The Remodelers Guide to Business

4 HR Mistakes That May Come Back to Bite You

As your remodeling business grows, you will no doubt be faced with issues along the way. We hear from many of our Roundtables members that HR issues can be a huge obstacle to growth and the day-to-day running of their respective businesses.

Adding personnel quickly to meet demand and then attempting to manage the growing team can lead to costly mistakes along the way. As a business entity, you are susceptible to penalties and payments not only from random (and sometimes baseless) lawsuits but from local, state or federal government/tax organizations as well.

Whether you are penalized financially or not, the time and resources it takes to address a complaint or violation can sometimes be catastrophic to a growing business.

Here are 4 areas of your business to focus on when it comes to avoiding HR issues:

1. Recruiting and Hiring

Many of these issues stem from first contact with your business whether you hire the candidate or not.

  • Clear Job Descriptions – Not only help recruit the right candidates for your team to interview and consider but should also match the description you use internally should you decide to hire one of them for the position.
  • Avoiding Sensitive Questions – Inexperienced interviewers or perhaps those that are rushing through the process and getting too informal will typically ask questions that, if the candidate is not hired, may be the source of a complaint to a local government compliance office. Avoid questions regarding age, race, religion or disabilities. Something as casual as “Oh, I went to that college too, when did you graduate?” can lead to age-based issues down the road.

2. Clear Communication

From the interview process, to on-boarding to employment reviews, it’s vitally important to be consistent with communicating procedures and expectations with new and existing employees.

One key area that may break down is in the employee discipline or termination areas where proper documentation can literally save you should an issue arise down the road. Use clear and easy to understand language in the initial offer letter as well as any subsequent discipline or termination paperwork, getting signatures from the employee on everything along the way.

3. Lack of Policies & Procedures

Without a clear and well-written employee manual or handbook, employees lack direction in regard to conduct, attendance, work ethic and even how you expect them to dress in the office or out in the field.

Don’t just hand them the manual on their first day and forget it. Take the time to (1) walk through the manual to insure they understand it, (2) get them to sign the last page to confirm that have received and agree to the terms of employment and finally (3) keep it updated with new policies and procedures as they are released to your staff.

4. Terminations

Victoria does a great job covering this in a recent PowerTips TV Episode, How To Fire an Employee “The Right Way” but in summary, handling a termination calmly and professionally is the best route no matter how badly the employee has performed. Victoria’s advice was spot on and included:

  • Having clear and concise documentation
  • Including an additional person in the room during the meeting
  • Honest feedback, but no discussion
  • Treating the employee with dignity and respect on their way out

Share time!

What are some HR headaches that your remodeling business has experienced and how are you avoiding them now? Do any of these above ring a bell? Are there others we are missing? If so, Please share your experiences in the comments below.


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