As a business owner, you spend a lot of your time serving customers—yet it’s also important to support your technicians and other team members with their HR needs. A proper focus on human resources ensures that your team is cohesive and your employees are happy; meanwhile, HR hiccups can not only drain your precious time, but they can have a corrosive effect on your entire company.
Some HR pitfalls are more common than others. Here are three that are especially dangerous to service trades.
Problems with the Hiring Process
Some of the most common HR issues start before an employee is officially on your payroll—either because you hire the wrong person for the job, or because you inadvertently turn the interview into a legal headache. Some ways to avoid issues in the hiring process:
- Conduct pre-employment testing to make sure the people you’re recruiting are good fits for your business—both in terms of their skillsets but also in relation to their personalities.
- Make sure that your job descriptions are clear and detailed; leave no uncertainty as to what the position requires.
- Avoid asking sensitive questions concerning religion, age, race/ethnicity, or disability; even one slip-up can lead to questions of discrimination, and potentially land you in a legal mess.
Problems with Communication
Simply by ensuring clear, consistent communication with your team members, you can stop the majority of HR issues before they even begin. It’s important to communicate any modifications to your company’s procedures, and also any changes to your own expectations.
Sometimes, communicating with employees can be unpleasant—especially when it comes to disciplinary action. With that said, providing a clear and easy-to-understand explanation of any such actions taken, with paper documentation, can help you avoid any problems with future disciplinary action, including termination.
On a more positive side, it’s vital to have an employee manual that lays out your expectations as clearly as possible. Spend time walking through the handbook with all new hires; take any questions they have; ask them to sign off on the handbook, saying that they have read and understand it.
Problems with Terminations
Most employers don’t like to fire people—but when an employee is underperforming, or has a toxic impact on your team, termination can be necessary. Of course, it is important to go about this the right way.
- Be calm and professional—no matter how badly the employee messed up, blowing a fuse is never helpful.
- Provide clear documentation to show any past disciplinary actions taken.
- If possible, have an additional person in the room during the termination to help moderate.
- Accept any feedback the employee wants to give, but don’t turn it into a conversation; once you’ve made up your mind to terminate, you need to stick with it.
- Treat the employee respectfully; he or she may not be a good fit for your company, but it’s still important to acknowledge basic human dignity.
Get Help with Your HR
A smooth HR department helps your business run smoothly and efficiently—but a lot of trade service businesses feel as though they lack the proper HR experience. At Contractor in Charge, we can help your company with some of the administrative issues that arise from hiring, firing, and employee communication needs. Reach out to us directly to learn more!