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Archive for August 2014

Audit those personnel files!

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Developing and maintaining organized HR – employee files is well worth your time.  The ever-present danger of identity theft exists, along with unauthorized access to confidential and sensitive information.  You do need to worry about more than just theft — improper storage of personnel data could also subject your company to a variety of possible discrimination and privacy violation lawsuits. That’s why you need to audit personnel files periodically.  To make sure you’re following the law and protecting your company from liability, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Separate personnel files from other data. Many types of documentation must be stored on their own, away from other files and accessible on a strict need-to-know basis. These files include hiring records, drug test/background check results, EEOC records, payroll files, and in some cases Workers Compensation files. I-9 files also belong on your “file separately” list.  Don’t let any of these types of files remain mingled with your personnel files — they’re simply “too hot to handle” on an everyday basis.
  • Separate terminated personnel files from current personnel files. You’ll want to lock these documents away in their own cabinet, destroying them once they’ve exceeded the retention period set by state and federal laws. Create a regular destruction schedule and destroy the documents completely according to that schedule. Do NOT, however, destroy any terminated personnel files that are, or might be, connected to a termination-related lawsuit.
  • What should your personnel files contain? Well, name and date of hire, of course, along with the application for employment, offer letter, policy acknowledgements and consent to drug or background checks. You can also include performance ratings, self- assessments, reprimands and other disciplinary or remediation records, as well as all training certifications and acknowledgements.

Play by the rules — audit those files today!


Written by Dan Hettrich

August 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

What you pay people: you’re not the only one keeping track

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What’s your HR department’s system for recording and documenting your employees’ hours worked and daily attendance? Computerized logins and logouts? Good old-fashioned time cards? Whatever it is, make sure you insist on thorough, accurate documentation — or you may be asked to  defend your numbers later.

These days we have all sorts of electronic conveniences that allow us to track practically anything, from our time in the hundred-meter dash to how our stocks are faring. It’s just as easy for employees to make their own electronic accounts of time spent in the workplace. That’s long been a necessity for independent contractors who need to know how much to bill their clients, but these days an increasing number of full-time employees are doing it too. Why would they bother? Well, your employee may have the idea that you’re not keeping accurate or honest records. If they can prove it, say in a lawsuit, it’s extra money for them and a hassle for you.

What can you do to make this issue a non-issue? Simple — require thorough documentation of all hours worked and any days missed. Spell out the processes clearly and firmly in a company-wide written policy. All documentation must be entered promptly and uniformly to ensure that you never have gaping holes in your records.
There are also some very cost effective software solutions with various options available for capturing time. These systems make the process almost fool proof because of the standard procedures and documentation. And, the American Payroll Association found that time and attendance solutions such as these can typically results in a savings of one to eight percent of is annual gross wages, mostly because of error elimination.

Accurate documentation of employee hours and attendance is good for business anyway. The more reliable your data in this area, the more easily you can spot scheduling inefficiencies, individual trends that might indicate chronic underperformance, and new ways to improve productivity and profitability. Once you know everyone’s documenting those hours properly, you can stop worrying about the occasional rogue employee who disagrees with your records — because you’ll have the facts to back up your figures.

Written by Dan Hettrich

August 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

HR Outsourcing: A Strategic Perspective

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Outsourcing your HR can do a lot more than just relieve immediate headaches. You may find that your core team now has time and energy to address “big picture” issues critical to your company’s growth. And you don’t have to outsource all of your HR processes — you can actually pick and choose which of those functions would benefit most from outside aid. It’s the difference between multiprocess outsourcing aimed at saving time and money, and strategic outsourcing implemented specifically to boost your company’s capabilities.

The latter movement represents an emerging wave in our industry. Ten years ago, businesses were primarily interested in reducing their costs, outsourcing multiple HR processes to achieve that goal. Today, however, strategic HR has gained popularity as a valuable  problem-solving resource. By outsourcing specific aspects of their HR that are hobbling their ability to move forward on long-term goals, businesses are essentially giving themselves the breathing room they need to evolve.

Take the issue of training, for example. New employee orientation and ongoing corporate training can take a big bite out of your HR department’s available time — time that could be used to better advantage on other matters. You can farm these specific tasks out to an HRO provider, freeing up your own human resource experts to perform other functions at a higher level of efficiency and quality.

That’s not to dismiss multiprocess HRO! The demand for large-scale outsourcing of three or more HR processes at a time continues to grow. Outsourcing multiple processes on an ongoing basis can still be a great way to run a tighter ship, while selective outsourcing can help you steer that ship where you want it to go. If you’re not sure which option is right for you, contact Acadia HR and let’s discuss it.

Written by Dan Hettrich

August 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized