6 Common HR Policy Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Whether you are a small company or a large corporation, you always want to make sure you have a solid human resource policy in place. This is why we have decided to take the time and outline the most common HR policy mistakes and show you how you can avoid them.

1. Outdated Employee Handbook

You should always have an up-to-date employee handbook. Not only is this where you outline what is acceptable behavior within your organization, it is also where you explain your company’s policies and standards so there is no misunderstanding or confusion later down the road.

Although the handbook itself does not need to be a lengthy document, you do want to make sure you update it every few years or so. You should also have all your employees sign the updated versions to acknowledge they have received the text and will abide by the new HR policy standards outlined within it.

Examples of the policies you need to include in your employee handbook include:

  • A Standards of Business, including code of ethics, dress code, attendance, and safety standards
  • A solid guideline of how you want your employees to handle work-related communication
  • A Nondiscrimination Policy
  • Compensation and Benefits Policy
  • Employment and Termination Policy
  • An Acknowledgement Page

2. Undocumented Performance-Based Terminations

photo of laptop and whiteboardAlthough we like to avoid it, there will eventually come a time when you have to let an employee go. When this does happen, it is important to make sure you document everything that went into making the decision, especially if it is performance-based.

Unfortunately, in today’s age, we are seeing a lot of employees try to fight back on terminations, and you want to make sure your company is protected in case this happens to you. For example, if you let an employee go because of attendance issues, you want to make sure their file reflects this with a collection of evidence supporting the late behavior and steps taken to fix the pattern. The same goes for any company policy or procedure broken by the employee in question.

If you don’t have documentation in the employee’s file, you at least want to make sure you have a follow-up email or some other form of written account you can pull later if the event is ever in question. This saves you from having to recall everything from memory, as well as gives you evidence to support your decision if you ever need it.

3. Incomplete Employee Files

Speaking of employee files, making sure you have complete files for every individual in your company is critical in the event you ever get audited. This includes making sure you have a record of all the personnel documents attached to the employee’s work history, valid I-9 forms with the accurate supporting documentation, direct deposit forms, non-compete or non-disclosure agreements, and health insurance benefits information.

Having complete files will also make it so you have one central location to look if you or your employee ever have a question about one of the documents or forms. This also makes the information easy to access if you ever need to go back to one of the documents or the employee handbook for disciplinary reasons.

4. Rapid Hires & Promotions

photo of office interiorEven if your company is experiencing rapid growth, you don’t want to rush the hiring process. Although it seems like a good idea at the time, this can create a lot of headaches down the road.

For example, if you don’t take the time to thoroughly check references or verify key background information, you may end up hiring and candidate that isn’t prepared for the responsibilities you expect from them. In the long run, this will cause you to spend even more time searching for a new employee as who you originally hired may not work out.

Just like how you want to make sure you take your time and feel confident in your decision during the hiring process, you don’t want to rush the promoting your employees either. It’s true you have employees who deserve the extra set of responsibilities and the possible pay raise associated with it, however, you don’t want to push someone into a position they aren’t ready for just because you need the job filled.

5. Insufficient Onboarding

photo of a guy and a girl looking at a computer

Although it takes time away from revenue-producing opportunities, you don’t want to skip out on properly onboarding new employees when you first hire them. Sure, you want them to dive right in and start working. However, you run the risk of the employee not feeling as if he or she is really part of your team, which can lead to them not sticking around.

If you aren’t familiar, onboarding is the practice of showing new hires how to smoothly and quickly adjust to the social and performance aspects of their new jobs. This goes beyond the basic orientation structure. It is the process where you teach them of company policies, who to go to if they have questions, how to properly communicate within departments, educate them on company culture, and so on.

6. Misclassifying Employees

photo of business interiorAs a manager, it is very important you are familiar with all current employment laws and regulations, including how to properly classify your employees. For example, knowing how to accurately report whether or not an employee is an independent contractor or not.

At first, listing your staff as independent contractors may seem like a good way to cut down on payroll taxes and save you money in the short term, it can actually lead to stiff financial penalties if they do not meet the strict standards associated with this classification. State and federal agencies are cracking down more on this HR policy.

Creating a reliable HR policy for your business can be a daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be. If you want to take the stress off you and your company in terms of making sure you are compliant with all the current industry standards for human resources, all you have to do is contact INVO PEO! Our team of expert HR specialists will take on this responsibility for you so you don’t have to worry about falling victim to any of these mistakes.