— January 15, 2019
In the life of any business, HR decisions have to be made—decisions about hiring, training, firing, and beyond. That’s why medium- and large-sized companies have HR professionals or even entire HR departments to make sure these decisions are made judiciously. Indeed: When handled incorrectly, even a seemingly minor HR decision can come back to bite you, or otherwise have long-lasting, ill effects on your company.
Don’t believe me? Let me give you just a few quick examples of what I’m talking about.
Mistakes in the Hiring Process
There are a couple of big hiring mistakes that I see all the time:
- Not having clear job descriptions, which means you wind up with employees who simply aren’t well-suited for the position at hand. Always be clear—both to yourself and to potential recruits—about what success looks like and what responsibilities are entailed with any new job listing.
- Asking sensitive questions in the hiring process. You just can’t ask people about their age, race, religion, or disability—and if you do, you could expose the entire company to legal peril.
Mistakes with Coaching and Disciplinary Action
Another area where mistakes are common is in employee development—and specifically, coaching/counseling/corrective action.
Specifically, it’s easy to neglect documentation for the corrective actions you take—which means that, if things reach a point where the employee has to be terminated, you don’t have the data you need to back you up. The result could be, once again, potential legal trouble—but you can avoid this simply by being rigorous in documenting these key employee interactions.
Mistakes with Policies and Procedures
The biggest mistakes with policies and procedures? Not having them; not documenting them; not walking your employees through them; and not having your employees sign off on them.
- Make sure you have a thorough employee handbook that clarifies all your company’s internal policies.
- Take the time to walk each new hire through the handbook, and have them sign the last page of it.
- Once a year, schedule some time to simply review the handbook with your entire team.
Avoiding Major HR Errors
Again, these errors may seem minor enough at first—but they can lead to trouble down the road. Verify that your HR team is doing everything in their power to minimize these potential disasters.