The 5 HR Items Every Business Should Have in Place

By Ildi Revi, CPT, M.Ad.Ed., SCAA Education Manager

You may have seen the SCAA’s new tag line:   “Because great coffee doesn’t just happen.”   Accordingly, we spend a lot of time, money and energy training our people to produce exceptional coffee and related products. Training, however, is just one part of employee support.

Did you know that 85% of employee performance problems at work are related to the workplace and only 15 % to the employee?*  The workplace includes everything from company vision, mission, goals and systems to tools, procedures, job design, resources, information and the general work environment.

So why do we often place our human resource support activities at the bottom of the “to do” list (if they even make it to the list at all)?  Because there is always another batch to roast, customer to serve, or pallet to get on the truck.  Those activities are urgent and clearly add value to the bottom line.

Since you may not have much time for human resource activities, here is a list of 5 items that in the long run will save you time, possibly money, and help your employees feel supported to do the urgent and important work of running your business.

  1. Create or update your Employee Handbook.  Every business should welcome new employees with a tidy book of company history and guidelines that are the framework for day to day operations.  It helps introduce employees to the company culture and essentially provides the rules of the game.
  2. Make sure everyone has a job description.  Employees need to know what they are responsible for doing to what standard, and the job description should be specific to your particular workplace.    Check that it is a reasonable work load and design for the given time frame of the work shift.  The job description can be converted to a table to be used for employee work evaluation and talking points during training or performance reviews.
  3. Maintain file folders for all your employees  in a lockable file cabinet in a lockable office. Employee files should contain an employee’s job description, signed terms of employment, IRS and Immigration status forms, copies of performance reviews, reprimand forms, etc.  Basically, from the time they enter your employ, keep all records close at hand, secure and private.
  4. Have a collection of written reprimand and commendation forms.  Most managers realize they’ve let small infractions go on too long once it is too late.   A wee piece of paper the employee signs each and every time he/she arrives late combined with clear rules in the handbook, signed understanding of terms of employment, and you’ll be on your way to protecting yourself from unreasonable unemployment filings.  Tip:  Most “big box” office supply stores have CD’s with fill-in-the -.pdf forms that address most human resource concerns.
  5. Bookmark your state’s Employment Security Commission website on your computer.  Know the particular human resource laws of your state and abide by them.  The laws are there to protect both employees AND employers.

If you don’t have any of the above in place, and if you don’t have too many employees, I reckon in a weekend you could knock the whole list out. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel:  For more details, outlines and templates of items above, please visit the SCAA Online Library and look up “Developing Great Employees”. Also, attend the lectures on workplace support at SCAA Expo this year!

* Improving Performance, 2nd ed. By Geary Rummler and Alan Brache.