For the small business owner, there are many things that are important to consider with regards to human resources (HR) support. As a business owner, you want your employees to feel comfortable with the working environment you have provided, but the HR world is trickier than that. There are certain federal laws and rules involved in setting up suitable solutions for your business. You have to make sure you understand and comply with those laws in order to provide equality in the workplace for both employees and employers.
To help you understand some important laws and regulations, we’ve created an HR for small businesses checklist. You can learn the right way to manage monthly payroll, efficient hiring and training processes and how to manage employee benefits.
1. Hire the best employee
During the hiring process, many small businesses hire talent in a hurry based on intuition and live to regret the decision. And you can’t fire them just because you’re not happy, as they can sue you or file a claim of discrimination at the Department of Labor. So, before you consider hiring employees, take time to evaluate what’s important to you in a candidate and ensure they can they fulfill the job description given without a problem. Hiring and training an employee will be costly and time consuming.
2. Have an employee handbook
All employers should provide an employee handbook. The handbook serves two important purposes: to protect your business in any disagreement and to let your employees knows what you’re expecting from them. Depending on the nature of your business, your handbook can be as simple or as complex as you want when explaining the company’s policies and procedures, communications and expectations.
3. Give feedback and reward your employees
Small businesses should set employees’ performance targets and offer rewards when they meet them. You should not neglect your employees by only giving verbal responses. You could reward them with offers of festival or sports tickets or take them for lunch. Your business grows because you have great employees. Happy employees help reduce turnover.
4. Understand and follow HR laws and regulations
Every small business should understand the importance of employment laws. They protect the employees’ rights, and also protect them from harassment, discrimination and any other wrongdoings in the workplace. Without this law, employees are exposed to other various issues like safety, and inequality with regards to wage and hours worked.
5. Keep all HR related files confidential and organized
All HR related files should be confidential and organized at all times. Employers should have files that include employees’ resumes, job application forms, certificates, performance evaluation documents and salary records. Employers should also keep all medical histories, I-9 forms and leave requests.
6. Pay salaries on time
One of the factors stopping employers from paying salaries on time is poor time management. Keep your payroll system or software updated all the time. Pay your employees on a consistent basis at the same time each month. Opt for a paperless payroll system which works efficiently in gathering information. Be aware that independent contractors are also subject to payroll taxes.
7. Hire a good lawyer
Having a good lawyer may come in handy and be of good value for small companies. Mistakes happen and employment issues may arise in which you need a good lawyer to help you. Having a reliable lawyer for your small business can help protect against lawsuits or any employee issue that is not within your control.
8. Evaluate your employees
The reason for evaluating your employees is to measure job performance and to help employers determine whether an employee’s skill set is matched to the job description. You can understand their strengths and weaknesses, provide training and development and recognize and reward good performance.
9. Get employees onboard immediately
Prep your employees on the first day of hiring. Make the onboarding process faster and prep them about the company culture before the first day of work. Get any essentials like business cards and related forms ready so they can hit the ground running. It’s vital to brief your new employees on their first day to let them know what tasks to complete.
10. Ditch the paper
Opt for a paperless system that will help minimize errors and promote accuracy and efficiency. Any HR related activities such as time and attendance tracking, managing schedules and onboarding processes can become paperless using the latest HR software. This saves space, can be backed up automatically and is environmentally friendly.
This 10 item HR checklist for small businesses is just a guideline of what you need to do as a business owner and an employer. It helps you navigate and prepare both yourself and your business in the world of human resources.