HR problems are simultaneously easy to overlook and devastating when left unchecked. As an employer, it can be all too easy to focus on larger, more obvious problems while your HR department’s concerns fall by the wayside; unfortunately, your company’s HR issues can turn into business-wide catastrophes when not properly addressed. Here are a few consequences of ignoring HR issues—and how to prevent them.
1. Onboarding Confusion
From the beginning, your employees should know as much as possible about their job responsibilities and processes. Failing to properly onboard your employees can result in anything from inefficient operation to lawsuits due to insufficient information which resulted in injuries or other trauma; additionally, an ill-informed employee is less likely to provide a satisfactory ROI than one who has a firm grasp on their position’s requirements.
Automating the employee onboarding process is at least partially out of the question—employees need human direction and expertise to inform adequately their next steps—but you can mitigate a large chunk of the potential for onboarding mishaps by establishing an employee handbook.
Using a handbook both allows your employees to revisit sections when they need a refresh and provides a consistent basis for your business’ policies going forward. Having your employees on the same page—in this case, literally—means that they will be more able to support each other rather than defaulting to you. This will also help you iron out hard-to-grasp concepts or policies: if a group of employees all approach you with the same questions, you know the handbook needs a tune-up.
2. Office Disorganization
Your HR department handles everything from payroll to whether or not your office reuses printer paper, so avoiding bringing your employees up to speed on the latest HR regulations can have disastrous effects on office productivity. It may seem fine to push back announcements about new processes in favor of more “urgent” matters, but your top priority in any given environment should be to address HR concerns immediately to avoid falling behind.
Similarly, failing to keep HR documents well-organized and updated will only serve to inhibit productivity down the line. Office disorganization, no matter how trivial at first, can quickly snowball into cluttered chaos that can take weeks to untangle. This is enough to keep your office tied up for weeks, all due to a completely preventable cause of conflict. If you are a small business, your company’s focus could deteriorate while working to rectify this built-up problem, leading to lost time that will prove difficult to recoup.
The simplest solution to these problems is to keep HR news at the top of your itinerary and HR documents at the front of your filing cabinet. Small actions such as these will pay dividends later.
3. Lack of Cohesion
Of course, the less-technical side of HR work involves your employees themselves. Your HR department is often your early warning system for impending relationship strains, fallings-out, and other social issues; as with any storm, ignoring the warning signs will often result unavoidable damage. If your HR department alerts you to anything from a lack of compatibility to something more serious, you owe it to both yourself and your employees to take the matter seriously.
The same concept applies to complaints of harassment, hostile work conditions, or other similar problems. If you have dissatisfied employees, you’ll lose out on ideal office morale, and the employees may even leave should the circumstances fail to improve.
In particularly nasty cases, the afflicted employee may have grounds for a lawsuit, thereby costing you time, money, and reputation, not to mention an employee. This means that any complaint—no matter how serious—should register at the top of your list of issues on which to follow up.
4. Legislative Catch-Up
Since HR is largely responsible for making sure that your company, its practices, and its employees remain compliant, it’s extremely important to stay informed about any potential changes to legislature regarding your workplace. Your HR department should alert you of any such changes several months before they go into effect; when these changes do end up on your radar, it’s best to take care of them as soon as possible rather than waiting until the last minute.
Failing to remain compliant can result in another kind of snowball effect—one in which you must invest large amounts of both time and money to get your workforce back up to speed—so focusing on updating your employees’ paperwork and any relevant business practices well before they’re at risk of going out of date is crucial.
Your HR department is an invaluable component of your business. If you find yourself without a proper HR department or you have questions about communicating with your current one, call Abacus Payroll at (856) 667-6225 today to discuss the importance of our HR Help Center!