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As a business owner, manager or professional in human resources, you’ve got a myriad of important responsibilities concerning the management of employees.

In HR, you have to be able to walk a fine line – advocating for employees vis-à-vis representing your organization and educating or keeping a watchful eye on the work of managers.

The key word to remember, of course, is balance. To achieve it requires know-how, diplomacy, good communication and confidence.

Just one small mistake can cost your organization the loss of employees and thousands or even millions of dollars or be the catalyst for intervention by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Errors to avoid:

1. Recruitment and hiring communication

Whether advertising for candidates, conducting interviews or making job offers, good communication is vital.

Some managers often use words like “young,” “girl” or “boy.” HR professionals typically avoid such mistakes and should review advertisements before they’re published.

In interviewing applicants, it’s hard to imagine but some hiring managers still ask inappropriate questions. That can be an invitation for lawsuits and/or attracting the intrusion by the EEOC.


Hiring Applicants: 5 Deadly Sins of Even Savvy Managers


Unrealistic job descriptions in job announcements by over-enthusiastic managers can lead to failure – wasting the organization time and money as disappointed employees can be quick to leave.

Erroneous writing in job announcements can lead to incorrect hiring promises, such as mentioning a yearly salary. This sadly implies a yearly contract.

2. Mandating and classifying of duties

There are major differences to consider in exempt and non-exempt employees.

Furthermore, preventing employees from disclosing their remuneration to others violates the National Labor Relations Act.

3. Privacy

In computer usage, employers err when they allow employees to expect electronic privacy. Bear in mind, employers are required in some states to inform employees they’re monitored.

Accidentally revealing private employee information is a no-no. Confidentiality is important unless disclosures are lawfully required or if there’s a legitimate business need (see recommended employee records confidentiality policies).

Note: As for employer sponsored health plans and specific health-care providers, HIPPA or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, is applicable.

(For more on privacy and HIPPA, scroll down to the Coach’s Corner.)

4. Performance and training

Make certain all supervisors are properly trained or else they will get you into a lot of financial trouble or morale issues. That includes making certain they know how to give effective performance reviews.

Your workplace needs to be free of all discrimination. In addition, rude, racist or sexist comments should be prevented.


Vital Strategies to Avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits


5. Dysfunctions in hiring or when employees leave

When hiring you’re required to notify your state, inform employees of conditions of their employment, and provide employees with accurate working conditions.

Employees should be allowed to leave with dignity whether it’s voluntary or involuntary.

6. Conducting proper investigations

The two keys of workplace investigations: Thoroughness and timeliness.


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7. Documentation

Be sure employees are treated lawfully in compliance with your organization’s policy and that it’s adhering to past practices.

Compliance with Form I-9 requirements is necessary including maintaining separate files.

8. Continuous communication

Don’t overlook proper communication of changes in policies or procedures and be sure to update your employee handbook. Also advisable is adequate communication if investigations or disciplinary issues, performance reviews or implementing effective personal improvement plans.

9. Accommodation requirements

From disabilities to military duties, you should be aware of Department of Labor requirements.

10. Non-compete agreements

You can forget about non-compete agreements. Courts typically don’t look favorably on them.

From the Coach’s Corner, other valuable management and HR tips:

Strategies for Better Job Descriptions to Attract Talent — To successfully compete against other employers for the best talent, many companies have found it necessary to update their job descriptions. Here’s how they do it.

Employees – Overtime Pay Issues and FLSA Exempt Status — Many employers continue to violate wage and hour rules. To avoid costly and time-consuming legal hassles, you might want to review your overtime pay policy and all your exempt-employees’ status to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

HIPAA Violations: Common Examples and How to Avoid Them — The first step in avoiding such threats is by first understanding what a HIPAA violation is and what those violations may look like. Here’s more vital information.

HR – Coach Away Employees’ Fears for High Performance — Crises like coronavirus have shown even your key employees can succumb to fear and stress. Here’s how to coach employees for high performance even in crises.

Best Strategies in HR Training to Fix a Company’s Culture — If your company is lacking in teamwork and morale is poor it follows that profits will be weak. Chances are you need to change your organization’s culture.

“Profitability is coming from productivity, efficiency, management, austerity, and the way to manage the business.”

-Carlos Slim


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.