These HR best practices will set your business up for success all year long.
The New Year is an ideal time to start new HR habits that will position your business down a more secure and successful path. Where can your HR processes use improvement to ensure your business avoids risk and supports a healthy, high-performance workforce? This will vary based on individual circumstances and business needs, but there are certain, must-have elements necessary to operating a highly functioning, successful organization of any size.
Here are four essential HR best practices to adopt in the New Year:
Establish HR standard operating procedures
Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are detailed, step-by-step instructions for managing routine tasks. They help to simplify and share processes, maintain compliance and reduce risks, and ensure safety and efficiency in all areas of an organization, which is why they are so essential to success — especially when scaling a business.
Standard operating procedures can be applied to many common HR processes such as recruiting and hiring, employee training and development, onboarding and offboarding, conducting annual performance reviews, salary and benefits administration, payroll processing, handling workers’ compensation, unemployment claims, and more.
When implemented in HR, standard operating procedures can help to:
Make HR processes easier to master and teach to new team members
Support HR best practices throughout your organization
Keep operations running smoothly despite employee turnover or staff changes
Reduce the likelihood of human error and compliance violations
Ensure consistency and efficiency across all business operations
Fine-tune your remote work policies
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many organizations to swiftly shift to a remote-work arrangement without previously having a formal policy in place. While some have returned to the office full time, the ability to work from home has become a popular choice with workers today, causing many companies to permanently adopt remote and hybrid work policies.
If your business is still allowing remote work but doesn’t have formalized policies yet, or perhaps you’re considering instating a remote or hybrid option in order to attract and retain workers, it is critical to fully work out the kinks in your policies and procedures and put it in writing.
Here are some things to consider when building out your remote work policies:
Will your business offer fully remote, hybrid, or flexible schedules — or all of the above?
How will employees be expected to perform their duties and communicate?
Do you have the necessary technology to support remote workers — and, if so, what are the guidelines for receiving, setting up and utilizing this equipment or software?
What are your policies surrounding data security for remote workers?
Will you adjust your compensation and benefits for fully remote workers to include necessary technology such as wi-fi, smart phones, etc?
How will your organization support company culture and employee engagement across dispersed teams?
Create or update your employee handbook
An employee handbook is a formal guide ensuring all members of an organization are aware of its official policies, guidelines, benefits, and workplace expectations. It serves as a foundation for HR best practices and sets the tone for your workplace culture by clearly communicating standards of conduct and making sure everyone has agreed upon them.
In addition, an up-to-date employee handbook is essential because it helps ensure compliance with changing workplace and employment laws as your business grows. Violating regulations administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Department of Labor can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. That’s why it’s so important to review and update your employee handbook annually.
Common employee handbook content that requires updating includes:
Legal compliance considerations: Ensure the language in your handbook is in compliance with laws regarding things like non-exempt overtime, breaks and meals, jury duty, paid leave, and distribution of final paychecks.
Outdated policies: If your business has grown, you might need to include new policies around FMLA, COBRA, or benefit eligibility.
Employment expectations: What are the expectations around dress code, use of personal devices during business hours, and performance standard? These may also change as your business evolves.
Employee compensation and perks: Update details on employee compensation, including frequency of payments, bonuses, PTO, and your benefits package to reduce the amount of time your leadership or HR team spends answering questions.
So many considerations go into creating a solid employee handbook that relying on a template you found online simply won’t cut it. To reduce your risk and avoid the hassle of handling it yourself, partner with an expert in HR best practices who can guide you through the process of employee handbook development.
Invest in employee training and development
In today’s competitive labor market, the ability to retain and upskill employees has never been more important. Many employees who quit during the Great Resignation cited a lack of advancement opportunities as a driving factor for why they left their jobs. The message is clear: if you’re not providing development opportunities for your workforce, they’re going to find someone who will.
This year, resolve to invest in employee training and development by:
Conducting employee assessments - Determine where members of your workforce could use improvement through employee assessments that gauge skill level, personality, and character.
Creating professional development plans - Work with individual employees one on one to determine their interests, goals, strengths, and weaknesses, and then set measurable, attainable goals to support their ongoing development.
Providing training workshops - Customized training workshops around topics such as management skills, workplace conflict, women in leadership, and effective customer service techniques will improve your workplace culture and ensure employees learn, grow, and achieve their full potential.
Boosting your onboarding process - Employee success starts with the onboarding process. If this piece of the puzzle isn’t in place, you’ll have to work harder later on to improve the performance of struggling employees. Consider automating your onboarding process and establishing onboarding SOPs to ensure each new hire receives a consistent, thorough introduction to your company and the tools they need to succeed in their new position.
Let us handle your HR best practices so you can focus on growing your business.
At Premier HR Solutions, your success is our goal. We’ll work closely with you and your leadership team to get to know your business and design a plan that addresses your specific HR needs.