As part of Employer Advantage’s comprehensive suite of HR management and outsourcing services (HR, Payroll, Health & Benefits, Safety, and more), we take on the burden of our clients’ employee administration and compliance responsibilities. Please contact us if you would like assistance: 417-782-3909
The 2022 labor market has been driven by multiple factors that could not be foreseen nor controlled. The kickoff to the country’s labor woes might have begun with the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was the subsequent domino effect of economic and labor-market issues that have left employers with substantial labor shortages.
With some workers having been stuck at home providing childcare or just burned out and quitting, and many taking early retirement, employers felt compelled to create remote or hybrid positions to try to quickly fill the gaps. This has now inadvertently created a rollercoaster ride for both employers and employees. According to a Bloomberg article sighting several polls and surveys, millions of Americans regret quitting their jobs. Many employers are also expressing regret with new hires made in haste to get their workforce back up and running. With so much uncertainty for everyone, there really is only one dependable solution employers can rely upon.
Solution: Get Back to the Human Resources Basics
When it comes to employment, the basics revolve around efficient and effective management of Human Resources. HR plays a critical role in finding and keeping valuable employees, while protecting your company. Human Resources can ensure your company is poised to offer a safe and enjoyable working environment. Keeping your current staff happy will also enable you to be more selective about the candidates you recruit to join your workforce.
Here’s a Back-to-Basics HR Checklist Employers Can Follow:
Make sure employee handbooks are up to date.
If you haven’t had time to update your employee handbook this year, you should consider doing so now. Review your policies for compliance with the latest employment law developments at the federal, state, and local level; you may want to pay particular attention to paid sick leave, remote work, and other policies that may have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. States and localities have been particularly active in implementing new workplace requirements.
Remind employees of your company policies and practices.
Ensure employees receive a copy of the handbook and sign any applicable acknowledgements.
Provide a safe and respectful environment for all workers.
You must let workers know that unlawful harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated. Moreover, policies can go beyond what is legally required to curb bullying and other disrespectful behaviors.
Set performance expectations.
In response to staffing shortages, supervisors may have overlooked employee attendance and performance problems – but these issues can’t be ignored long term. Consider meeting with workers to remind them of your business objectives, review policies and procedures, and tie company goals to performance metrics. Make sure goals are realistic and measurable and employees understand they will be held accountable.
Review and update job descriptions.
Some roles likely changed in response to labor shortages and evolving business dynamics. Ensure job descriptions are updated to accurately describe the job performed.
Update hiring procedures.
Have you lessened your hiring standards while scrambling to fill vacancies? If so, you should review your staffing policies and set consistent hiring practices. For example, you may want to develop written interview questions that hiring managers can ask each job applicant. You may also want to review your background screening and drug testing policies.
Set Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals.
Creating DEI workplace initiatives can increase morale and work output and benefit your bottom line. To recruit and retain the best talent, your policies must be fundamentally fair, and your workplace should be as inclusive and engaging as feasible. Training and awareness programs on diversity and ethics should be targeted to meet your unique business needs.
Reward top performers.
In addition to attracting the top talent for your workplace, you’ll also want to focus on retaining your good employees. Don’t forget to recognize and reward employees who meet or exceed performance goals. Your specific recognition program may depend on your business environment and company culture, but even saying “thank you” or recognizing an employee’s accomplishments during a meeting can go a long way. For more formal programs, set clear guidelines, performance indicators, and award types so employees understand the criteria and can set their goals accordingly. Consider asking employees what types of rewards they would like to see the company offer.
Once you’ve established performance standards and updated your policies and procedures, you should be sure to apply them consistently. Disciplining and firing employees is difficult for everyone involved, but the burden may be eased by following fair and consistent standards that account for anti-discrimination laws, wage and hour rules, and other applicable employment laws. Discuss performance issues privately with employees and be objective and honest when giving feedback. Be sure to go over the specifics of the performance challenges, identify ways the employee can correct the problem, and communicate the consequences for failing to meet future performance objectives. Document the conversation, as well as your expectations, and set a time to follow up with the employee. Then, be sure managers follow through.
Rethink your process for terminations.
Unfortunately, performance issues and misconduct will sometimes lead to termination decisions, even after you have set expectations and plans for improvement. As with disciplinary discussions, you must be prepared to follow fair and consistent practices when firing employees. Be sure to collect company property – such as laptops, phones, and other equipment – and provide departing employees with any applicable benefits paperwork, notices, and final pay as required by federal, state, and local laws.
Conduct exit interviews.
Exit interviews when employees resign or are let go can help uncover and fix problems, improve your culture, and reduce further turnover. The exit interview also gives you an opportunity to remind the departing employee of ongoing obligations to your company regarding intellectual property and confidentiality.
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A New Path to HR Bliss – Trusted for more than 30 years, Employer Advantage frees you from the administrative and compliance burdens of having employees so you can focus on your business success. Versatile enough for companies of all sizes, our unique service combines comprehensive management of your employee administration and compliance with the latest software solutions, tailored to meet your individual needs and company culture. Our full-service management of Human Resources, payroll, health and benefits, workplace safety, and more enhances your profitability while reducing the costs and risks associated with employment law compliance. We provide your employees with top-notch assistance and benefits that help you increase productivity, save time and money, and attract and retain a talented workforce. And for small and mid-sized businesses, we bring you economy of scale with access to Fortune 500-level benefits, specialty assistance, and savings that would not be possible to attain on your own. Headquartered in the Midwest and serving more than 500 companies and 10,000 worksite employees throughout the country, Employer Advantage is an IRS-Certified Professional Employer Organization (PEO) (CPEO). Experienced, certified, and trusted. www.EmployerAdvantage.com
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