While priorities can vary greatly from one company to the other, small companies that are in the process of becoming mid-sized can generally benefit from adding greater structure to their HR practices. Here are 5 essential HR projects to tackle this summer:
- New employee orientation program. Since growth usually equals hiring, best to plan out how these new employees will be integrated into the company. Whether it’s a question of introducing them to the company’s culture, ensuring that they are rapidly and adequately trained for their new position, or simply showing them the ropes, a proper orientation program will help turn new employees into long-standing ones.
- Employee Policy Manual. Recommended for companies of 10 employees or more (and essential, in our opinion, for 25 employees or more), a policy manual ensures equity and clarity of company practices, provides guidance to management and can help ensure legal compliance and protection. Already have one? Now is a good time to give it a good review. With a constantly changing legal environment, certain policies, such as policies on social media could likely be added and other policies like employee privacy and computer usage could probably use an update.
- Job descriptions. These can be a critical tool for companies that are in a period of evolution. Not only do they provide employees and management with a clear picture of each person’s roles and responsibilities, they will become essential in determining changes to positions or business processes, which is likely to happen often in a growing business. They will also be required during recruitment to prepare job postings, set expectations for candidates and determine appropriate hiring requirements.
- Performance evaluations. Most small businesses do not have a formal performance review process, and while informal feedback may have worked well with a few employees, providing timely and pertinent assessments on performance will quickly become crucial. Some considerations will include the time of year and with what frequency performance will be evaluated, whether performance will be linked with compensation and what criteria will be used to establish good performance. Management must also be properly trained, not only on the appraisal form and process, but on how to provide employees with relevant feedback all year long.
- Ensuring legal compliance. Has the company grown from a few employees to over 10? The company will likely have to comply with the Pay Equity Act so start looking into your obligations to ensure that your company meets their deadline and avoids potential penalties. Has the company grown to a salary mass of over $1-million/ year? The company will have to ensure it is in compliance with the Loi sur les compétences, commonly known as the 1% Training Law. The government has recently been auditing company’s compliance with more frequency and in greater detail, so best to ensure everything is in order to avoid nasty surprises when the tax man comes to visit. Lastly, the government is in the process of implementing the new Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan so your company will need to know whether they will be required to join, and what their deadline will be.
Need help putting in place your HR Projects? Our HR Consulting team, specialized in HR for small and medium sized businesses, will be happy to help, customizing HR practices to your business’s culture and industry. Whether it is to handle a project from A to Z, or simply to review work done by an internal resource, our team is there for you. Many HR projects are eligible to subsidies with Emploi-Quebec which can cover up to 40% of fees! Contact us at [email protected] for more information.
HR Connection – Summer 2014
If you wish to print this issue, you can download the PDF here.