One of the more complicated aspects of business are the employees you hire to manage tasks that you don’t have the time to do yourself. When you hire your first employee, you get access to skills that can compound your business’ effectiveness. However, you also face new rules and risks and must be sure to make sure you don’t make any of these expensive mistakes in your business:
1. Discrimination in the workplace. Annually, the EEOC investigates hundreds of claims of discrimination in the USA. I see a new report coming in every single week to my inbox of a new lawsuit. Lawsuits can easily be $85,000 or more when people discriminate at the workplace. It may not even be something you as a business mean to do: employees or managers that act improperly can sink the business.
2. Paying employees the wrong rate of pay. Per the Fair Labor Standards Act, each year there are federal minimum wage standards. However, many states mandate a higher minimum wage. Employers that don’t take care to pay a fair minimum wage will be liable for the difference when–not if–the mistake is discovered. In some states, this will be included with extra fees.
3. Not paying overtime. One of the most common wage errors comes from the belief that any salaried employee is exempt from overtime and minimum wage requirements. In order to be exempt, an employee’s job duties must fall within one of five categories: professional, executive, administrative, outside sales, or some computer technologies. The truth is: just because you give an employee a salary doesn’t mean they don’t receive overtime as well. If an employee fits into the “exempt” category, then have no fear, you can pay employees salary and not worry about the repercussions. However, if your salaried employee is “non-exempt,” and you haven’t been paying them for their hours of overtime, you are liable to pay up for all those missed hours.
The concept of a toxic work culture is prevalent in a world where employees expect their jobs to be a fulfilling part of their lives. Their logic runs something along the lines of, “I’m going to be spending the majority of my life at work, so it needs to matter to me.” They aren’t too far off.
Today, switching employers is relatively easy and top talent can find other options that meet their personal and professional goals.
As an employer, if your employees are leaving constantly, it’s not just chance. There is a reason. We refer to this as a “toxic” work culture and we believe this goes beyond just negativity in the workplace. We believe this term refers to and describes turnover cultures.
Toxicity is defined as “containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation.” In financial terms, it means a high-risk investment that is likely to default and can’t be sold. Employers benefit from looking at toxic workplaces from a this perspective: after all, your employee is hired to fix a problem for you. They are an investment you hope pays off. If they are at a high risk of leaving you, there’s an investment that has gone awry.
A toxic culture can be caused by a handful of things:
1. Bad management that goes unchecked.
2. Work environments that destroy productivity
3. Positions that are high-risk
4. A disgruntled employee or group of employees
5. Fear culture in new and/or long-term employees.
6. Outside influences that attack one group of employees.(This can be especially true when you notice just one group has high turnover).
Depending on your case, you may be dealing with a combination of toxic influences that are leading to your current turnover problems. Remember though, that leadership has the responsibility to fix the toxic workplace problem. This task is one of the joys and pains of being an employer. You as the employer must be the one to move your company away from a toxic culture.
For free resources, contact us today! Our consultants send you in the right direction and make suggestions that actually make sense for your business. we’re trained to be problem solvers–not sales people.
Merriam-Webster. Toxic. Retrieved from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/toxic.
Photo Credit: Mark Oakly. “Clown Poison” Retrieved from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrmoaks/8060756409/in/photolist-9mgdMd-C3CZb-W61rLT-fs4rJu-25Vj4Fc-buGHVP-dhiu3M-YCzFLW-WSJwAX-24kxThj-FGEzqc-RkFjuX-SLnrPL-aqyQ1Q-8N3t3h-9Ti9K-fJvguc-9PNxnS-6eS1mW-8Ksn2V-o2td7-7yg1Q-chkDFG-He6eHW-7L8U7h-LjqAWj-PEzPrs-EpfBxh-4ppVwQ-GQnD5-LLFrPo-RJaaCA-FjEBau-FcPUeU-ETHA76-rupYs3-ruxwc2-Qeucwm-BpRoMc
The Human Resources department is the (often unseen) hand that keeps business processes running. While the role of an HR department does vary from company-to-company, there are tasks commonly assigned to the HR Department. They monitor business areas like: employment law compliance, payroll, benefits, work leave, hiring and on-boarding, training, disciplinary actions, policy and procedure writing, and personnel development.
Ideally, HR is the part of the company that is available to employees when they need assistance with their career. This can include career development and career conflicts. HR is the department that should be responsible for enforcing workplace safety and helping employees excel at that workplace. Additionally, HR is the go-to for many sexual harassment and discrimination complaints. It is the HR department’s job to mitigate the risk of these issues occurring, and to investigate and report circumstances if something does occur.
By the time that a company begins hiring even 20 people, it is helpful to have an HR professional on staff to protect the business and employees simultaneously. This role needs to be handled by an individual—or a team of individuals—to truly be done well. While almost anyone can run payroll, fill out forms, and collect gallons of paperwork: a true HR professional develops and improves strategic processes, manages administrative tasks, and aligns employees goals with the company’s objectives. Having the ability to take on this tall order and should be handled by professionals that have dedicated themselves to human resources skills and honed their abilities. Think of it this way: you don’t want an electrician to manage your IT department and you don’t want a secretary to fulfill the role of an HR department.