End of Year Review

End of Year Review

Even though we have roughly two and a half months left of 2019, adequately preparing for changes that are bound to hit your organization in advance can save you a lot of hassle as the end of the year starts to creep up on us. As we all work on tying up lose ends and prepare to close the door on 2019, it is time to look ahead to a new year (a new decade!) and determine what we can do to ensure that 2020 begins in the most efficient and productive manner possible:

  • Review Internal Policies and Procedures – Both HR and Management can participate in this annual review of what policies are outdated and need a refresh, and what procedures need some tweaking to match the culture and processes of the organization. Take stock of the last year and determine what worked and what didn’t, and plan to collaborate on how to effectively renew and implement these processes.
  • Review HR-Related Documents and Systems – Predominantly the role of HR, similarly to how you would review internal policies and procedures, take a look at forms and documents and HR systems (e.g. leave administration and tracking, EEO tracking and reporting, vacation scheduling, etc.) and see what tweaks can be made to ensure everything is working as seamlessly and proficiently as possibly, both for the employee and for HR and management on the back end.
  • Review Operational Functions – A task that generally requires the buy in from management and possibly from your employees (such as receiving feedback from a focus group), review operational functions and performance to determine what, if anything, needs to be modified to make certain your clients and customers receive the best service possible, and that everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.
  • Prepare for Goal Setting – As we complete our goals from the past year, take a look ahead and honestly think about what you want to accomplish in 2020. With a fresh start and a chance to work with a clean slate, be proactive in your goal setting preparation and being brainstorming your personal and professional objectives and what you need to do to get there.

In addition to all of these preemptive approaches to the new year, there are a number of employment and labor law changes that will hit at the federal and state level. Follow along in our next post as we address some of these changes (including the long overdue update to the exempt salary threshold) and provide you with tips on a smooth transition and implementation process.

Contact us today for assistance in any of these categories. HRCentral specializes in helping organizations streamline and update processes, policies, and procedures to ensure maximum benefit to the employee and employer.

Cleaning Up – Your Files!

Cleaning Up – Your Files!

Last week we discussed how this start of the new year is a prime time to take a look at your processes/procedures, Employee Handbook, and Job Descriptions to ensure efficiency and compliance with regards to HR best practices.

Not only is it necessary to regularly review those items, but it is also critical to conduct annual, if not more frequent, reviews of employee personnel, confidential, medical, and other related files (e.g., I-9 and payroll). Not only do well-organized files ensure that items are quickly located, resulting in a more efficient use of time (both for HR and management), but it is vital to regularly audit your files to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations. When conducting an audit of your personnel files, ask yourself these questions to ensure that these basic guidelines are met:

  • Are files stored and maintained separately, in accordance with relevant state and federal laws? (E.g., are personnel files stored in a locked, secure location, separate from confidential and medical files?):
    • Is access to confidential and medical files limited to HR and managers with a “need to know”?
    • Are documents contained in these files stored in their proper location? (E.g., is leave paperwork stored in the medical file, and are performance and disciplinary documentation stored in the personnel file?).
  • Are I-9 forms filled out correctly and stored in a secure location, separate from all other files?
  • Does your organization have policies and procedures in place for document retention and timely destruction of expired documents?

Every organization has their own way of maintaining their employee files. Variations in processes and systems are fine, as long as compliance standards are met, any documentation containing confidential or personal identifying information (e.g., SSNs, financial data, medical information, etc.) is kept separate and secure of standard personnel data.

One of the most important things to make sure of is that whatever procedures you implement for file maintenance are consistent and maintained on a regular basis. Conduct annual, if not more frequent, audits of your employee files and make certain that all employees in charge of ongoing upkeep are aware of best practices and adhere to these policies.

Contact HRCentral today for assistance with conducting an in-depth employee file audit, or for the implementation of applicable policies and procedures to ensure your files safeguarding and organizing your employee files. are maintained in compliance with applicable law.

Tidying Up for the New Year

Tidying Up for the New Year

The start of the new year has many of us motivated to make positive changes in our lives, both on a personal and a professional level. At work, January often provides employers with a chance to take a step back and review any internal policies and processes that your organization has in place, and determine if any modifications are warranted for efficiency, compliance, and best practices. In a nutshell, reviewing and preparing for a more thorough HR audit.

Items that warrant a go-over include:

  • Employee Handbook – January is fairly standard for handbook reviews as the start of the year is typically when state and federal agencies release any updates and changes to governing law and regulations applicable to employers. Take a look at any updates that have been made in your state and at the federal level to ensure compliance with employment and labor law, and to make certain all polices are adequately updated.
  • Job Descriptions – A document that is habitually forgotten about once the initial copy is drafted and put in place, job descriptions should be reviewed regularly to make any changes needed to ensure that the essential functions accurately reflect the work actually being done. The scope of work for so many employees and positions changes.
  • Internal Processes/Systems – The culture of an organization is something that is always changing with the times. As such, it is important to take frequent looks at how you manage your employees, what processes work and what ones don’t, and how systems can be modified to encourage productivity and loyalty.

Making the time to do periodic reviews to documents, processes, and policies can save you a ton of time in the long run and can help ensure that your HR and employment-related documents are always compliant and up to date. Follow along in our next post as we discuss how to properly review those HR and employment-specific documents (including form I-9s, new hire documentation, medical paperwork, etc.), to ensure compliance with retention and destruction guidelines.

HRCentral specializes in reviewing, updating, and creating these documents. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation to see if your organization can benefit from an HR department review, refresh, or complete audit!

The Personal, Mid-Year Review

Whether formal or informal, many employees are given a performance evaluation on an annual basis. Organizations are rapidly stepping away from the numerical, data-driven style of reviews (ranking the employee on some range indicating levels of performance) and instead are focusing on professional development and growth and setting personal goals that are mutually beneficial to both the employee and the organization.

While this more informal approach can occur at either a set time each year, or on an as-needed basis, at the end of the day the responsibility of accomplishing goals and objectives lies solely in the hands of the employee.

Halfway through your annual review period, take the time to conduct a personal, mid-year review to determine where you’re at in meeting any goals you and your supervisor have set and any modifications you may need to make to ensure success.

  • Reflect back on the past six months and identify accomplishments and achievements. What did you do to that aided in your successes, and how can you implement that into meeting current and future goals?
  • Identify those areas in which you’ve struggled. Reevaluate your objectives and make any necessary changes to your routines to ensure that you give yourself adequate time and resources to bounce back.
  • Have your goals and objectives changed in the past six months? Do you have a new direction and focus, requiring a need to set new goals?
  • After reviewing and modifying your goals, as necessary, prioritize them.

The personal, mid-year review is meant to be just that, personal. You can decide whether or not you wish to share this evaluation of your goals with your supervisor, but ultimately, the purpose is to give yourself a kickstart to progress positively into the second half of the year. A reflection of your professional (and personal, should they overlap) goals to determine how far you’ve come in recent months, where you’re at now, and what you need to do to successfully move forward.

Performance Reviews: Informal or Formal?

Performance evaluations are (for some) an annual organizational requirement that many companies partake in. Some conduct annual performance reviews, conducting all evaluations for all employees at the same time each year. Some conduct performance evaluations at the anniversary date of each employee. A more increasing trend is conducting performance reviews on an as-needed basis, taking a more informal approach to the process.  (more…)