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January 10, 2017

Business FYI – How should you be preparing for the new year?

KellieBoysenIdeally, business owners and human resources personnel have already begun the task of preparing their HR initiatives for 2017.

But in case your company has not started thinking about HR in 2017, or if you simply want to make sure you have covered the essentials, here are six steps for maintaining HR compliance in order to ensure your business starts off 2017 with a clean slate:

1. Review policies and procedures. With the many changes to state and federal employment laws throughout 2016, now is the perfect time to ensure that all your company’s policies and procedures comply with those changes to regulations and court decisions.

Outdated policies that may no longer reflect the current law can cause more harm than good. Also, ensure that policies are documented in your company handbook, and that each employee has signed an acknowledgment of receipt for the updated handbook.

2. Complete an I-9, W-4 and emergency contact audit. The beginning (or end) of the year is an ideal time to review your I-9 folder. Confirm that all I-9s are separated from personnel files and kept in one file folder for easy access. Check that you do not have any missing or incomplete I-9s.

Have employees review their W-4s and emergency contacts if they had changes in their household during the year, had completed the form as “exempt” last year, or have made any other changes that would affect payroll withholdings.

3. Archive terminated employee folders. This is a good time to archive terminated employee folders from 2016, whether you file them in a separate filing cabinet or box them up for storage.

Employers are required to maintain different pages from the file for different lengths of time, so removing them from your current employee folders will help simplify your filing process. Just make sure that they are easily accessible if you need them down the road.

4. Review job descriptions for personnel files. Employees’ job duties often change throughout the year, so it is important to update job descriptions. Review employee classifications and check that each employee has a signed job description in their file. This will confirm your expectations of the employee and add a layer of protection for your company in the event of a complaint or lawsuit.

5. Update your calendar. Review upcoming HR regulation and reporting deadlines for 2017 and add them to your calendar. Also note and ensure you are prepared for regulatory updates and mandatory federal or state posting updates that have gone into effect.

6. Complete an HR audit. Consider having a third party, like Alternative HR, perform an HR audit to ensure that your company is in full compliance and to identify areas in need of improvement. Contact the Alternative HR team at 717-855-5589 or visit alternative-hr.com for more information.

About Kellie Boysen – Owner, Alternative HR:

Kellie Boysen is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) with more than a decade of HR experience. She owns Alternative HR, a local human resource consulting and outsourcing organization that is dedicated to providing small business owners with an affordable alternative to hiring a full-time HR professional.