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Don’t Slack on HR Documentation

HR documents perform a vital role for every business in recording employment information. Face it, issues arise and with proper documentation, you know that your business is functioning as it should be, and you have the evidence to back it up.

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) spoke to the topic recently during its annual conference in Las Vegas.

Professional HR executives need to prioritize documentation and keep it clear and concise, according to SHRM. And they need to train their managers to do the same.

Do it right to keep your company prepared should any legal issues arise.

HR documents are proof of all of your company’s official activities, from hiring to discipline to following safety regulations and the law. Keeping good documentation ensures that your company’s business administration is on the right track.

File and archive all official documents promptly so every one of them is easy to access should they be needed during unforeseen circumstances.

For example, a manager comes into HR with plans to fire an employee but has no supporting documentation to take such action. That manager should have been documenting any poor behavior or lack of professional workmanship all along.

This is at the foundation of any good HR department and of utmost importance to a business as a whole.

Outlining workplace behaviors and standards so that employees know what is expected of them should be standard practice.

Employment contracts, background checks, resumes and company policies are all part of this documentation process. Even recruitment-related documents should be archived for later reference.

Managers should keep records of discussions with employees. This is just as important as maintaining formal documents.

Include These Items in Your Documentation Process

1. Recruitment Documents: This would include screenings, meetings, interviews and onboarding. These are the steps taken during the hiring process.

2. Employment Contract: This serves as proof of a professional relationship established between the employer and the employee. This can be a helpful document when seeking new employees.

3. Job Descriptions: These documents specify the job role for which you are hiring. They include the abilities needed for the job and lay out responsibilities, the job summary and the job title.

4. Performance Appraisals: These are handy in measuring an employee’s success along their journey. It is a measurement that both employer and employee can use.

5. Performance Improvement Plan: This lays out what is expected of an employee who needs to make improvements. It sets in writing what they need to accomplish.

6. Employee Handbook: This book contains all responsibilities, procedures, authority and policies for the company and which employees are responsible for specific duties. It is one of the most important documents to archive because it includes employment policies, harassment policies and other legal information.

Remember that keeping up with all of this HR documentation will help prepare you should any unforeseen instances or legal issues arise. Either take charge yourself or assign someone to archive documents. Ensure managers know that they need to provide you with any additional documentation, such as discussions with employees or letters of reprimand.

Prioritize documentation and train other company leaders to do the same.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.