Top 10 Issues For HR Teams & How To Fix Them

1. Retention- Many people think that the main task of Human Resources is to source and employ new talent. However, the truth is that most HR activities revolve around retaining existing talent. Employees are the lifeblood of every company, providing the skills and experience required to keep productivity levels up. Your business will also have invested significant time and money into ensuring maximum productivity wherever possible. And the key HR responsibility is to protect this valuable asset.
Employee retention is a fine balancing act between company culture, remuneration and incentives. The HR department needs to provide each employee with the right combination of all three to satisfy the employee without compromising company interests in the process. They also need to keep accurate records of these combinations to ensure that the agreed packages are being delivered to employees.

2. Recruitment - Whether to complement the existing workforce or to replace staff lost through natural attrition, the second major challenge facing the Human Resources’ department is recruitment of talent. Finding staff with the correct blend of skills, personality and motivation is difficult, even when the pool of available candidates is relatively large. Whether recruitment is handled solely by the internal HR department, or with the assistance of a third party, it is essential that the process is managed centrally and effectively. Where there are dozens of applications, the details of each will need to be recorded for review and comparison.
An HR software platform allows for storage of applications, CVs and contact details for easy analysis and comparison. Depending on company data retention policies, applications can be stored for months or years in anticipation of new roles becoming available in that period. As an added benefit, having the details of a selection of suitable candidates available for easy consideration cuts future recruitment costs and shortens the time taken to plug a skills gap. Speeding the recruitment process in this way prevents drops in productivity and morale.

3. Productivity - With the workforce headcount issues sorted, the Human Resources team must next look at productivity levels to ensure that the business is operating efficiently. Where productivity is low, HR needs to know whether the problem is caused by poor working practices or lack of resources.
This determination is often made by carrying out a Time and Motion (T&M) study to define who does what and how. This study can then be used to identify potential efficiency gains and pave the way for future capital investment to improve productivity and conditions.Using an integrated HR software platform, senior management and the HR team can store and analyse the T&M data collaboratively. The HR system can also retain this data to provide historical context for later studies to provide a benchmark and to accurately measure improvements made.

4. Training and Compliance - Training is an essential aspect of employee development, both for their own education but also to ensure you continue to get the best from your workforce. Certain roles demand official training and certification, such as CORGI registration for gas installers, many of which also have a lifespan for renewal. Although the employee bears some responsibility for keeping a track of their own professional registrations, if your business relies on their certified skills, it makes sense to track this information for your own records. If your business has agreed to pay for exams or registration fees, you can keep track of when these payments are due. You can also alert the employee involved, schedule cover for absence during exams, and arrange payments to prevent lapses.
Even where training takes place in-house, recording course attendance in a central HR system allows for at-a-glance assessment of workforce skills and regulatory compliance. Has every member of staff received their full induction training? Has anyone missed the annual fire alarm training and needs a refresher? Have internal promotion candidates completed all the relevant courses for the new role? Keeping details of training can help answer all these questions and more.

5. Health and Safety - Your company is required to record details of health and safety information for legal reasons, similar to maintaining records about professional qualifications and membership of trade bodies. Health and safety records help keep your employees safe at work and ensure that the company is meeting its legal obligations towards both them and the public.
Whenever a health and safety issue arises, HR is called upon to demonstrate that the business has done all that is expected of it. Where proof cannot be shown, the business is at risk of legal ramifications and fines.
Once again, the way to mitigate such problems is through the use of accurate records of courses attended, documents issued, and anything else specific to health and safety legislation that your business does as a matter of course. If an employee attends any course aimed at increasing their personal safety and that of the people around them, the details need to be recorded in case of query or dispute in future. Because course attendance and training is closely linked to general employee records, the HR department is the best equipped to record this information. And the HR software used throughout your business unifies health and safety data with employee records for quick and easy retrieval and analysis.

6. Discrimination and Diversity - If your business has any involvement with public sectors, or has a company policy regarding diversity, you will need to be able to demonstrate your commitments with hard facts from time to time. Where a company advertises commitments to diversity and a desire to reduce discrimination, they will be required to demonstrate their progress towards these goals.
To avoid these requests turning into a rushed census of the workforce, it makes sense to record demographics data when a new recruit is hired. As part of the employment contract, a simple set of tick-boxes can be added to record demographic and diversity data, which should be stored with employee records in the HR system.
It is also important to record any workplace incidents that appear to involve any form of discrimination. Your business can then carry out disciplinary actions based on company policies and further demonstrate a commitment to these core principles. Your HR software should also help quickly verify whether any staff suspected of participating in discriminatory activities have agreed to act in accordance with company policies as part of their employment contracts.

