Human Resources staff perform a critical function in the human resources department, ensuring that the needs of personnel and management are met. However, as well-trained and experienced as HR staff can be, they could still make mistakes due to negligence, ignorance of the law as well as certain procedures, and a lack of sufficient knowledge. Find out what the top mistakes HR staff makes and how to prevent them:
Ineffective employee communication and lack of documentation -
Human Resources is expected to bridge the communication gap between management and employees. The problem with poor communication is that it not only creates misunderstanding, it can also lead to liabilities.
The same is true regarding documentation, documents are not only a record of transactions and agreements, they are also proof that these events actually occurred. Without sufficient documentation, conflict can arise that could prove costly to the company in the future.
HR staff should always try to assess the efficacy of communication efforts with employees by establishing guidelines on the methods to be used for disseminating information and on the expected outcome. If there is any indication of communication failure, corrective measures should be implemented right away.
Records should also be kept to ensure that actions are documented. This is to provide the management with documents to use for future reference and to protect the company from possible legal issues.
Failure to get updates on current legal requirements
Laws change. It is an inevitable fact of life, particularly in the workplace. If an HR staff continues to implement company policy based on outdated laws and regulations, this could leave the company open to complaints and even legal violations.
The HR department should always make sure that policies comply with new laws. Updating employee handbooks and using supplements if necessary should help address this issue.
Due to the nature of their work, HR staff are often exposed to privileged information in the company, ranging from how much salary a new employee is receiving to the type of disciplinary action an erring employee is getting to who is going to get fired. Problems could arise if this confidentiality is breached by the very people who are supposed to uphold it.
HR staff should keep in mind that they are secret keepers and not secret sharers. The integrity of the department and the company itself rests on their ability to keep confidential information confidential. This is their responsibility and not their choice.
Making decisions based on personal feelings
HR staff frequently have to make decisions that can affect an employee’s work. Sometimes, this means foregoing personal relationships in order to ensure that any action from the department and/or the management complies with existing policies and laws. This can be especially trying particularly when friends and/or family members are involved.
Although there is nothing wrong about considering personal feelings when making a decision, these should not be the only reference point that should be considered. Use existing policies, laws and regulations along with company practices to determine which action is best and that results are fair to all concerned.