5 Common HR Mistakes That Small Businesses Make (and How to Fix Them)

5 Common HR Mistakes and How to Fix Them - Pathway HR Solutions

Businesses are multifacted and require expertise in various aspects.  From accounting to finance to marketing to sales, no one is an expert in everything.    On that note, unless you’re an HR expert, you’re probably committing at least one of the following mistakes.  No worries, we provide guidance on how to fix them.

1. Crisis Hiring

Whether you need a new employee to replace one who left suddenly, or you need to quickly increase capacity to meet customer demand, beware of crisis hiring.  This kind of hiring creates more problems than it solves.  Seat-fillers are usually the result of a hurried hiring process and their presence perpetuates high turnover ultimately thrusting you back into crisis hiring mode.

The fix: Take the time to determine exactly what duties are required for the role, what skills are necessary, and what kind of person is likely to be a good fit for your team.  Professional recruiters can help you to navigate the process of finding the right candidate for your organization.

2. Not Having an Updated Employee Handbook

Employee handbooks clearly communicate an organization’s policies, expectations, and employees’ rights.  They also paint a picture of a company’s culture and provide information about legal obligations.  Without this important document, employees are left to interpret for themselves what is acceptable and required behavior.

The fix: Make sure that you have an updated employee handbook and require employees to read it.

3. Failure to Train and Develop Employees

Neglecting to train and develop employees typically leads to increased mistakes, decreased productivity, and lower employee morale.  Not to mention, low customer satisfaction.  In some cases, the lack of training can result in legal hot water.  For example, employees who are inadequately informed about OSHA requirements, privacy laws, and labor laws can be your ticket to an EEOC or other governmental entity’s hall of shame.  Even worse, you could end up with steep fines or legal fees.

The fix: Support your employees’ growth by making formal and informal training and development opportunities available.  Also, while it is important to engage and encourage poor performers, even your most productive employees need continual access to training and development opportunities. If high achievers can’t get what they need at your company, they’ll go elsewhere.

4. Inconsistent Performance Response

When you let something slide to once, it creates an open invitation for employees to commit workplace infractions often.  The result can be devasting to your workplace environment and customer experience.

The fix: Be fair and consistent in how you respond to employees’ performance issues.  If a rule applies to one team member, it should apply to others.  This consistency is important, because it helps to foster trust in the employee-employer relationship.  This further bolsters the need for employee handbooks and leads to the final common HR mistake.

5. Failure to Provide Feedback and Set Goals

We all need to hear feedback – often and timely.  When managers fail to provide timely and constructive feedback, poor performance festers for long periods of time and has the potential to snowball into something that is seemingly out of control.

The fix: Frequent and timely feedback can help employees to improve their performance and foster a continued pursuit of good results.  Create a performance review plan that allows you to formally review employees and set goals once or twice a year.  Then be sure to provide informal feedback often.  When able, publicly acknowledge a job well done!