when it comes to human resources will help to avoid serious problems, save countless headaches and protect your company against costly legal claims.