7. Discipline - Discipline is always one of the least popular issues to tackle in the workplace, and also the point at which the HR department can help resolve incidents satisfactorily for employer and employees. The disciplinary process requires plenty of evidence, and the HR department will often need to obtain statements, records and other supporting data to resolve issues legally and ethically, all of which is time consuming.
It is therefore important to keep accurate records of any disciplinary issue, to ensure that the issue is dealt with properly. This includes minutes of meetings, letters between employer, employee and trade union representatives, and any follow-up activities that need to be undertaken. These records also provide a point of reference to ensure that all parties are meeting their agreed obligations in the event of further disputes. As before, these records need to be easily stored and retrieved, along with any relevant contract details. By using an integrated HR system that supports your process, much of the evidence gathering is simplified, helping to reduce much of the legwork and time associated with resolving discipline issues.

8. Outsourcing - Freelancers and contracts provide an attractive way to augment your company workforce skills and abilities, without the need to permanently hire new staff. This is particularly relevant to projects and contracts that require specialist knowledge, but which are unlikely to become a routine part of your company requirements.
However, outsourced employees present new challenges when trying to ensure they meet internal standards and requirements. Do they hold qualifications or industry body memberships? Have they undergone standard company induction training? You may need to know this kind of information at some point in the future, even if it does not seem particularly relevant at the start of their contract. In the same way that you record the employment details of permanent staff, it is essential to keep the same information about contractors, consultants and outsourced employees. Your ideal HR system should let you maintain clearly labelled records of temporary staff for easy retrieval in the event of a future dispute. Or even just to make it easier to re-hire the same people in future.

9. Payroll
Responsibility for payroll falls between the remits of the accounts and HR departments, often leading to problems with accurate payments to staff. HR maintains records about salary, benefits, bonuses and attachments of earnings, whilst accounts are tasked with actually making the payments. This creates a potential disconnect that can lead to the payroll being run late or employees receiving the wrong sums in their wage packet.
To maintain morale and prevent future pay problems, your business should investigate the potential of using a dedicated payroll solution that interfaces directly with your HR software and account system. By uniting both departments electronically, most of the manual headaches associated with pay can be resolved automatically.
Dedicated payroll software helps ensure staff get paid what they are entitled to, when they expect it. Your HR department will also benefit from a reduction in queries, helping to better spread the workload throughout the rest of the month.

10. Employee queries - The HR department provides the interface between “the company” and the staff. This means that when it comes to employment issues, disputes or queries relating to work, the HP department is the point of first inquiryDealing with queries on pay, perks and performance management reviews on a reasonably regular basis is routine, but also extremely time consuming, particularly where data is not readily available. Every time a member of the HR department needs to chase down a payment detail, or the specifics of a contract variation, they are unable to focus on any of their other responsibilities.
A dedicated HR system keeps employment data centralized ready for easy retrieval and significantly reducing the time taken to answer each query. More advanced system allow “self-service” style access to some data, allowing staff to answer many of their own more basic questions themselves.


Dealing with Difficult Employee(s)

Naturally, no one wants to work with difficult people. When dealing with problematic employees, productivity decreases, frustrations rise, morale goes down and customers and vendors get upset.

How to Handle Them- 1. Don't ignore the problem. Assuming that the employee provides value to the company and possesses redeeming qualities, there are ways to deal with difficult employees. Most often, managers will simply ignore problematic staffers. Managers who live by this rule hope the problem will just go away; that these people will somehow turn themselves around or stop being troublesome. Ignoring the situation is the wrong solution to what could likely become a progressive problem.

2. Intervene as soon as possible. It is important to take action as soon as the negative behavior pattern becomes evident--when left untouched, this problem will only escalate.
Occasionally, the difficult employee has no idea that his behavior is a problem or that others react negatively to his actions. This is because most people tend to put up with the annoying behavior and "go along to get along." At the same time, some employees just consider it a "job frustration." Just like some managers, employees want to be liked by colleagues and subordinates and are therefore reluctant to speak up when a problem arises.
Ultimately, it is the manager's responsibility to take the appropriate action to correct the problem. Whether the concern exists due to the employee's lack of knowledge of the issue, lack of feedback or projecting the difficulty onto someone else, the manager has the responsibility of addressing and turning around the predicament. The manager needs to gather information from employees to discern the extent of the problem and personally observe the employee interacting with customers or vendors.

3. Research the problem personally. Armed with accurate data and examples, the manager needs to then take this person into a conference room or office--away from others--and calmly address the issue. To begin, the manager needs to ask the employee if he is aware of any ongoing issues to determine if the difficult person is aware of the problems.
If the employee is "unaware," the manager needs to describe the unacceptable behavior. The employee might interrupt to disagree or deny the existence of any issues. Nevertheless, the manager needs to continue by giving clear examples of the unwanted behavior.
The manager also needs to allow the employee to respond to the allegations. If the difficult employee refuses to believe that the allegations exist despite the evidence, the most the manager can hope for is an intellectual acceptance of the possibility that a problem exists.

