Business owners understand the importance of an efficient staff. Employees who feel appreciated and know what they're doing can help a company to run smoothly. When this happens, it may be easy to let important things slide. After all, why worry about events that may not happen?
The last thing you want is to be blindsided by a lawsuit from a disgruntled employee. While it may seem as if you have a wonderful relationship with your staff, you can't always predict what will happen in the future and how your employees will react. Preparation and prevention may seem time-consuming now, but they could easily save you time, money and frustration in the future.
Start from the beginning
If your employees are the driving force of your business, it stands to reason that you would want to acquire talented people and provide them with opportunities to succeed. Providing job satisfaction is one way you can reduce the chances an employee will bring trouble to your company. Some ways in which a proactive human resources department can prevent serious employee issues or establish solid legal footing in the event of a problem include the following:
- Crafting a thorough and accurate job description
- Thoughtfully considering each candidate's abilities to fulfill the duties of the position
- Training new hires to ensure they are capable and feel valued
- Documenting performance issues and policy violations
- Keeping complete records on all personnel
Personnel records may include confidential information, such as health benefits or immigration forms. Your HR rep will certainly need a secure place to store those files where you can access them quickly in case of an audit. Additionally, thorough files will include performance reviews and any disciplinary notations that may be essential should you need to terminate an employee.
Handling handbook issues
An out-of-date handbook can be a time bomb to your company. If it has been more than two years since you and your HR department reviewed and revised your handbook, you would be wise to plan time for that project. Employment laws and benefits change frequently, and you may have had experiences that prompt you to alter company policies. Some crucial issues your handbook may lack include:
- An updated code of conduct
- Explanations for benefits and compensation, including vacation time
- Policies regarding communication and use of social media
- Steps for dealing with discrimination in the workplace
- Plans in the event of a natural disaster or workplace violence
- Guidelines for termination
Ensuring your handbook and company policies are up-to-date and compliant with local and federal mandates may seem overwhelming. However, you can find assistance from a California attorney with experience in all aspects of employment law.