The 7 Most Frequent HR Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


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The 7 Most Frequent HR Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  1. 1. 02Obviously, the daily operation of your business is a top priority, but ignoring some employee-relatedtasks can open your company to a litany of liabilities. Though it may be easy to ignore a volatilesituation until a problem arises, prevention in the form of an HR checkup can greatly decrease thepossibility of a costly problem.The most frequent HR mistakes made by business owners are:1. Lack of a comprehensive and updated employee handbook.Your employee handbook is a fluid document that shouldbe regularly reviewed to ensure it contains all pertinentinformation. Employees should receive a revised copyor be notified when a new electronic version is posted,and sign a document acknowledging they have read andwill abide by the tenets of the policy. If unacceptable andacceptable behaviors aren’t outlined, you’re giving youremployees a free pass to use the, “I didn’t know it waswrong” defense.2. Lack of documentation for performance-based terminations.Yes, it is your business, but impulsively firing an employee can create a host of problems. Establishing and adhering toa progressive discipline policy can help your managers ensure that they can establish that an employee was fired forperformance-based reasons.“Employers will call us frustrated and ready to pull the trigger, but it’s important to follow a plan and minimizeliability,” says Felicia Hobbs, an Insperity HR specialist.Documentation prior to termination is important. After every discussion about an employee’s performance, conduct orattendance, write down the specifics about the conversation: who was present, when it occurred, what was discussed,where improvement must be made and how to facilitate improvement. Have the employee sign a document acknowl-edging the meeting occurred and that the employee was made aware of the issue if a dispute should arise.It’s also important to be straightforward in all discussions with employees. Frank conversation may be uncomfortable,but skirting any issues in an attempt to be polite can create another layer of problems. When it’s time to discipline orterminate an employee, keep the discussion professional and concise. Be sure that proper procedures are followedprior to termination and that you can prove an employee was terminated for performance and not unfairly let go.Avoiding TroubleTake a proactive approach to your HR policies to ensure you’re not reacting to a crisis.800-465-3800 |
  2. 2. 033. Insufficient and improperly storedemployee records.How thick are your employee files? If the answer isnot very, you likely have deficiencies. Eachemployee file should contain copies of all requireddocumentation. For example, failure to keep a validI-9 (verification of employee eligibility) on file canbe a costly mistake if it cannot be produced uponrequest by a number of governmental agencies.Take time to identify what regulatory agenciesgovern your industry and what documents shouldbe contained in an employee file. Also be certain allannual reviews and other routine employmentpaperwork is maintained in the file. The Society forHuman Resource Management (SHRM) recommendskeeping the following items in a personnel file: Application or resume Offer letter Confidentiality/non-compete agreement Handbook acknowledgement Drug testing policy acknowledgment Drug testing consent form Background check consent form Performance records Training recordsEmployee files may contain drug testing results,paperwork from a leave such as the Family andMedical Leave Act (FMLA), return to work lettersfrom doctors, benefit enrollment papers or workers’compensation information. Keep this information in a separate file, made private to all but HR supervisors.This type of protected information typically falls under the umbrella of the Health Insurance Portability andAccountability Act (HIPAA).A supervisor would be able to access the first level of files, such as reviews, etc. Some employers may even want tocreate a third file containing forms such as I-9 forms, payroll records containing Social Security numbers or otherprotected information, W-4s and garnishment information.SHRM recommends employers conduct routine audits of employee files to ensure that all pertinent information isthorough and accurate. It’s also important to verify that information is being appropriately protected since thepotential for human error in such areas is high.How Insperity can helpRecruiting and retaining top-tier employeesrequires taking care of their health and well-beingso they can stay honed in on the tasks that driveyour business forward.InsperityTMtakes the guessing game out ofchoosing health care. With Insperity, you’ll finda variety of health care plans, and all of themare backed by a full-service approach thathelps you steer clear of dramatic cost increasesand remain in compliance with ever-changinggovernment regulations.Insperity makes the most of the latesttechnological advancements available tomake life easier for you and your employeesto manage their benefits. The centerpiece ofInsperity’s online resources is the EmployeeService CenterSM, which provides automated,personalized services that save you from spendingyour valuable time answering questions aboutbenefits and managing employee paperwork.800-465-3800 |
