This month we have been sending out reminders on HR best practices: reviewing and updating your employment posters and making sure your employee handbook is current. Our last New Year’s HR resolution is to recommend you conduct an HR audit. An HR audit is simply a review of processes and activities to ensure you are working efficiently, effectively, and in a compliant manner.
There are probably many priorities you are dealing with right now. You have probably just wrapped up your annual enrollment and are already working on performance reviews and merit increases. While you may not be able to dive into an audit until the second quarter, getting your plan together now can help you get started quickly once the end-of-the-year / beginning-of-the-year activities subside.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of doing things the same way each year. But there are so many new tools to help get the HR paperwork handled more efficiently, it’s worth taking a step back and assessing what you are doing and ask yourself:
- Why is it done this way?
- Are there ways I solve similar problems in other aspects of my life that I can apply here?
- Where do I spend most of my time? Does it add value? Do other perceive this work as meaningful?
- For any given process, if I review the number of steps involved, can I combine or reduce some?
- What else could I do if some of these other tasks took less time?
How should you go about reviewing your HR processes?
- Break it down…start with employee relations, then work on training, recruitment, compensation, etc. If you cannot conduct a complete audit at once, select a function and work on it over the month. The following month move on to the next one.
- Document the steps involved in each task and then see what can be reduced or combined. Pro tip: turn your documentation into a policy and procedure, so that if you need to train someone else to back you up, you have it all documented.
- Get some third-party input. You can have an HR consultant spend some time performing the review for you. The value of this approach is that you can get it done faster, and sometimes a fresh set of eyes can be valuable in providing insights into ways to improve. You’ll also get a full report that you can use as your roadmap for process improvement and getting compliant.
When should you conduct an audit?
- If you have a transition in your HR function, an HR audit can help the new HR leader set priorities.
- If you expect new processes and systems to be implemented, reviewing processes and tasks can help make the implementation run more smoothly and give you a clearer idea of requirements and outcomes.
- If there will be a change in key stakeholders…if there is an acquisition or divestiture, new leadership, or large groups of new employees, it might be a good time to conduct a review.
Human Resources audits are one of our specialties. We have the tools to conduct a thorough analysis and provide recommendations to be more compliant and more effective and efficient. If you need help starting your HR audit or have or other Human Resources consulting needs, contact us and check out our blog for more helpful resources.
When was the last time you updated your employee handbook? Y2K? Obama’s first term? When Breaking Bad was on TV? It wouldn’t surprise us…you finally get one distributed and before you know it, years have passed. The beginning of the new year is a good time to take a look at it and make any needed updates.
What’s the best way of going about this?
- Go back and review any memos or emails you have sent employees over the past few years that communicate policy or procedure changes. If they are still in effect, you may want to incorporate them in your new handbook.
- Check in with line supervisors and ask them what works well and what needs to change. You may find that needs in their departments require changes to help them run their function more effectively.
- Determine if there are any legal or compliance updates at the local and state level. Some municipalities have different requirements that the state as a whole. And of course we know many states have particular compliance requirements that need to be met.
- Check to see if there have been any changes at the federal level as well. A good place to start is the US Department of Labor website.
What else should you think about?
- Keep in mind that the handbook can be used to convey important cultural messages. Make sure that it reinforces these messages and is consistent with your other messages.
- While it is important to communicate employee rights and responsibilities, try to make it clear and easy for the lay person to understand. Avoid technical or legal jargon as much as possible.
- Don’t put anything in that you don’t intend to enforce. This can lead to inconsistent treatment of employees.
- Don’t make it an exhaustive policies and procedures manual. Convey what an employee ‘needs to know’ and leave the detailed internal administrative procedures for your P&P manual.
- Before you distribute the manual to all of your employees, distribute it to the managers and supervisors and schedule time to review key changes and the sections most relevant to them [time and attendance, discipline, etc.]. The handbook should be a tool to help them lead more effectively…make sure they know how to use it.
- Collect signed handbook acknowledgements from EVERYONE. No one should be exempted. Also, whether you update your handbook annually or not, get a new acknowledgement at least each year.
Finally, set a date to conduct your next review and update so that you stay on top of this and not let the years go by without making sure you are staying current.
Have you checked to see if you need to update your workplace postings? Certain federal and state laws [and even some counties and municipalities] require employers to post laws and regulations regarding employee rights in the workplace. Requirements may vary from employer to employer depending on the state in which the employees work, the size of the organization, and the type of industry.
These postings should be displayed in a conspicuous place in the workplace for all employees to see, such as a break room, copy room, or other common areas for employees. If your organization has multiple facilities, postings must be displayed in each facility. For employees that work remotely from an office location, these policies and regulations should be sent to the employees, provided in hard copy form, or provided electronically for these employees to access as well.
Where can you find these postings?
- Your city and state department of labor or industrial commission websites should have a section for required postings that tells you who is required to comply. You will also be able to download the postings to print out as many as you need.
- The US Department of Labor website has all the information you need. Make sure you check with other agencies such as OSHA, Wage and Hour Division, EEOC, etc. for other required posters.
- Your payroll company may provide posters as part of their service at little or no cost. Check with them to see if they can provide these to you.
- There are paid services you can use that provide these posters. An internet search should be able to turn up a number of options…just be aware that while it may be more convenient to pay a service to provide these posters, especially if you operate in multiple jurisdictions, you can always find them for free at the local, state, and federal agencies.
