The arena of human resources can, at times, range from a bit confusing to downright overwhelming. With the various components of employment law, regulatory compliance, benefits administration, employee relations and payroll, an employer can often wonder where to begin to sort out the pieces. Having solid HR foundational items in place can go a long way in ensuring that HR operations are compliant, pro-active and in alignment with the overall business objectives of the organization. At a minimum, to be prepared for navigating the terrain of employment law and best practices, every employer needs some basics in place:
Employee Files and I-9 Documents
- Each employee should have a personnel file and at least two (sometimes more) “other” files such as medical and payroll.
- I-9 forms come with guidelines for completion, retention and storage. Employers may be audited at any time by the U.S. Department of Labor so in order to avoid costly fines, it’s important to stay in compliance with how the forms are completed and maintained.
- The handbook serves as the centerpiece of HR process. It sets expectations for employees in regard to workplace behavior and policies and it outlines what they can expect from the company. Should an organization find it necessary to defend its practices, this is the first stop in most workplace investigations.
- A job description outlines what duties are required for each position in an organization. Focusing on the shared understanding of what makes up a job is the foundation of meaningful conversations regardless of whether it’s for the purpose of performance review or disciplinary action.
Interactive Employee Processes
- A performance appraisal is the official benchmark of how an employee is performing in his or her job. In addition to giving employees feedback about what’s going really well, a performance appraisal allows the opportunity to formally document areas where improvement is needed.
- When needed, having disciplinary conversations early and often will serve to either improve the employee’s performance or it will highlight areas that can’t be corrected and allow an employer to move through a termination process in a compliant and timely fashion.
- The most important area of HR is the actual human aspect. Making time for meaningful communication is critical and it lends to business environments that are more cooperative in nature. In today’s fast paced world, it’s easy to get involved in daily operations and forget to interact with employees in a meaningful way that makes them view themselves as a valued and necessary member of the team.
- Finding time as often as possible to touch base with employees about their jobs, what’s on their minds and how things are going will create a culture of inclusion. When employees feel valued, they are usually more satisfied at work and do a better job on an ongoing basis.
If you are finding yourself in need of assistance with HR operations, from stand-alone projects to full-scope HR service, we can offer help and support for moving forward in the New Year!