As the year comes to a close and employers begin preparing for the upcoming fiscal year, I begin to think about my employers who consistently call and email me for Human Resource advice. I wonder, “Will they have the same issues next year? How can they avoid the same personnel problems?” With those questions in mind, I came up with my top ten New Year’s resolutions for employers. Following these rules will definitely put my employers a step ahead of the competition.
1. Hire for fit and train for skills. Promote, transfer, discipline, or fire for documented cause.
2. Don’t try to avoid payroll taxes, new hire paperwork, or unemployment claims by classifying temporary workers as “contract labor.” That will only be a tax audit waiting to happen. Instead, consider hiring such workers through temporary staffing firms – that way, those firms are responsible for handling the unemployment claims.
3. Whether hiring, evaluating, promoting, transferring, disciplining, or discharging an employee, keep everything as job-related and consistent as possible.
4. Get as many company documents and required forms signed by employees at the time of hire as you can.
5. Have specific, written agreements with each employee, and get specific written authorization for any wage deductions that are not ordered by a court or required or specifically authorized by a law.
6. Unless an employee is clearly, absolutely, and undoubtedly in an overtime exemption category, do not pay on a salary basis, but rather pay an hourly or performance-based rate.
7. Never loan or advance money to an employee without getting a signed receipt and repayment agreement from the employee.
8. Give as much advance written notice as possible of pay and benefit changes.
9. In order to minimize the shock and disappointment factor that so often leads to unnecessary claims and lawsuits, treat employees fairly and consistently according to known, job-related rules and standards, follow state policies as closely as possible, and avoid exceptions whenever possible.
10. In handling unemployment claims, file timely claim responses and appeals, present testimony from firsthand witnesses, and present clear documentation of warnings, policies, and other relevant facts.
If you stay true to these resolutions it will make for a smoother New Year which could give you an advantage over your competition. For assistance with your Human Resources needs, contact Employer Services, at (713) 688-6890 or Placementinfo@wrksolutions.com.
Lisa Bogany is a Senior Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. She has over five years of experience in workforce development, primarily working with employers, and over 10 years experience in small business entrepreneurship.