By Kris Morrell, Univest HR Consulting
It’s easy for HR professionals to get caught up in managing the day-to-day action items and overlook some of the routine maintenance necessary. Over time, policies and processes get “dusty” as regulations change, staff turns over and technology is updated. Consider tackling this list once a year to get organized and get rid of unnecessary clutter at the office.
Tidy up personnel files
Go through the personnel files and purge the ones that no longer belong in the current file, ensure they are all in alphabetical order, spot check for misplaced documents and replace any folders that have become tattered or torn. Relocate the files for terminated employees to their proper location and ensure their secure storage.
Keeping a well-organized personnel file for each employee is an important aspect of running an efficient HR department. Like any filing system, the personnel files can get a little messy with time and use. Set a goal to reduce the number and types of paper files you maintain and go paperless whenever possible. Review your processes for retention and protection of confidential information as well as rules on disclosure. Determine who may access specific information on a need-to-know basis. Ensure that original or equivalent documents containing payroll-related information are present and correctly retained, along with benefits-related information.
- Do you know what needs to be separated and confidential?
- Who has access to what file?
- How long do you need to keep terminated employee files?
Purge your I-9 binder
It’s important to maintain your I-9 forms regularly. Keep active documents for employees separate from documents for former employees and set up a procedure for retention control. The I-9 form binder with current employees should be reviewed to ensure that all I-9s of terminated employees have been removed and labeled with a retention date. This is also a good time to ensure the I-9s are alphabetized and that all have been filled out completely and signed.
- Do I-9s need to be separate from employee files?
- How long must you keep I-9s after an employee is terminated?
- Have you ever audited your I-9’s for compliance purposes?
Check the revision date. If it was revised more than one year ago, it probably needs to be updated. Rules and regulations are changing quickly right now. A policy that might have worked well and been fully compliant one or two years ago may already be outdated. Read through your policies with an eye for any language that violates federal or state labor laws or that is overly vague and could leave your company open to lawsuits. Ensure that your policy language matches your operational practices. Review your policies on electronic communication to ensure they meet current best practices. Lastly, be sure any policy changes that you introduced during the year were appropriately communicated and documented.
- When was the last time the employee handbook was reviewed and updated?
- What needs to be updated in the handbook?
- What state laws that must be in the handbook?
Ensure your posters are easily visible to all employees and they are the most-current for both federal and state requirements. If you have multiple locations you must have compliance posters at each location.
- How do I know if my posters are outdated?
- Do you have employees who work remotely?
Ensure your job descriptions are up to date. Ask employees to review their job descriptions and note anything that has changed, added and what needs to be updated.
- Do you have job descriptions in place?
- Are your job descriptions ADA compliant?
Not sure how to answer to some of the key questions? Do you need assistance with HR projects? Univest Human Resource Consulting is here to help. Contact Kris Morrell, Sr. HR & Payroll Consultant, to have a conversation about how our team can be of service: 610-647-8880 or MorrellK@univest.net.