5 Simple Ways To Improve Employee Onboarding

5 Simple Ways To Improve Employee Onboarding

An employee’s days and weeks at work can be stressful, chaotic, and overwhelming—and then there’s the new hire.Strike a confident, considerate tone by creating an employee onboarding process that is personal and positive without making it complicated. It should answer, in short order, the four main questions all new employees have:

  • Who is my boss?
  • What are my main responsibilities?
  • Where are the breakroom and restrooms?
  • Where can I put my coat?

While simple, how well your company addresses these “basic needs” questions will set the tone for how you operate throughout your new hire’s entire career. The point of a solid onboarding process is to increase employee engagement, loyalty, and tenure; without it, you’ll sink more time, energy, and money into the repeated training of new hires than you will other crucial aspects of your business—and that rarely works out well.

Here are five simple ways to make a positive impact on a new employee.

1) Make them feel at home

Your new hire should feel like they have a spot they can claim, whether it’s a physical desk or office or a place they can count on to place their coat, lunch, and personal items. It should be clean and posted with their name as if they were always meant to be there.

2) Get them connected

All technology set-up should be completed before the employee’s first day; nothing makes a new hire feel out of place than having things referred to as “John’s old laptop” or “Patrice’s extension.” All laptops, emails, peripherals, permissions, and phones should be ready for the new hire prior to her first day on the job; this makes training, troubleshooting, and everyone’s first week a little easier.

3) Give them a tour

Your new hire’s first day started with finding a parking spot in a new place; it will take him a while to get the lay of the land. Unless you show him, of course, which is exactly what you should do. Don’t just show him the break rooms and restrooms; introduce him to people as you go, especially the people with whom he’ll be working closely. Before you part ways, give him a map that is labeled with everything (and everyone) you covered.

4) Simplify the paperwork process

We can all remember our first days at work as we filled out form after form with the same repeated information. Benefits, taxes, job description, handbooks—more paper gets pushed at new hires on the first day than almost every day following. Streamline this process as much as possible with intuitive Human Resources software that allows cross-referencing, cross-checking, and no crossed eyes.

5) Swag is always a good idea

Go as crazy or as practical as you please here; even fresh office supplies bundled with a company t-shirt can go a long way to showing a new employee that you are bringing your A-game to the table, and that you are expecting the same from her.

And remember, onboarding isn’t just a one-day thing. Create schedules and strategies for follow-up, check-ins, and team meetings. Concerns and accomplishments in this period should be addressed quickly; it demonstrates awareness, responsiveness, and accountability, and lays the groundwork for employee success and satisfaction.

Five Warning Signs That Your HR Department Needs Support

Five Warning Signs That Your HR Department Needs Support

Growing and thriving businesses can’t continue to grow and thrive without additional resources or efficient processes, and that’s where an effective human resource department comes in.

If you can’t afford to hire an additional full-time HR professional on your team, it may be time to consider outsourcing certain human resource functions; not only will you gain the benefits of experienced, efficient operations, but you’ll also free your time and budget to channel your attention where it belongs—back on growing your business.

If any or all of the below ring true for you and your business, it may be time to outsource certain HR functions.

1. When HR tasks are taking an excessive amount of time.

When you are tackling human resource tasks on top of running a business, things are bound to take longer; after all, there are so many hours in a day, and you don’t speak employment law and best hiring practices as a first (or even fourth) language. Enlisting the help of a professional HR workflow consultant means that you have someone well-versed in their industry, and all they have to do is apply it to yours.

2. When human resources are spread too thin.

It often happens as a business grows; HR tasks are often delegated and dispersed among a team of managers and department heads. While this can ensure the responsibilities get done, it can often lead to inconsistency and confusion as employees aren’t sure where to direct questions or report concerns. Having consistent human resources processes, either in-house or outsourced, help clarify job responsibilities and the chain of command. It also helps ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

3. When it’s taking away from your bottom line.

Effective human resources should add value to your bottom line, not take away from it. Outsourcing certain HR functions means you have qualified professionals well-versed in employment law, recruiting techniques, payroll, and benefits management. It means you can trust the job to get done right the first time, minimizing your risks while maximizing your time spent growing revenue, networks, and lead sources.

