Commonly Made HR Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Kat Tice

Incomplete or outdated handbook

Having your employee handbook up to date is a must do for any company. A handbook should always include at least these basic things: code of conduct, communications policy, nondiscrimination policy, compensation and benefits, and some employment and termination guidelines.

Lack of training

Take the time to properly train your employees when they are first hired. Poorly training/not training employees can lead to major mistakes and on the job injuries. When mistakes are made by an employee due to lack of training, the blame falls on management team. On the flip side, properly trained employees feel more comfortable and valued, and are more empowered to work independently/be self-starters, adding additional value to your company.

Failing to document performance issues

If your employee handbook states your standards and policies clearly, then it is up to your employees to abide by them. Even though it may be time consuming, it’s important for you to both discuss and document accurately, any violations right when they occur. This allows the employee an opportunity to adjust their performance, while also documenting any issue in case it becomes an ongoing issue.

Incomplete employee files

It’s always important to keep records of your employees. In situations when you are required to present documents on your employees, you can potentially face fines if you fail to do so in a timely manner. It is best to play it safe and have an organized filing system with all of your employees’ individual papers and documents.

Inaccurate job descriptions

In a situation where you need an employee as soon as possible, it is tempting to rush through the process by quickly throwing together a job description. This may hurt your job search and take additional time, as you might attract the wrong candidates. Additionally, it can cause stress for new employees  if tasks begin to fall on their shoulders that they did not expect. A good job description takes time to write, but will pay off when you hire qualified employees that are prepared for everything that will be expected of them.

Inadequate HR policies

Having set HR policies and communicating them to your employees is vital for your company. Vacation payout, complaint processes, and a disaster plan are not commonly mentioned in the employee handbook. If you have all the necessary HR policies in place, you can avoid being stuck in a situation where your employees don’t know how to react and respond.

Lack of knowledge about city, state and federal laws

Keeping up with federal laws and government regulations may seem stressful, but it is important that your company abides by all laws to stay in business. The best way to make sure you stay in the loop is by constantly educating yourself on changes in regulations and laws so you always stay on top of things. If you have a COO, this is a great role for them to play. If you ever get in a situation and don’t know what to do, the worst things you can do is either guess or just ignore it all together. We recommend you seek out one of the many organizations that can help you seek the best course of action including the Secretary of State’s office, or the Bureau of Labor and Industry.

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