7 HR Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Everyone makes mistakes, but when errors are made by human resources, it can have a significant impact on the entire business. That’s why it’s important to be proactive, organized, and maintain compliance to avoid mistakes that can affect company culture and morale and increase the risk for legal liabilities. Managing HR in any size organization is not easy, but knowing where these mistakes can happen and understanding how to avoid them can both benefit and protect your business.

Common HR Mistakes

There are a multitude of responsibilities and tasks to keep track of in human resources. The risk of mistakes and errors run high, especially if you are a one-person show. Learn what happens when your attention is split too many ways and how to resolve the problems to get back on track.

1. Having inaccurate or incomplete employee records

It’s important to maintain a secure, accurate, and accessible record of employee information and work history, especially if your business ever gets audited. Keep careful records of the initial employment application, employee performance documents, valid I-9s, the employee handbook acknowledgement, and any medical-related file information. A secure, web-based HR management system can help ensure proper documentation.

2. Failing to classify employees correctly

Misclassifying workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can have tremendous financial consequences for businesses that include steep fines, back wages, and class-action wage and hour lawsuits. Avoid cutting corners and always ensure salaried, hourly, part-time, full-time, exempt, and nonexempt employees are classified correctly. To determine if an employee is an independent contractor, refer to the IRS free resource, the Independent Contractor Test.

3. Inconsistent or inadequate onboarding processes

An effective onboarding process goes beyond completing employee paperwork and corporate training. New employees want to feel welcomed into their new role and set up for success when starting a new position. Ensure employee work desks or offices are ready and equipped with what they need to start work. Give new employees a tour of your organization, if possible, and schedule important meetings and introductions with people they need to meet.

4. Flawed hiring practices

Bad hires can cost organizations a significant amount of money. Ensure you have a hiring strategy that recruits and selects the appropriate candidates for each role that will remain loyal to your organization. Start with posting a complete job description that speaks to your ideal candidate. Explain the role and talk about your business during the interview and make sure to ask the right questions to determine if the candidate will be the right cultural fit.

5. An outdated or non-existent employee handbook

Without an employee handbook, your business increases the risk for employee violations and lawsuits. Ensure you develop an employee handbook that contains company policies, a code of conduct, health benefits, company holidays, and termination protocol. Ask employees to sign the handbook to acknowledge they have read and understood the material. Review your employee handbook annually to reflect changes in your business and updates to state and federal employee laws.

6. Forgetting to document actions properly

In human resources, documenting every action and activity is critical. It may seem time-consuming to start a new file, but you never know when you will need to reference documentation in the event of litigation, employee complaints, or leadership inquiries. Have a structured records and retention process, a central repository for your data and documents, and conduct periodic audits.

7. Insufficient employee training

Oftentimes, a lack of training is a reason why employees resign. Taking time to train your employees is a valuable investment in the future of your business. Training starts during onboarding to ensure the employee is prepared to do their job successfully. Training is also ongoing, so the employee feels valued and can expand their skills within the business.

Aside from the typical corporate training that covers company policies, consider adding in industry training, so an employee learns more about regulations, laws, or trends that impact the business; product and services training, so the employee knows the business’ offerings; and skills training, so the employee can expand their skillset.

Get Help Managing the HR Workload

Human resources is complex and can be overwhelming if you’re trying to manage it while also running your business. Avoid costly HR mistakes when you partner with OROhr, a premier human resources provider that delivers HR services and solutions that fit your business’ needs. OROhr can assist your business with payroll, employee benefits, tax services, risk management, legal services, and much more. Work with OROhr for all of your HR needs and experience an increase in workplace profitability and productivity that grows your business and keeps your employees happy.

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