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HR departments are crucial to a small business.  The task they perform are critical.  Whether your HR department consists of one person or fifteen(15), the role they place remains critical.  What your HR department do or fail to do could get a small business in a lot of legal hot water that could be very costly.  It could destroy a small business.  So, make sure your HR department avoid these mistakes.


These are the top 10 HR mistakes that your small business HR department should avoid.


1. No Retention Strategy:

Every companyís HR should have a strategy to retain current employees.  There are several reasons for this.  It cost more to hire a new employee than to retain one.  Bringing a new employee into the organization to fill a slot vacated by a current employee is disruptive.  Not to mention it is bad for morale when current employees see someone let go and replaced by a new person.  A retention strategy could eliminate those issues. 


2.  Not Creating a Good First Impression:



The first interaction that a new employee will have with the organization is with the HR department.  The interaction between the new employee and HR will create a lasting impact.  HR departments should create an onboarding program that takes the new employee through an orientation process where they are introduced to the culture of the organization.  During those first days the new employee should get the opportunity to meet the leadership of the organizations, key personnel and the people they will be working with.  They should be given a tour of the organization and shown where all the  key facilities are.  They should be introduced to the HR handbook and educated on the norms of the organization as well as get setup in their work stations with all the necessary office supplies and equipment they will need for their jobs.  Thatís making a good first impression.


 3.  No Employee Handbook:



Not having an employee handbook could get you in trouble.  The employee handbook documents and formalizes the rules for employees to follow.  Every small business with employees should have one and every employee should have a personal copy.  When there is a dispute the handbook can be referenced and any misconceptions cleared up.  It keeps the organization out of legal jeopardy.


4.  No Recruitment Strategy:



CEOís for small businesses should make sure that their HR departments always have a recruitment strategy in place.  Small businesses have a turnover rate that has to be managed and as the business grow more employees will have to be hired.  Having a recruitment strategy in place will mean that you will not have to scramble to find a new employee when you urgently need to hire someone.  The HR department should be tapping into resources ahead of time and identifying potential candidates.


 5.  Not Looking for The Culture Fit:



If you bring someone into the organization that is not a good fit for the culture, their time spent in the organization will be short lived.  At worse, they could end up causing legal issues by claiming discrimination.  The HR department should make sure that the culture fit is a criteria when they screen potential employees.


 6.  No Training Program:



Training is key to keeping good employees and using them to grow your small business.  Developing and maintaining a training program is a function of the HR department.  They must have one in place that is constantly updated and reflects the needs of the organization as it grows.


7.  Poor Disciplinary Program:



HR departments that donít deal with disciplinary issues effectively are esposing their companies to legal issues.  Every HR department should establish a disciplinary program that keeps accurate and timely records.  Meeting minutes should be maintained by employees and because they may become a key source of information when there are disciplinary issues to deal with.  There must be a formal process for employees to make complaints and for those complaints to be address.  It should be in writing.  Everyone should be regularly informed on what the process is. 


8.  No Focus on Health and Safety:



Health and safety issues is the function of the HR department.  CEOís are responsible for the health and safety of their employees while they are at work.  Hence, they must ensure that their HR departments have a health and safety program in place.  There are specific state and federal laws that pertains to employee health and safety issues that must be followed.  Failure to comply with these laws could result in legal action not just from the state and federal governments but also from injured employees.  Save your company from these legal issues and make sure that your HR departments have a health and safety program in place.


9.  Not Understanding Motivation:



All employees are motivated by something.  They get up and come to work every day because they want to get paid.  But, thatís not their only motivation.  It is incumbent upon HR to know what motivates employees to get up and come to work every day.  Every small business should have a program in place that motivates employees to come to work and give their best every day.  It should include monetary incentives, time off, recognition, mentorship opportunities, cross training opportunities, free parking, transportation cost re-imbursement, educational cost re-imbursement, etc.


10.  Not Using Technology:


Technology is an integral part of our lives.  It is a great way to enhance technology functions such as payroll management, hiring, firing, benefits management, training, etc.  The new generation of employees are well versed in technology.  It is the primary way in which they communicate.  They use it for posting their resumes to find jobs, they communicate  via email and text and network with social media and they provide a lot of information about themselves that is available publicly that HR departments can tap into to gain a better insight about who theyíre hiring.  Hence, If an HR departmetn want to reach the best employees they have to keep up with the technology.




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