July 23, 2019
Company Culture 13 March 2019
HR Practices to Steer Clear Of
Emily Banks
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For most companies, their employees are your most important assets. Employee performance, commitment, and loyalty impact the entire organization and play a significant role in business’ profitability and success. Attracting and retaining high-quality employees is a must for every organization.The role of human resources (HR) is to organize employees so they effectively perform their work. The human resources function performs a variety of employee-centered activities including: 

  • Enforcing policies and procedures 
  • Recruiting 
  • Onboarding
  • Performance Management. 

In recent years, new HR trends emerged to reshape the work environment including new technology, competitive recruiting environment and generational shifts in the workforce. 2019 is no different as there are many emerging technologies and trends that companies can implement. 

How HR is Changing

Over the years the HR function has expanded to include more strategic tasks such as creating a positive employer brand, increasing employee engagement, boosting productivity and establishing relationships with employees beyond their job.

The new HR environment has put employee engagement and motivation is the spotlight as organizations work hard to attract and retain their best employees. Millennials have joined the workforce with new expectations in work culture, job satisfaction, and career development.To meet these new challenges, HR practices need to change to meet employee expectations and ensure superior business performance. Continuing bad practices negatively affects the entire organization, hindering business growth. It is in every employer’s best interest to avoid these negative practices.

To ensure a thriving and productive workforce, here are 6 HR practices to steer clear of: 

1. Manual Data Entry

Entering data manually is time-consuming and can lead to input errors. A decimal point in the wrong place or a number entered incorrectly can be costly. Incorrectly filing payroll taxes can result in financial penalties assessed by the IRS. A mistake on an employee’s paycheck can lead to employee morale issues if they don’t get paid on time.To ensure accuracy and efficiency, your business should consider investing in a Human Resources Information System (HRIS), which can streamline your processes, automatically perform common HR tasks and make your workforce easier to manage. Here is a great article about HRIS from BambooHR.

Small businesses are often concerned about the potential cost of an HRIS but the expense will be offset by the time and money saved. The system will dramatically reduce mistakes, ensuring you meet filing deadlines, deposit requirements and accurately track time and attendance. 

A range of solutions is available within an HRIS, including recruiting, attendance, payroll, benefits administration, and training. The majority of systems include flexible designs and integrated features, which enable report creation and the ability to analyze information quickly and accurately. 

2. Using Generic Help Wanted Ads

The employee experience begins during the recruitment process. First impressions can play a large role in how employees view your organization. In a way, you are marketing your company to potential workers. Your business will not stand out from others if you use generic templates for job postings. 

Everyone’s goal is to work for a great company each person has their own idea what makes a company great. Who hasn’t heard of the generous office perks at Google, from free haircuts and gourmet cafeteria food, to extended leave and benefits? 

REI was in the news for paying its more than 11,000 employees to take off work on Black Friday, encouraging them to spend the day outdoors instead. You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to have a great company culture, you just have to create it intentionally. As Sesil Pir of Whirling Chief put it, 

“Talent acquisition is the most strategic people process for an organization.” 

A simple job ad, while needed for a lot of roles, should not be the only process to find employees. Looking for more on-boarding and hiring tips? Check out this resource from TransUnion

When writing job postings and ads highlight your organization’s culture and stress what makes your company special. Does the office have a killer kitchen snack collection? Is there a game room to use during free time? Share what is unique about your company to attract applicants who better understand and fit the culture.

3. Hyperbolizing During the Hiring Process 

During the interview and hiring process, employers expect employees to be honest with them about their skills and experience. Employers should also be honest with employees and not make promises they can’t keep. 

Some employers have been known to make promises about salary, flexible work hours, job responsibilities and other work-related items in order to convince the employee to take the job. However, once the employee starts working at the company, the truth will come out and they will realize you lied or were not forthcoming about the job or culture.

The employees will be upset you were not forthcoming with them about the job or the culture. The dishonesty will build mistrust in the employee and damage your relationship with the employee. Most likely, the employee will leave the company after a few weeks or months.

By being honest and upfront with the employee about the job responsibilities, salary and culture, you enable the employee to decide whether the role is a good fit for them. Using standardized job descriptions provides a consistent baseline; employees know what to expect from the job, and what their employer expects of them.

4.  Maintaining Strict Dress Code Policies

Remember your employees are adults and should be treated as such. A professional adult likely understands clothing appropriate for the workplace without being given a list of do’s and don’ts. Monitoring the way employees dress is unnecessary and can take away from employee individuality and workplace culture. 

If there is an issue with the way someone is dressing, whether too revealing or too casual, you should speak with the employee directly. Sacha Ferrandi, CEO and head of HR at Texas Hard Money, says that 

“Employees should dress in a way that helps them express themselves at the office. There are of course times when formal dress is needed, but if it’s not a ‘meeting’ day, your team will love to come to the office in casual attire.” 

If it isn’t essential for your employees to dress up for work, consider implementing a casual dress code. This is a free, yet potentially very rewarding, benefit that employees may truly appreciate. Comfortable employees are happier and more productive, and you’ll likely see an improvement in morale as well. Check out this list of big companies with casual dress codes! 

5. Attendance Policies for Salaried Employees

While you should have policies in place regarding employee attendance, don’t treat attendance as a disciplinary issue. Employees don’t choose to be sick, have a flat tire or get caught in traffic. Punishing them for being 10 minutes late or for calling in sick will create a bad office environment. 

Instead, allow for some flexibility. CEO of Arnett Credentials, Jeff Arnett kindly suggests, 

“If a salaried employee consistently completes their work, meets all expectations and abides by the attendance policy, consider giving them a break if they arrive a little late or need to take a personal day.”

6. Not Allowing Employees to Work from Home While Sick

Healthy employees are productive employees. If an employee is sick, they should not come to the office. However, sometimes an employee is sick but still able to work. They don’t want to take a sick day to preserve their PTO. To accommodate these employees, allow them to work from home instead of coming into the office and make others sick.

The health of your employees directly correlates to their productivity and companies should work towards improving their team’s overall health. The CDC Foundation has a great infographic about health and productivity with this unique stat: 

C:\Users\Inseev\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Stress-Graphic.pngOf course, if the employee is too sick to work, they should take a sick day. Otherwise, trust your employees to perform their job responsibilities from home. If you find some employees taking advantage of this practice by not being available when you need them, charge them with a day off.

Final Thoughts

In order for an organization to attract and retain employees, they need to develop a culture focusing on employee engagement. Employees who are engaged and motivated are happier and more productive employees. Updating HR practices is an extremely important task necessary for keeping employees feeling positive about their role and the company in general. 

When you stand by your words and actions, you will also be showing your employees you trust and value them. Your culture will speak for itself and to potential employees, you will be seen as an employer of choice… and it will also make recognizing and hiring high-performing workers much easier. 

Emily Banks is a Bay Area Native who got tired of SF’s cold beaches and decided to move to San Diego. She is currently the HR editor for 365 Business as well as a digital marketing expert for Arnett Credentials. When she is not typing away on her office keyboard, she can be found eating street tacos in the sunshine.