Are you in the process of rebuilding your workforce? Or, are you making changes to your employee benefits structure? Maybe you’re in the middle of fighting an unemployment claim.
Whatever the issue may be, before you go any further, take some time to step back and evaluate your HR policies and procedures to make sure you’re not making any of these common HR mistakes.
Failure to properly classify employees.
Remember, salary doesn’t automatically equal an exempt status. In order to be classified as exempt Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an employee must receive a guaranteed minimum salary of at least $455 per week and satisfy the duties test for their position, which is a determination of the work an employee actually performs under their job title. However, some states may have stricter requirements.
Improper or lack of documentation.
Documentation is your best defense in a wide variety of workplace conflicts and can be especially helpful if you’re forced to defend yourself against false unemployment claims or wrongful termination lawsuits. Keep a file of all communication, performance evaluations, and written and verbal warnings for each employee, and let them know when you add something to it. This way you’ll always be prepared should a conflict arise.
It’s important for a business to have a well-defined compensation structure. It will create consistency as new employees are hired or current employees advance through the ranks of the company. This helps to ensure everyone is compensated fairly for their hard work.
Hiring for experience, not compatibility.
It doesn’t matter how many college degrees or years of experience a job candidate may have, if they don’t fit the overall culture of the company, it will likely create a difficult relationship. Don’t dismiss a candidate right away because they aren’t as qualified on paper as another. If their personality fits the company culture and they show a willingness to learn, they may be the best choice in the long run.
Non-compliance to company policies and procedures.
Your policies and procedures are in place to protect both the company and your employees, so it’s important to follow them. If you’re too inconsistent in the way you enforce your company’s rules and guidelines, it could create confusion among your employees and cause conflicts that could have been easily avoided.
Waiting too long to fire an underperforming employee.
Firing underperforming employees is never easy, but it’s an important part of maintaining a successful business. If you have an employee who continues to have issues despite warnings, it’s important not to wait to let them go. The longer the underperforming behavior is allowed to continue without consequence, the harder those actions will be on other employees and on justifying termination should the employee file an unemployment claim.
HR professionals have the responsibility of not only looking out for the best interest of their employees, but also protecting the company from HR-related conflicts. Mistakes can be costly, so it’s important to be sure you have your bases covered. Taking the time now to ensure all your policies are in place and up-to-date may spare you from a few headaches in the long-run.