The ever-changing world of HR policies can be exhausting for any company, big or small. Keeping up with these changing laws is almost an entire job in itself, because getting caught out and not knowing the latest policies can potentially lead to some disastrous scenarios.
In fact, staying on top of these issues is so draining for most companies that over 90% of companies hire third party assistance when it comes to understanding the latest on compliance laws.
With employment lawsuits skyrocketing over the last two decades, it is imperative for any responsible company to stay aware of the current policy environment. But even the most competent HR departments can be overburdened by such a task.
Here are five ways your company and HR department can stay on top of employee compliance.
1.) Know What’s Coming
The best students don’t start studying the morning of their final tests, so why wait until after new policies are implemented before knowing what they are?
Be proactive. If a policy looks like it’s about to be approved, start applying it to your company right away. Resources like SHRM’s Advocacy Team can keep you up-to-date on every upcoming policy going through the government, and how each would affect your day-to-day policies.
The sooner you tackle and wrestle down new and upcoming policies, the easier the work will feel overall. It’s like what they say—do the hardest part of your day first, and your day will be great.
2.) Regularly Conduct Audits
Nobody likes the HR audit, sometimes even the HR department itself! But there is no easier way to transition to new policies than by conducting regular audits.
Why? Because audits force the HR department to really update their checklists on tougher issues in their office; anything from employee relations to wages and hiring. With a simple and direct checklist, you can clearly see the strengths and weaknesses in your handling of overall policy issues.
But there’s another benefit too—with recently updated checklists from the last few weeks or months, understanding how your company must adapt to each new and updated law becomes as simple as cross-referencing the policy changes with your list.
3.) Attend Conferences and Webinars
Sometimes the jargon and technical speak of policy changes can make it unclear or abstract to even the most experienced HR departments. This is where companies usually hire third party experts to clear a few things up.
However, a lot of what you can hire is usually offered for free, at conferences, seminars, and webinars.
By sending an HR rep to the next conference or webinar focused on converting tough policy lines into everyday speech, spelled out by professional employment and labor law attorneys, your HR department can truly understand the big picture of the policy updates, as well as ask specific questions for certain issues.
4.) Assign Dedicated Policy Owners
Sometimes the reason why compliance failures occur is simply through mere negligence. This is when an HR department convinces itself that a certain policy just makes sense, and has failed to update their training and actions regarding the policy for years, sometimes even decades.
It can be easy to fall into a routine, especially if your predecessors in a department taught you to follow the routine. But routines can lead to failure, and failure to lawsuits. By assigning dedicated policy owners to certain key policies, you assign the company’s responsibility (and accountability) of complying with that policy to an individual.
Not only does this create a sense of importance, but it also assures that policy failure won’t happen. Because no one wants to be responsible for failure.
5.) Get Online – Simple Training and Availability
One of the biggest problems when it comes to employee compliance is simply the fact that they didn’t know. With policies changing so often and so many policies to remember, sometimes employees just can’t be blamed.
So what’s the best way any HR department can ensure maximum understanding from the company’s employees? Keep it open, keep it available, and keep the training simple. Make use of online tools and specialized software that will help employees find answers to their policy questions at any time.
Next, consider a learning management system for your office. These are simple and easy-to-use training software that employees can do quickly, at a massive scale. Getting word around about policy changes has never been easier than it is today.
These are just five tips you can use to make sure your HR department stays on top of employee compliance. There are tons more little tips and tricks out there for these issues, but it always comes back to two things: preparedness and open communication.
Keep the relationships in your HR department clean and successful, and you’ll find yourself triumphing over that next set of policy changes.