Are You Planning the Right Human Resources Projects for 2011?

by | Dec 2, 2010 | Blog, Employee Handbook, Human Resources

  • Amy Letke

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success. Contact us for more insights - 502-753-0970 or

It’s about that time. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder. Don’t worry I’m not going to break out in song or anything, but the fact that it is the holiday season does mean that 2010 is drawing to a close.

If you haven’t already nailed down your plan for your Human Resources projects in 2011, then you may be a little bit behind.

Even if you’ve already got a plan in place, here are some quick and easy tips to get your projects on the fast track for the upcoming new year.

Below are 3 Human Resource projects you might want to consider for 2011:

1.) Conduct an HR Operational Review (aka HR audit):
When is the last time you truly evaluated your human resources processes and procedures? Are you using up-to-date forms that comply with all of the new legislation? Are you unintentionally discriminating against a protected class? The list of questions goes on and on.

Having an objective third party examine your processes helps you see what you are doing right, but more importantly, what you need to correct.

Now I know what you’re thinking. We’re fine. We don’t need to do that. It won’t happen to us. But be careful. All it takes to get into a labor dispute is one ticked off irrational former employee. It’s best to be prepared.

2.) Review and Update Your Employee Handbook:
This Human Resources project is an obvious one, and something that you should always have in the back of your mind as an HR professional. Your employee handbook holds all of your employment related policies, which are vital to keeping you out of trouble as well as ensuring your employees are being treated fairly.

While handbooks may just seem like a necessary evil dreamed up by wicked HR professionals, the reality is your employee handbook can be the most valuable weapon in your arsenal against costly legislation. In the event a legal issue arises, being able to refer to the policies in your employee handbook can save you a bundle.

Ensuring your policies are written correctly as well as up to date with all current legislation and new societal developments, such as social media and emerging technologies like tablet PCs, is extremely important. We recommend revising your handbook once a year, or at the extreme minimum once every two years.

See the end of this post for a bit of free help with that.

By the way, once you’ve updated your employee handbook, please please please make sure to follow the policies within for crying out loud. You can get into a heap of trouble otherwise. This blog post explains that in further detail. You’ll want to read that one.

3.) Examine Your Compensation Strategy:
When is the last time you really thought about the compensation philosophy in your organization? Might it make more sense for your organization to lower base wages and increase performance incentives?

You may think it’s silly to do something like pay above industry standards to your staff, but some of the most successful organizations do this to attract the talent that this kind of strategy brings in. I’m not recommending it, but I do encourage you to consider if your current compensation structure caters to the performance you expect.

Another important point to consider is if your compensation strategy is consistent with the Fair Labor Standards Act? Have you correctly identified the exemption status of your employees? Are your managers educated as to what they can and can’t do when it comes to allowing time off, etc?

A properly administered compensation strategy can not only reduce payroll costs, but can also dramatically increase the productivity of a workplace, enhance the company culture, and overall increase the company bottom line.

Completing these three projects can dramatically smooth the HR Operations of your business, allowing you to focus on the continued success of your business.

improveemployeemorale1 - Are You Planning the Right Human Resources Projects for 2011?Is Your Employee Handbook As Safe As You Think? 

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