With Employees, Preparation = Prevention

Michael J. Pires
February 2, 2009 — 2,484 views  
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Another year has come and gone, where does the time go? You need employees to run your business, but with employees come responsibility and headaches. As you start thinking about 2009 there are some important human resource practices you should be thinking about.

Employment Screening

In today's society you can never be too careful who you are hiring. Are they a sexual predator? Do they have a criminal history? You could be putting your business and employees at risk. Turnover is costly and not screening applicants before having them join your company can be a tremendous liability - stop it before it's too late.

If you are not already doing so, start conducting background checks on all prospective hires in 2009. You'll reduce turnover by as much as 50% and employers who conduct pre-employment criminal background checks have far less liability and risk than those who do not.

Recordkeeping Practices

Have you recently reviewed your recordkeeping practices for compliance with state and federal recordkeeping requirements? Compliance with recordkeeping laws isn't necessarily fun and it can be challenging, but it is essential. Proper recordkeeping protects you from legal liability and serves as a basis for employment-related decisions, such as; promotions, raises, disciplinary action or terminations. Proper documentation is especially beneficial when unfounded claims of discrimination, harassment, theft or wrongful termination arise. Think it won't happen to you - it happens every day, why chance it?

Performance Reviews

Performance reviews have been proven to help companies of all sizes minimize employee turnover, improve employee performance and save money by utilizing existing staff to their fullest potential. If you aren't doing performance reviews, you're short changing yourself, your employees and your company. Make it your goal to set-up a performance review process for 2009, its easier than you think.

Review your Policies & Update your Handbook

Written employment policies are required for all businesses and employment laws are constantly changing; as such, routinely reviewing your employment policies in order to ensure compliance with legal requirements is your best defense against out-dated procedures and potential lawsuits.

As your business grows and you add new staff it may necessitate that different policies be implemented. A periodic review and/or update of company policies and procedures is very important, but keep in mind that if you do make any changes to company policies; you must make the necessary adjustments to your employee handbook and notify all employees of the changes.

Don't have written policies or an employee handbook? You are asking for trouble. Make it your goal in 2009 to get these important tools in place and protect your business!

About the Author

Michael Pires is the President of HR411.com, an award-winning online human resources support and information portal providing on-demand access to downloadable forms, online background checking tools, plain-English State and Federal employment laws, Employee Handbooks and much more. Visit www.HR411.com today.

Michael J. Pires