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Common Human Resources Mistakes


Small business owners must hire, monitor, and manage their employees, which can feel like a huge responsibility. Employees are the biggest asset of a company, and it’s imperative to meet their needs and to make them happy.

Below are some simple steps to take.

1. Carefully choose new employees

Take some time to get to know your new hires before you hire them. Review elements like employment history and references. Don’t hire someone as a favor or because the person is a friend or family member. Always do what will benefit your company most in the long term, which means hiring someone who has talent and who will bring something special to the job. You won’t regret doing this!

2. Determine and classify your employees

A very common HR mistake is wrongly classifying employees. So, before anything else, make sure to clarify whether someone is an employee or a contractor. Once you determine that someone is an employee, you also have to decide whether or not they are exempt from wage and hour laws.

3. Make sure your employee records remain up to date

It’s never good to have a lack of documentation. Not having individual employee records can be a nightmare in an HR dispute. So, make sure you have a file that contains the employee’s original application, resume, letters of reference, benefits information, and any evaluations or disciplinary actions. That way, you’ll always have this information in case anything happens in the future.

4. Always have an HR policy handbook

No matter how few employees you have, your business needs to have some HR guidebook which will protect you from litigation. The handbook needs to cover topics like time away from work, benefits, policies, workers’ compensation, and harassment. Give every employee a copy of the manual and make sure he or she signs a document stating that it was received and read.

5. If the law changes, then you change

Rules governing your employees can change at any point; this includes aspects like the wage, workplace safety, and hours. Monitoring changes to local and federal legislation are crucial. Also, make sure you review your policies with employees and document the day and time of the review for future reference.

Written by Robert Ritch


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