Imagine you’re a kid again. You walk into your grandfather’s garage to help him repair the broken lawnmower. Remember the way the air was filled with the smell of motor oil and possibilities? You felt, as he handed you the wrench, the two of you could fix anything.
Back then, working with your hands taught patience, persistence, and problem solving. Through trial and error, these DIY projects built confidence. Motogo Mobile Shop Class is recreating these meaningful opportunities for students.
On February 9 2019 we invite you to join us for the first annual benefit Bringin’ Back Shop Class to kick start and support Motogo Mobile Shop Class.
Motogo is a mobile shop class providing hands-on introduction to real world problem solving and critical thinking through the tangible avenue of motorcycle maintenance.
Not only will you get to meet the Motogo team and learn more about the program and our early successes, there will be food, open bar, interactive demonstrations, silent auction and raffles, and live entertainment.
Ticket and event information can be found here.
Do you want to show your support with your organization or company? Information on group and corporate support can be found here.
Organizational Architecture is proud to help Skidmark CLE bring these skills to students in Northeast Ohio and beyond and will be involved with helping Brian and Molly bring this program to students in 2019.
Notwithstanding some reports that companies are doing away with holiday parties altogether, if you do choose to hold one, the Society of Human Resource Management has some great suggestions of what to include in a party memo to send out to your employees BEFORE the party to help ensure everyone has a good time [and that you or your HR team are not dealing with the aftermath..].
- Alcohol – It should go without saying that employees should drink responsibly if alcoholic beverages will be served at the party, but that is not always the case. A system should be implemented to prevent employees from consuming too many alcoholic beverages, such as having someone in charge pass out an allotted amount of drink tickets with employees’ names printed on them. This will help employees limit the amount of drinks they consume and employees cannot give them away to others if they choose not to use them. There should also be a cut-off period where alcohol will no longer be served about an hour before the party ends but make sure that there will be non-alcoholic beverages still available. Make sure to have professional bartenders serve beverages at the party instead of burdening an employee with the risk.
- Apparel – Make sure to have a set dress code for the party so employees know ahead of time what they can wear and set what will be considered inappropriate attire at the event.
- Behavior – Communicate with employees that although they are not at work, their behaviors should still conform to what is acceptable in the workplace. This includes using language that would be appropriate for the workplace as well.
- Gift giving – If gifts will be exchanged at the party, make sure to have a price limit on gifts and that gifts should not be obscene, offensive or of a sexually explicit nature.
- Impaired driving – To avoid employees driving after consuming alcohol, have your company make arrangements with Uber, Lyft, or a taxi firm to be available to transport employees who do not have a designated driver to get home safety.
- Smoking – Have a rule in place on smoking at the event, whether it prohibits it completely from the event or make sure there is a designated area for employees to go.
These are just a few items to communicate to your employees in a Holiday Party memo to help prevent any confusion or mishaps.
Need more help? Contact us for other helpful resources.
Organizational Architecture is excited to be part of something cool that we wanted to share. We’ve made a lot of progress since our first note in July…here is an update.
Motogo is a not-for-profit mobile shop class providing hands-on introduction to real world problem solving and critical thinking through the tangible avenue of motorcycle maintenance. Motogo is part of Skidmark Garage which is providing the framework for running Motogo. The concept is to bring these classes directly to schools in Northeast Ohio weekly over the course of the school year.
Motogo is already working with students from the Cleveland Municipal School District and Magnificat High School. Furthermore, we have already secured assistance from the Cleveland Leadership Center / Bridgebuilders and Business Volunteers Unlimited to help with strategy, funding, and marketing.
Additionally, we are receiving grant money or in-kind assistance from:
- Lincoln Electric
- Harley Davidson
- The Blaster Corp
- And many others…stay tuned
We could use help! We are seeking board members to help lead the organization. If this is something you want to learn more about, contact Mark Fiala at email@example.com. Thanks!
This month’s success story features our work with the Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition. MHAC fosters education and awareness of mental health and addiction issues while advocating for public policies and strategies that support effective, well-funded services, systems, and supports for those in need, resulting in stronger Ohio communities.
The MHAC is a place where diverse interests come together, speak with a common voice, and work towards guaranteeing access to quality services and supports for individuals with mental health and addiction disorders.
OA was approached based on our experience working with not-for-profit organizations and benchmarking compensation, and recommending approaches to enhance compensation program administration.
Joan Englund is the Executive Director of the MHAC. She said:
OA was recommended to us from a partner organization to assist us with understanding how competitive our compensation was. We are a unique organization so we needed to make sure we used appropriate benchmarks when analyzing our pay.
They have a collaborative process and spent time with us reviewing data, asking questions, and making sure they were providing the analysis we needed to make decisions about our pay programs. They located both general compensation data as well as information specific to not-for-profits to give us an informed view of compensation in our world. Since we are spread out geographically they provided us data for the locations in which our people work.
OA’s help was invaluable in providing us data about our own programs, and insights into what is competitive among our peers. We now have a process to revisit this periodically to ensure we stay on track. Most not-for-profits are constrained by resources, especially money. Our dialog with OA helped us refine our value proposition to employees and potential candidates, and leverage our meaningful mission and work along with other aspects of our total rewards program in our conversation with them.
From all of us at Organizational Architecture to you, our clients, colleagues, and friends…we wish you a happy and restful Thanksgiving.
We are grateful to all of you who have helped us throughout the year.