Let’s face it – these aren’t the good old days. Time was, managing employees was a relatively straightforward matter. They put in a good day’s work, and in return got regular paychecks. If the company had a good year, a Christmas bonus was in order. And that was about as complicated as Human Resources management got.
Nowadays, you have to offer comprehensive benefit plans to attract and retain top talent. You need to fully articulate what your expense policies are, to avoid misunderstandings. Likewise, what vacations each employee is entitled to. There are likely retirement savings programs to administer, and explain. Perhaps, you also offer some form of profit sharing, to incent top performance.
And if job performance is not satisfactory, for whatever reason, you need to comply with a host of regulations surrounding progressive discipline and, if needed, dismissal.
In all this, employees these days have a right to know where they stand, what they’re entitled to, and what conditions apply.
In a nutshell, you need to have fully documented Human Resources policies, and consistently apply them. Failure to do this all too often invites legal proceedings, and this of course can have very expensive consequences.
And yet, when most businesses are just starting out, fully documenting Human Resources policies and procedures is not a top priority. It’s squeezed out by more pressing imperatives such as finding clients, meeting payroll, and the like. But there comes a time when it needs to be addressed, and that time ideally is before a lack of documented Human Resources policies becomes a problem.
It doesn’t have to be an onerous task, thankfully. If you don’t have the resources internally to pull all this together, outside Human Resources consultants can be used to compile and assemble this information into a document that can be made available to existing and potential employees alike, as well as managers. The expense involved with engaging these consultants is small when compared to the misunderstandings (and costs) that can otherwise arise.
It’s just sound business these days – ensuring everyone is on the same page, and knows what the benefits, terms, and conditions of their employment are.
Documenting your Human Resources policies protects your bottom line from unexpected expenses, and saves money in the long run.
Lynn Cooke is the CEO/President of 360 Visibility Inc. and a Certified General Accountant and a Certified Management Consultant by profession, Lynn has extensive experience in many industries including Financial Services, Professional Services, Consulting, Public Relations, Retail and Not-for-Profit. Lynn can be reached at Contact Us.