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Best Practices

New Year’s Resolution #3: Audit your HR processes

New Year’s Resolution #3: Audit your HR processes

By on Jan 17, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compliance, HR Operations Audit | 0 comments

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...

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New Year’s Resolution #2: Review [and update] your employee handbook

New Year’s Resolution #2: Review [and update] your employee handbook

By on Jan 15, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Communication, Compliance | 0 comments

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...

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New Year’s Resolution #1: Get your required employment postings updated

New Year’s Resolution #1: Get your required employment postings updated

By on Jan 8, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compliance | 0 comments

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. Do you need assistance with your workforce strategy or other Human Resources consulting needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Holiday party tips

Holiday party tips

By on Dec 14, 2018 in Best Practices, Blog, Workplace Events | 0 comments

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...

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Preparing for the 2018 holidays

Preparing for the 2018 holidays

By on Nov 13, 2018 in Best Practices, Blog | 0 comments

It’s hard to believe we are already at the beginning the 2018 holiday season. Rather than list out the various holidays celebrated by different people throughout these two months, we wanted to provide some general reminders to help you plan your holiday season.   We encourage you to ensure that you are being fair and consistent when granting time off or flexible schedules and inclusive if you decide to have holiday themed office celebrations. If you have not already done so, prepare and post the holiday schedules now.  Include the dates you will be open for business and the ones you will be closed. If the holidays fall on weekends, address whether you plan to close the day before or the day after the holiday.  If so, make sure you let people know by sending out a company notice with the posting. Some industries, such as medical or retail, may have normal hours and scheduling or even longer hours. Make sure people are aware of this.  It is completely appropriate to state that you have certain ‘blackout’ periods in which no time off may be granted due to business needs. Keep in mind that there are several religious and other holidays throughout this period, some of which may be unfamiliar to you.  Remember to treat people fairly, even if it is a holiday that you do not know. Check your employee handbook to remind yourself of holiday policies, such as who eligible for holiday time off and holiday pay.  Make sure you understand how holiday pay is calculated and explain it to those employees who will be receiving holiday pay. Do you need assistance with your workforce strategy or other Human Resources consulting needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2019

Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2019

By on Oct 17, 2018 in Best Practices, Blog, Compliance | 0 comments

The State of Ohio has released its new Minimum Wage poster for 2019.  Ohio employers are required to post this in a conspicuous place where the employees can see the poster easily. Visit Ohio.gov to print your copy and post as many as needed in your workplace. Watch for new updates on workforce strategy or contact us for other helpful...

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