When it comes to HR support for small businesses, there is a lot more to consider than just creating a safe and happy workplace for your employees. Of course, you want to build an environment where your employees enjoy coming to work, but the HR world is a little more complex than that. There are strict rules and best practices involved in setting up a proper HR solution for your business.

To help you make some sense of it, we’ve created an HR checklist for small businesses. From learning the right way to do payroll to developing competitive employee benefits, you’ll be well on your way to understanding some of the crucial ins and outs of HR.

1. Know and understand employment law.

Understanding employment law is by far one of the most important HR tips for small businesses. Regulations cover nearly every aspect of hiring, retaining, and terminating employees, including factors such as compensation, benefits, and safety. To start familiarizing yourself with employment law, read the Federal Employee Handbook and consider hiring an employment attorney.

2. Manage payroll the right way.

Mismanaging payroll is a fast track to losing your employees’ trust. Every paycheck must be correct. Paying them on time is critical, too. Set a strict payment schedule and stick to it. Also, make sure you are compliant with the rules around correctly classifying your employees—such as exempt or nonexempt—and paying them based on their appropriate classifications.

Mismanaging payroll is a fast track to losing your employees’ trust. Every paycheck must be correct. Paying them on time is critical. Click To Tweet

3. Understand employee files and documentation requirements.

What kind of information belongs in an employee file and how do you keep it confidential? Yes, there are rules for that, too. Learn how to document your employees, but also how to properly maintain and secure their files. This kind of documentation comes in handy in case a situation with an employee arises.

4. Hire and retain good talent.

Everyone wants to become an employer of choice, but you have to earn that title first. Focus on what matters most to your employees, such as compensation and opportunities to move up. Develop competitive compensation and an attractive benefits package. Then work on creating a positive and supportive culture, where your employees can grow and advance their careers. Build it and they will come (and stay!).

5. Develop an employee handbook.

Every business needs an employee handbook. Consider it your safeguard in case of any disputes. In the manual, outline your employee expectations and your company’s operating procedures. Require every employee to sign it at the time of hire and once again each year following. It’s also good HR practice to review and revise your handbook at least once a year.

Make sure your organization has an employee handbook that thoroughly addresses the processes and activities of your employees. Get started with this free template.

6. Focus on performance management.

Performance management involves providing your employees with a clear path toward success, by developing personal and company goals that they can work toward. It’s a solid tactic for retaining your staff because when you recognize and reward your employees, they feel more valued. Alternatively, it can also help weed out underperformers within your company.

7. Create a comprehensive benefits package.

Benefits packages are not one-size-fits-all. The more you know and understand your employees, the better you can meet their needs. Generous packages include competitive (and affordable) health insurance plans, along with other necessities like paid time off and retirement saving programs. A strong package will add value to your employees’ overall compensation.

8. Build a network of other small businesses to share knowledge.

You’re not the only one navigating the HR scene. Join a professional organization or chamber of commerce to network with other small business owners. When you create a community, you can share your experiences and learn from each other’s successes and mistakes.

9. Monitor changes in the law.

HR laws are changing constantly, and if you don’t keep up with every single one, it could cost you. Staying on top of the ever-changing climate can help protect you and your business, and even though it is a time-consuming task, it is absolutely necessary.

10. Follow the HR strategy development process.

As discussed in our article The Human Resource Planning Process Explained, it’s crucial to create your business goals before beginning the hiring process, as opposed to hiring and then creating your goals around your current staff. Once you can articulate your goals, you can better analyze your current resources and plan for the future. And this is just one step in the HR planning process—check this article to get the full scoop.

Feeling overwhelmed by this list? You don’t have to navigate HR alone.

This HR checklist for small and midsized businesses is just an introduction of what you need to do as an employer to navigate the many moving parts in the world of human resources. If you’re feeling overwhelmed as you read it, that’s actually a good thing—it shows you are paying attention to everything you should be doing!

The good news is, you don’t have to attempt to handle all of your HR, benefits administration, and payroll responsibilities on your own. With Genesis as your PEO, you’ll not only save time and money that you would otherwise spend on developing an internal HR department, you’ll rest assured you’re covered in the area of compliance as well. Contact us today to find out how we can help manage your HR needs.

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