Imagine yourself watching a circus.
Under a warm tent, you watch the ringleader gleefully announce the trapeze artists.
The ringleader races off-stage, changes outfits, and climbs a ladder to perform stunts. After swinging around, they scramble back down and begin juggling pins.
They drop a few, mumble apologies, and some of the crowd wanders outside for a breath of fresh air. Once that’s over, the ringleader-turned-trapeze-artist-turned-juggler slaps on some makeup and jokes with the remaining crowd—exhausted and sweating.
If circuses were run like some small businesses, you’d likely have 911 on standby before the jack-of-all-trades gets to the fire eating portion of the show.
But still, business managers try to manage all aspects of business, usually to the detriment of their own success. Human Resources is typically sidelined until growth has been established, however this keeps the door (or tent) wide open for inevitable, costly mistakes.
Whether running a circus or a business, it’s important to have all of the preparations needed to make sure the show is a success and can go on.
So step right up and read all about the 7 HR issues you need to avoid.
Short Recruiting Process
Eager business owners may fall into the trap of prematurely hiring talent without a robust, or any, sourcing and interviewing process. To save time and resources, owners might post a vague job description online and relish in the steady stream of resumes that pour into, and flood, the inbox.
Job boards themselves aren’t a bad idea, however an underdeveloped posting will yield mediocre prospects. When your job descriptions fail to invite the best fit for your organization, your interview process will most likely wind up favoring the best-of-the-worst.
This is the logical conclusion of a short recruiting process; an avalanche-effect that drains time and resources. Business owners who post underdeveloped job descriptions, utilize inefficient sourcing techniques, and poor interview practices will quickly realize the error.
If the new hire doesn’t pull a no-show two days into their employment, you’ll likely be looking for a replacement in six months. Unfortunately, many business owners repeatedly fall into this trap and open a poor talent loop that undermines their business development and creates a toxic working environment, disengaged employees, and low morale as a result of high turnover.
Remember: If the job description doesn’t fit, you must acquit (I’m fairly certain that’s how that quote goes).
No Onboarding Process
The above scenarios may not apply to some business owners, and that is a great hurdle to clear. However, some missteps may exist when it comes to the onboarding process.
Now, onboarding means something different to each organization, however one thing is for certain across the board: you must set your new employee up for success—to hit the ground running.
This may take form of formal training, business cards, a copy of the employee handbook, a telephone line, and any actions that should be completed on the first day like submitting required forms, for example.
Too often, onboarding procedures are scattered and incomplete—which leaves the new employee with questions that should have been addressed early on and a bad taste in their mouth.
To boot, organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50% greater new hire retention.
Secondhand Employee Handbook
Some businesses have skirted the responsibilities of creating a tailored employee handbook by simply copying another business’s handbook.
Because your employee handbook discloses your organization’s principles, employment standards and requirements, policies, and procedures, and compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws, it is lazy (and potentially litigious) to simply pass off another company’s handbook as your own.
Consider the following:
- The myriad of laws that may exist within your industry
- Your employment policy, evaluation procedure, and standards
- The laws within your state
- Non-solicitation policies and confidentiality
- Employee rights and responsibilities
- Safety regulations, wage payment, conduct, discipline, and many, many others
Business owners considering copying an employee handbook must understand that many are outdated and inaccurate. If they were created within a different state, they reflect laws that may not apply within your state—and neglect laws that are required by legislation.
A tailored employee handbook is necessary to protect the organization from otherwise unwarranted legal claims down the road. Carelessness in this area can lead to costliness in the not-so-distant future.
Misunderstanding of Law
As a business owner, it is not in your interest to understand legalese. However, those who undertake preparing their own employee handbook may find themselves interpreting the law to their own accord—which is to say, incorrectly.
An inaccurate understanding of the law will not hold up in court should an employee challenge the shaky interpretation. Business owners are wise to invest in an outside vendor to craft an employee handbook on their behalf or seek legal counsel prior to distributing the employee handbook to new employees.
Among millennial employees, 87% have reported that employee development and training is important to them according to Gallup findings. Yet, many businesses fail to provide the necessary tools to set these future leaders up for success.
If your top talent is yearning for opportunities to grow within your organization, you must give them a formal training experience or risk losing a rising star to competition.
Neutral Party Issue Resolution
For small businesses without a dedicated HR professional, “open door” policies are commonplace. While the business owner may think themselves an open-minded, unbiased mediator in times of concern, employees may not report an uncomfortable problem to their boss.
Having a middle-person, or hotline, to report a concern to, is essential to sustaining a positive work culture. Your employees need to feel empowered and protected, and while you may be open-minded and unbiased, it is much wiser for employees to engage with a neutral source.
Human Resource functions should not be neglected in your business model. Everything from recruitment, to onboarding, to employee handbooks, development, leadership nurturing, and offboarding must be included in your employees’ experience.
Not only do these functions cultivate a productive, rewarding environment for current employees, but sets future talent up for immediate success.
And as the ringleader, you shouldn’t be taming lions, stacking elephants, and performing death-defying stunts by yourself. Invest in an HR resource and together set your sights on the future growth of your business, because like the circus, the show must go on!
Need assistance with your HR compliance and strategy? Balance Point recently unveiled BPHR, dedicated to ensuring compliance and strategic growth for your business. Learn more about BPHR here.