  3. 3. 044. Poor hiring and promotion decisions.Not properly screening potential employees and candidates for promotion is the most common mistake committedby business owners, says Lori Dawson, an Insperity account executive. Correcting poor hiring decisions can be costlyin terms of employee engagement, retention and even replacement. Though patiently waiting for a candidate to bestfit your company’s needs can be tough, hastily hiring a candidate can be disastrous.“Keeping people in the wrong jobs for a long time is a common mistake,” Dawson says. “So is promoting people whoare good at one job to management. Somebody may be a great worker, but if he or she is placed in a supervisoryposition without training or developed managing skills, they won’t succeed.”Selecting the best person for the job using pre-employment screening can help ensure a favorable outcome. Suchscreening has become increasingly affordable for even small businesses hoping to identify a candidate’s inherentstrengths and weaknesses.“If, for example, you’re looking for someone who’s detail-oriented, screening cantell you if a candidate meets that requirement,” says Dawson.While a person can capably perform job tasks that may not mesh with his orher inherent personality traits, a person’s natural strengths should match hisor her job requirements.“You can’t force someone who’s not detail-oriented to become detail-oriented,”adds Dawson.5. Disregard for training.All industries grapple with how to best utilize and maximize their human capital. Thedifference between best-in-class and laggard companies often lies in the strengthof the workforce. Taking time to better yours is a valuable investment in the futureof your enterprise.Many employers often opt to implement a training program in order to improve profitability, customer service,quality or efficiency.“Companies are knowledge-based businesses, and you’ve got to provide the knowledge,” says Rick Gibbs, anInsperity senior HR specialist.When establishing an effective training program, it is important that you, as the business owner, know what you wantto accomplish and how the program will best benefit your company.For example, providing tuition assistance would be a great benefit to the employee, but it may not yield a high returnon investment for your business. However, sending an employee to train as a notary public so you no longer have topay an outside source for notary services would be a benefit to your business.800-465-3800 |
  4. 4. 056. Lack of adequate HR policies.All employers should have the following in place: Employee grievance plan An employee griev-ance policy is a step-by-step method that allowsemployees who feel they have been wronged toaddress their concerns. A grievance policy can alsoalert management about the problem or issue. Afast and effective solution can benefit everyoneinvolved; the employee is again happy and produc-tive and management has avoided what can be alengthy and expensive process of resolution. In asample employee grievance policy, SHRM suggests that employers establish a written plan for how employees shouldgo about informing management of a potentially detrimental situation. Such a policy should be clearly delineated inthe employee handbook and easily accessible to all employees. Disaster/workplace violence plan Disasters and violent events are typically unanticipated; however, yourcompany should be prepared and have a plan in place. A disaster recovery plan should have a clear policy, a responseplan and training that covers what to do during certain situations, such as during a workplace violence incident ora natural disaster.7. Ignorance or disregard for applicable laws and regulations.All business owners should be aware of pertinent laws and regulations and comply with the tenets of them. Manybusiness owners find themselves afoul of the law after growth propels them into a new level of compliance.Did you know?Not sure what to do? If you have a questionconcerning your HR needs, Insperity’s ContactCenter specialists are here to help via phone oremail. More than 95 percent of callers get whatthey need during the very first call – that’s morethan 20 percent higher than the industry averageof 75 percent for first-call resolution.800-465-3800 |
  5. 5. 06DM-W13-725About InsperityInsperityTM, a trusted advisor to America’s best businesses for more than 25 years, provides an array of human resourceand business solutions designed to help improve business performance. Insperity Business Performance Advisors offerthe most comprehensive Workforce OptimizationTMsolution in the marketplace that delivers administrative relief,better benefits, reduced liabilities and a systematic way to improve productivity. Additional offerings includeMidMarket SolutionsTM, Performance Management, Expense Management, Time and Attendance, OrganizationalPlanning, Recruiting Services, Employment Screening, Retirement Services and Insurance Services.The information contained in this document is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal ad-vice. This information is not a substitute for the guidance of a professional and should not be relied upon in reference to anyspecific situation without first seeking the advice of a qualified HR professional and/or legal counsel regarding applicablefederal, state or local laws. Insperity and its employees make no warranties, express or implied, and make no judgmentsregarding the accuracy of this content and/or its applicability to a specific situation. A reference or link to another websiteis not an endorsement of that site or service.To find out more or learn howInsperity can help your company,call us at 800-465-3800.Visit us at Insperity.com800-465-3800 |