4. When the human resources department becomes too risky.

The bigger you grow, the more responsible—and accountable—you need to be. From new EEOC requirements to mandatory state and federal compliance, a skilled HR, Benefits and Tax professional has a keen understanding of liability landmines and IRS risks. Considering the cost of one tax reporting violation, one year of outsourced Payroll Tax compliance is a worthwhile investment that carries so many other related benefits.

5. When it’s making your business clumsy.

When your business was small and nimble, you could adjust to change rather quickly, but as it grows, it becomes harder and harder to prepare for growth, challenges, and the occasional rare opportunity. If given a chance to expand rapidly, could your current HR systems handle a massive hiring spree and still be effective?

If you’ve been handling human resources on your own or ineffectively delegated them throughout your untrained staff, now is the best time to have an HR Assessment by Highflyer HR. It’s not too good to be true; it’s just smart business. Don’t just get more things done. Get them all done—correctly, professionally, and efficiently.

Do You Know What Is The Most Important Document In An Employee’s Personnel File?

Do You Know What Is The Most Important Document In An Employee’s Personnel File?

Pick an employee, any employee. The most important document in that employee’s personnel file – and in EVERY employee’s personnel file – is one you probably don’t give much thought to until the employee is not performing, not responding, or you are wondering if you can dismiss the employee. It is the Acknowledgement page from your employee handbook.

Generally placed in the back of the handbook, the Acknowledgement page states that the employee has received a copy of the employer’s policies and has had the opportunity to read them. Normally, there are both a contract disclaimer and an at-will acknowledgment as part of that page. If you update your employee handbook, you need to have new acknowledgment pages signed by all employees and kept on file as well.

If you are not having your employees sign this page and then keeping it on file, your business is at risk – at risk of taking an employment action based upon a policy that you cannot prove the employee had notice of. This can lead to an award of unemployment compensation and it can be used against you in a discrimination claim. All of this can be avoided if you simply make a regular practice of ensuring that ALL employees have signed their employee handbook’s acknowledgment page and returned it so it can be placed in their personnel file.

For those employers that have moved away from paper copies of their handbooks and instead put them online, you need some other form of acknowledgment documentation so you can show that the employee is on notice of the policies.

Employee Or Independent Contractor?

Employee Or Independent Contractor?

With so much in recent news about the fine line between employee and independent contractor, we thought we’d take a moment to break down the two designations.

There are several factors that determine whether or not the person performing the work is an employee or an independent contractor. They are, in large part, decided by how much control the employer exerts over the worker and the work involved.

For example, in a very simplified sense, the IRS considers a worker to be an employee if the company controls what work will be done, provides training and direction on how it is to be done, states when it is due, and who completes the job. It considers a worker to be an independent contractor if the company relies on his or her expertise, methods, timeline, and staffing.

Another important determining factor is whether or not the worker has a financial stake in the end result. On one hand, an employee can be rewarded, promoted, disciplined, or fired based on job performance (all the while getting paid). On the other, an independent contractor would suffer a loss if he or she performed more tasks than the original scope, but at the original price or if the company is dissatisfied with performance.

Worker Classification: Employees

  • Work for one company or employer
  • Maintain set hours, laid out by the employer
  • Complete tasks as determined by the employer
  • Participate in dedicated training from the employer to improve job success and performance
  • Typically work at the company place of business
  • Rely on their employer to provide work facilities
  • Significantly affect the success of a business
  • Receive benefits like 401(k)s, health, disability, and additional life insurance
  • Are eligible for expense reimbursement, unemployment, worker’s compensation, workplace safety, and anti-discrimination protections
  • Are covered by state and federal wage and overtime laws
  • Are paid a net salary after employer has withheld FICA

Worker Classification: Independent Contractors

  • Can provide services to more than one company
  • Offer their services to the general public
  • Set their own hours, which may or may not align with the ones of their clients
  • Work independently (for the most part), providing a specialized service or skill not orchestrated or trained by the client
  • Typically work out of a different office or their homes, although they may occasionally share space.
  • Pay self-employment tax
  • Are not eligible for unemployment, worker’s compensation, workplace safety, and anti-discrimination protections
  • Invoice according to their contract or written agreement

Employment status has important implications for taxes, liability, compensation, and benefits. The above divisions can help you determine where your workers fall, and how best to organize your efforts.

If you would like help assuring your HR technology aligns with your HR strategies, schedule an assessment with Highflyer HR by contacting us at (844) 398-7800 or email getstarted@highflyerhr.com.