While daily contact with employees can be one of the most rewarding aspects of business, it can also be one of the most challenging. Managing human resources is tricky, with built-in emotional complexities that can be exhausting and very time-consuming. A recent article by Automatic Data Processing, Inc. nicely sums up what they consider the “Top 5 Small Business HR Mistakes: How to Avoid Common Employee Management Pitfalls.”
But let’s simplify some of these points by flipping the perspective. Instead of considering the pitfalls, let’s look at five positive ways to make sure you succeed in HR goals:
- Hire Wisely – take the time to find the right person the first time. Narrow the field from the get-go with a clear, concise job posting and pre-screening questions, followed by thorough interviews. Once you have winnowed to one or two appropriate candidates, make sure you follow through with references and background checks.
- Employee Handbook – no matter how small your business, a simple, clearly written, and up-do-date employee handbook can make sure you have basic policies, regulations, expectations, and benefits laid out in writing as a central source of accessible information.
- Pay Employees in Accordance with the Law – make sure you know the Department of Labor’s wage and hour laws, as well as the guidelines for exempt vs. non-exempt employee classifications.
- Keep Meticulous Records – create a secure, safe file for each employee that includes all work-related documents, from hiring information to performance reviews. Sensitive personal information (medical records, background check reports, etc.) should be stored in separate, restricted confidential files.
- Fire Wisely – rather than terminating an employee hastily in the heat of the moment, make time to prepare a set of reasons for termination. This can help avoid any legal issues and will give you the opportunity to address any fall-out caused by an employee’s departure, such as lowered morale from the remaining work force. Know your states requirements for final pay/unused vacation issues.