8 Small Business New Year Resolutions for 2017

As a Small Business owner with employees, I lean a lot on ADP a lot for my Small Business Payroll and Human Resource solutions. I know the information is up to date and valid for my clients.

Here is a valuable gem that I received from this morning.

  1. Review Hiring ProceduresCheck your job ads, recruiting practices, application forms, interview questions and screening and selection procedures. Do they comply with all applicable laws? Is everyone involved in the hiring process properly trained? Do they know who to go to if they have a question or issue? Note: Some states and municipalities have strict laws regarding employer inquiries about an applicant’s criminal history.

  2. Create/Update Job DescriptionsIdentify the roles, responsibilities and qualifications needed for every position. Each job description should include the reporting structure, if the position is exempt or nonexempt, a job summary with essential functions, including any physical requirements, and the requisite qualifications and skills. Note: You should always include a statement specifying that your company reserves the right to change the duties of the job at any time and that the job description is not designed to cover all of the position’s requirements.

  3. Review Job ClassificationsApply the proper federal and state tests, such as the IRS Common Law Test or the Department of Labor Economic Realities Test, to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Likewise, review all employees to ensure that they are either classified as nonexempt (and should receive overtime) or exempt (they meet the job duties and salary basis tests as well as the new minimum salary threshold).

  4. Assess the Impact of Overtime ChangesThe U.S. Department of Labor released final overtime rules that take effect on December 1, 2016.* The final rules increase the salary threshold for certain exempt employees. Make sure current employees and those onboarded in the future are classified correctly so that those who are due overtime pay do in fact receive it.

  5. Create/Update Your Employee HandbookIf you don’t have a handbook, create one. If you already have a handbook, you should update it at least annually. This resource can help you communicate company policies to your employees, set expectations and demonstrate your effort to comply with various laws.

  6. Make Sure You Are Complying With the NLRBThe National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been scrutinizing employer practices and policies regarding employees’ rights to work together to improve wages and working conditions. Focus on ensuring your policies concerning social media, confidentiality and standards of conduct don’t infringe on employees’ Section 7 rights.

  7. Develop/Review Your Performance PlanA performance management plan can help you communicate goals to employees, assess achievement and reward top performers. Note: At a minimum, you should evaluate employee performance annually.

  8. Review Record Keeping PracticesEmployers must maintain certain records to comply with federal, state and local laws. Some rules require that certain records be stored in separate, confidential files. The following information should not be stored in personnel files:• Any information reflecting that an employee is a member of a protected group (such as race, gender, ethnicity or veteran’s status)• Any document that relates to an employee’s medical condition or overall health

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* On November 22, 2016, a U.S. District Court temporarily blocked the new overtime rules from going into effect on December 1, 2016.