August 2018 Newsletter: Essential HR Practices for your Business

Protecting your most Important Investment: Essential HR Practices for your Business

As a small business owner, you are keenly aware that even if you worked 24/7 there still would not be enough time to get everything done. Being an effective manager requires knowing the critical elements to lead your team. We, at Warren Whitney, strive to inform you of the essentials to run your business. To help get you started with your HR program, Beth Williams, Director of Human Resources at Warren Whitney, has provided guidelines for a sensible and practical HR program. Included in these guidelines are three basic requirements:

  • Creation and maintenance of three specific employee files
  • Publication of an employee guidebook with specific policies
  • Posting of required state and federal notices


Beth Williams advises that every employee have 3 separate files; Employee Payroll File, Employee HR File, Employee Medical/Benefit File.

  1. Employee Payroll File. This file should include: Direct Deposit Form, W-4, VA-4 and other withholding forms, and the offer letter. The file may be shared with the payroll or finance department (Note: The file may be kept with the finance department).
  2. Employee HR File. This confidential file will have general employment information on the employee and include his/her: Resume, Employment Application, Offer Letter, Contract or Agreement, Performance Evaluation, Awards, Disciplinary Documents and finally termination or exit interview information.
  3. Employee Medical/Benefit File. A separate, confidential medical/benefit file for health and medical issues on each of your employees should include: Applications for insurance, notes from a doctor excusing a person from work, medical examination results, information related to a disability, beneficiary forms, open enrollment forms and any other benefit related documents.


Next on the list is the Employee Guidebook. “A good employee Guidebook should contain several key sections and information on your company culture, policies, and procedures” Beth explains. Listed below are must-haves for the guidebook:

  1. An introductory statement to explain the purpose of the handbook and at will employment.
  2. The guidebook should list the following company policies:

·        Equal Opportunity Statement

·        Onboarding Information ·        Harassment and Discrimination
·        Open Door Statement ·        Confidentiality ·        Employment at Will
·        Social Media ·        Computer Use ·        Alcohol and Drug
·        Personal Appearance ·        Solicitation ·        Immigration Law
·        Disclaimer Statement ·        Business / Work Hours ·        Company Property
·        Ethics Policy

·        Standards of Conduct

3. Below are some remaining key topics that may be included based on your business and industry:

Timekeeping and Payroll: Timekeeping Procedures, Paydays, Pay deductions, Time Off

Work Conditions: Violence in the Workplace, Workplace Safety, Drug Free Workplace Policy, Employee Standard of Conduct and Disciplinary Policy, Office and Facility Information

Benefits: Sick Leave, Personal Leave, Vacation, Holidays, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, Maternity/Paternity Leave, Group Insurance, Worker’s Compensation Insurance, Healthcare Continuation, 401K, Business Expense Reimbursement


To make your life easier, Beth suggests buying a combined state and federal poster that keeps you in compliance with posting regulations. If you have more than one office, you will need to post this in each location. While there are many sources, this recommended version costs less than $20.00: