Every business needs to effectively balance the well-being of its employees with the needs and objectives of the organization. Whether it’s a Fortune 500 company or a mom and pop shop, managing payroll, explaining benefit packages, developing hiring and firing procedures and more, are all critical functions to maintaining a healthy, growing enterprise.

These areas are usually the domain of Human Resource officers, or HR departments. Many of us, however, are not big enough to have a separate HR department. In those instances, it often falls on the business owner to both run the business and manage the HR for the company. While we can put policies in place to help us succeed, are we at risk of the reverse happening?

Is it possible that well-meaning HR policies actually prevent the business from succeeding? Are the procedures in place in your business causing more harm than good? Let us share a few examples of how these procedures might not generate the results you are looking for in your business.

  • Not providing references for employees who leave the company. It’s standard practice for some firms, but it’s unfair to workers who may have served and sacrificed admirably for years.
  • Bell-curve performance reviews. Rather than evaluating and rewarding employees for their specific contributions, these standardized reviews discourage most workers and teach them how to game reviews as opposed to being team players.
  • Stack rankings. This is an HR policy requiring managers to rank subordinates from top to bottom, but in effect becomes political, plays to favorites and causes disruptive resentments.
  • Bleeding employees by not covering critical expenses. This can occur in any number of ways, from requiring workers to pay for job-related materials to denying their reimbursements.

The results of poorly planned HR decisions can add up to devastating consequences for the business, including:

  • Unhappy employees
  • High employee turnover
  • Unmotivated workers
  • Dissatisfied customers
  • Distrust of management
  • Loss of business

Flawed policies implicitly communicate to employees that they are replaceable commodities, and not living, breathing human beings who can be trusted. If workers feel this way, why wouldn’t they default to doing the minimum to get by? The truth is it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, HR officers can seek to understand employee concerns and communicate them to company executives when developing governing policies and procedures.

Creating an open door policy that allows employees to appeal situations where policies have impacted them adversely may be a great way to develop trust, and potentially recalibrate procedures. Employees will also begin to appreciate HR more as an important part of the greater good, and with a sense of partnership rather than a feeling of being micromanaged.

Remember, when HR is getting it right, it’s also increasing the company’s bottom line. Does this article raise more questions than it answers for you? Do not wait to talk to us about what you need right here in Tallahassee. Whether you are an employer or an employee, we are here to help you.