Spring is here! Time to Clean and Organize – HR Style

by Bethany Wright on May 20, 2019

in Compliance,Leadership,Reflection

spring cleaning

Spring brings us sunshine and rain, which also brings us lots of flowers and plants growing all around us. While beautiful, it also means it’s allergy season! What better time to stay indoors with filtered air and get some organizational items checked off of your to-do list?

Spring cleaning isn’t just for old clothing and knickknacks laying around the house. It is also a great time for businesses to organize, get rid of things that can be shredded/destroyed and it is the perfect time to ensure all of your employment documents are up-to-date.

Here are some of the areas that should be cleaned up each year:

Employee Handbook: Take a look at the last time you updated your employee handbook. Has it been over a year? If so, it is time to review and revise to ensure the most recent employment laws have been added to your policies.

Personnel Files: Ensure that terminated employee files have been relocated to the appropriate place (i.e. storage) and that current employee files are cleaned up and all documents are filed in the appropriate places. For example, confidential medical information should not be located in the same file that includes information a manager might need to review for performance evaluations.

I-9 Audit: Take some time to properly audit your I-9 forms. In addition to a full audit, ensure that I-9s are being stored properly, in a separate file, away from employee personnel files. Terminated employee I-9s should be kept separate from current employees and should be shredded as soon as retention laws allow. (Either a minimum of 3 years, or one year after termination, whichever is the latest date.)

Employee Records: Retaining documents longer than necessary may actually create more risk for your company than keeping them. Take the time to review retention guidelines and get rid of documents you no longer need to store. In addition, if you haven’t already gone “digital,” think about whether this is an opportune time to begin the transition to a paperless document storage system.

Check Your Required Posters: Make sure you have the most current form of all of the required postings for your business. These postings should be in a place that is easily visible to all employees. Remember, each business location must have their own set of posters. Cascade has a great option for an “all-in-one” poster here.

Job Descriptions: Now is a great time to begin your annual review and revision of your job descriptions. Annual reviews of each employee’s job description is a good idea to ensure that any changes made to the position are documented. In addition, this gives you an opportune time to confirm that all of the important details of the job have been documented, such as: the minimum requirements for the job, the type of working environment, as well as the physical and mental requirements for the job. Remember to have the employee sign a new copy of the job description and place the signed copy in their freshly organized personnel file.

Don’t forget, when you purge documents each year, be sure to follow appropriate destruction protocol to ensure confidential information is not winding up where it should not.

Not only will spring cleaning help create space and get things in order, having a clean and organized office can help clear your mind and increase productivity. Who knows, maybe other departments will get the spring cleaning bug after seeing the great example HR is setting for them! We can only hope.

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