Human Resource Policy Guidelines

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HR 101: Human Resources for Start-Ups Too often, HR is relegated to the small group of cubicles over in the corner with the hopes that they never get in the way of the company’s mission except for an annual employee review and maybe an occasional pep talk on scintillating topics like “How to avoid sexual harassment” or “How to comply with some obscure government regulation”. As entrepreneurs, the last thing that we want is a cumbersome HR department to slow us down. To that point, entrepreneurs often outsource their Payroll in the hopes that it will suffice as “all of the HR we need to worry about”. Regrettably, HR has the ability to sink a small business faster than virtually anything else for reasons like: a. wrongful termination b. violation of payday laws c. harassment d. discrimination While Human Resources departments have done an effective job of relegating themselves to administrivia, they do actually serve to keep companies out of a lot of trouble. For that reason alone it is important to at least review your HR policies and procedures as a startup. Even more important, however, is doing it cost-effectively and investing as little time as possible so that you continue to focus on revenue-producing functions. HR Do’s & Don’ts: Do: Invest the money in an employee handbook. These documents often state silly things like, “How to report to Jury Duty” and “The Company Dress Code”. The simplicity of a Handbook is what makes it such a valuable tool. Imagine the frustration of a business owner who attempts to fire an employee for showing up to work intoxicated and then finds out that because there is no policy against drinking on the job, the employee is entitled to unemployment and retribution through a lawsuit. Don’t: Engage an Insurance Agent who you found in the Yellow Pages. In most states in the US, becoming licensed as an Insurance Agent doesn’t even require a High School Diploma, let alone an advanced degree. Remember, 6-10% of every insurance dollar you...
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