Common HR Department mistakes and how to avoid them

Every business needs to master the art of juggling for it to be successful.

Every department is essential in ensuring the success of a business, but most entrepreneurs ignore the human resource department when other things are flowing smoothly. Human Resource departments have several responsibilities to protect not only the company but also its employees.

Businesses have faced lawsuits after making the slightest mistakes, while others have damaged their reputations and brands. Well, mistakes are inevitable, but it is essential for human resource departments to be aware of, and avoid, these mistakes to stay away from lawsuits and protect their brands.

An outdated or non-existing employee handbook

Every business needs to update and communicate its work policies, which should be in written form. That is why all human resource departments must have a handbook that is regularly updated and the policies communicated to employees regularly. It is advisable to update the employee handbook every two years and ensure that each employee acknowledges and signs to confirm that they have received the policies and that they will abide by them. The employee handbook should include compensation and benefits, code of conduct, nondiscrimination policies, guidelines on employment and termination, and communication policies.

Hasty hiring process

The human resource department often makes mistakes when hiring employees, especially in small and medium-sized businesses. The department usually makes the mistake of making poor job descriptions such that they end up hiring lessqualified workers. Besides, a quick hiring process also means that the department hurries interview processes, so they hire half-baked employees. Human resource departments should spend a few more hours designing robust job descriptions to save them the trouble and mistakes of hiring less-qualified workers. HR departments should have a detailed job description that ensures that they get the right employees based on the employer’s needs.

Incomplete employee files

It is essential for HR managers to keep updated records of employee documents related to their work histories. Also, ensure that you keep personal documents in separate folders from the performance files because they contain personal information that is not necessary for managing the performance of employees. Another common mistake made by HR Managers is the failure to file all valid forms that verify work eligibility and employee identity based on the rules of the state.

Employment compliance ignorance

Another common mistake made by HR Managers is the failure to understand employment laws and regulations. These laws change often, and most managers are not updated with the changing laws, which sometimes gets them into trouble in terms of lawsuits. Some HR Managers misclassify employees by classifying them as in-house employees when they are not or fail to pay employees overtime. Prevention of such mistakes is essential; hence, HR Managers need to understand regulatory agencies that govern their organisation and adhere to the laws.

Failure to document performance issues

HR departments can avoid lawsuits when they avoid the mistake of undocumented performance issues. Employees don’t like termination but it’s crucial for HR Managers to prepare for terminations by documenting them*. HR Managers should give employees the opportunity to improve their performance by highlighting issues during performance check-ins before terminating their contracts. To avoid this mistake, HR Managers should document performance issues during appraisal with the help of performance appraisal software.

Disregard for training

Businesses should invest in their employees through training so that they get skills in their area of specialisation. HR departments are tasked with the responsibility of not only training new hires but also ensuring continuous professional training for existing employees. Employers can be assured of maximum performance after training employees during the onboarding progress and later after hiring the employees to expose them to growth opportunities. Besides, it ensures that employees feel valuable to the company, so they work to ensure maximum performance. HR Managers need to carry out regular performance reviews to ensure that the skills and growth opportunities reflect in their reports.

*Editor’s note: Every country’s labour legislation differs so companies should ensure that termination is undertaken in a legally and procedurally correct manner in accordance with the prevailing labour legislation of the relevant country.

Garrett Penn is a freelance writer based in Utah in the US who loves to write about business and leadership. He hopes to help others through his writing so they can succeed in their careers. Follow him on Twitter @garrettpenn83.

This article appeared in the June 2018 issue of HR Future magazine.

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