4. Help the problematic employee to get back on track. Once the employee begins to understand that these negative behaviors are real and experienced by others in the organization, the manager or someone from human resources should begin to coach the difficult employee in displaying more acceptable and appropriate behaviors. The employee needs time and practice in "trying on" new, more suitable behaviors. HR and/or the manager need to provide specific feedback to this employee on the success or failure of his efforts in minimizing the negative actions and implementing ones that are more positive.

5. If all else fails, termination may be necessary. If the employee continues to deny his inappropriate behavior and refuses to try to improve the situation, the manager needs to place this person on the fast track towards termination. Often this involves recording a series of well-documented verbal and then written feedback about the behavior. Strictly following company protocol, there should be a period for the employee to address the questionable behavior. If this trial period does not result in improved behavior, then the employee needs to be terminated.
Most employees will recognize the negative behavior and will at least attempt to turn it around. This is especially true during tough economic times when unemployment is high and finding a new job is difficult. In any case, the manager needs to follow company guidelines in recognizing the unacceptable behavior, providing direct feedback, providing input to try to turn it around and ultimately taking action in a timely manner.

Not doing so is a disservice to the problematic employee, other employees and the success of the organization.


Employment Termination? Types & Causes

Termination occurs when an employer or an employee ends an employee's employment with a particular employer. Termination can be voluntary or involuntary depending on the circumstances. When termination is initiated by the employer, it is usually involuntary although, under some circumstances, the employee and the employer may mutually agree to end their employment relationship

What's Involved in a Voluntary Termination?

In a voluntary termination, an employee resigns from his or her job. Resignations occur for a variety of reasons that may include: a new job, a spouse or partner's acceptance of a new job in a distant location, returning to school, an opportunity to take on a managerial role, and retirement. 
Voluntary termination can also occur for less positive reasons. The employee doesn't get along with her boss. She sees no opportunity to continue growth and progress in her current company. The job responsibilities in her current job changed and now, she is no longer doing something that she loves every day.
She has to work every day with a coworker who bullies her in subtle ways that are not outwardly noticeable and, sometimes, it's the appeal of the shiny new job as in the grass is greener, or she just wants to do something new. With valued employees, employers expend efforts on employee retention in their aim to limit preventable turnover. This is a significant objective of employers as the cost of employee turnover is expensive and ever rising.

What Happens in an Involuntary Termination?

In an involuntary termination, an employer fires the employee or removes the employee from his or her job. An involuntary termination is usually the result of an employer's dissatisfaction with an employee's performance or an economic downturn. Involuntary termination can also occur in the form of a layoff if the business is unprofitable or overstaffed.
Reasons for involuntary termination of an employee range from poor performance to attendance problems to violent behavior. Occasionally, an employee is a poor fit for the job's responsibilities or fails to mesh with the company's culture. 
Involuntary termination, such as a layoff, can occur because an employer lacks the financial resources to continue an employment relationship. Other events that can trigger an involuntary termination may include mergers and acquisitions, a company relocation, and job redundancy.
With performance problems, the employer most often has tried less final solutions such as coaching from the employee's supervisor to help the employee improve. Escalating progressive discipline in the case of performance issues such as absenteeism is also the norm.

Additional Factors in Employment Termination

Several additional factors are relevant to involuntary employment termination -
Employment at Will: In states that recognize employment at will, an employee may be fired for any reason, at any time, with or without cause. Employers do not even have to give a reason for why the employee is terminated from his or her job. To defend against potential charges of discrimination, however, employers are advised to keep documentation even if no case is presented at the termination meeting.
Increasingly, employment law courts are finding results for the employee if no paper trail exists to support the employment termination. Employment at will also means that the employee can terminate his or her employment at any time for any reason without cause.
Termination fro Cause : In other instances of employment termination, the employment is terminated for a reason which is given to the employee and stated in the termination letter. Termination for cause can occur in such situations as:
  • Violation of the company code of conduct or ethics policy,
  • Failure to follow company policy,
  • Violence or threatened violence,
  • Extreme insubordination to a manager or supervisor,
  • Harassment of other employees or customers, or
  • Watching pornography online.
Mutual Termination: Occasionally, an employer and employee recognize that they are not a good fit for whatever reason. They mutually agree to part ways in a manner that makes neither party culpable for the termination. This approach to termination is called agreeing on an exit strategy. No pain. The unwanted employee, the unwanted job gone.