Six Signs Your HR Department is Overworked

The HR department is at the heart of every company, so it is vital they are able to work at their peak levels. Unfortunately, demanding too much from overworked HR staff means the quality of service could slip, creating problems in the hiring process, or even when it comes to employee happiness. Here are six signs your HR department is overworked as well as how you can ease the burden.

Long Hours or Late Starts

One of the warning signs of an overworked HR department is when employees are staying longer than normal, or arriving late on a regular basis. Not being able to function in the mornings, or being forced to stay late, often highlights stress when it comes to day-to-day tasks.

Missed Deadlines

A tangible sign of overworked HR employees is repeatedly missed deadlines. If staff are struggling to profile candidates before the interview stage or handle payroll on time, they may simply have too much on their plates. Outsourcing some tasks like identify verification or background checks to a third party service could relieve some of this stress, freeing the HR department up for other vital jobs.

Complaints from Other Employees

If other staff are complaining about the timeliness of quality of your HR department, look into whether they need a break, or a chance to catch up on overdue projects.

Frustrated HR Staff

When in doubt, simply talk to HR staff directly to get their input. HR employees who are frustrated about their workloads and tell you they are struggling to complete daily tasks are almost certainly overworked. Strategize with them about how best to reduce stress.

Rapid Increase in Company Size

You might be excited your company is growing rapidly and bringing in new employees, but make sure your HR department expands to match. If your company is getting bigger, the same HR department won’t be able to cope with the added work without getting burned out.

Budget Cuts in the HR Department

Downsizing is a necessary process for some companies, but major budget cuts to human resources may cause big problems down the road. Check in after any budget cuts to ensure that HR staff can still cope and are not getting overworked.

Keeping an eye out for these warning signs can help you spot an overworked HR department before major problems crop up. Along with hiring additional employees and adjusting deadlines, outsourcing work can provide the department with a solution as well. Using an online employment background check system like PeopleFacts could be a good way to get work spread out.

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Seven Ways to Save on Your New Business Building

Buying a new business building can be a costly and time consuming process. But there are a few proven ways to reduce both the short term and long term costs. Use these seven ways to save on your new business building and make sure you’re heading in the right direction financially.

Work with a Real Estate Professional
The building you purchase and the subsequent location will have lasting consequences for your business. Choose your building according to both your present and projected future needs. A real estate professional will have better access to a wider range of properties and will also advocate for your needs and dislikes. As a result, a real estate agent can be the negotiator you need, and use their professional skills to get you a better deal.

Choose Wisely
Your new business building will require the employment of many different contractors. While a finished building may only require a few touch up projects, be sure to carefully select your contractor. Avoid accepting the first bid, or rushing through the process. Thoroughly check references for contractors through asking their previous clients for reviews. Choosing the right contractor will be financially beneficial in the long run because you will most likely have need of their services in the future.

Project Management Software
Buying and fixing up a building for your business will be a long term project with many complex tasks. Using project management software will allow you to stay within the budget, while making sure deadlines are met. Project management allows you to stay focused while reaching your business goals. Use a good organizational or software system to keep track of bills, project progress, and future tasks.

Understand the Math
It is important to understand the financial costs of buying a business building. There are also real property costs, such as real estate taxes and settlement costs. Your constructing assets will be part of your cost basis, which may include labor, materials, contractor payments, and inspection fees. Be sure to work with a certified accountant to maximize your savings. Learn more about the financial costs of buying a building from the IRS.

Permits and Licensure
Consider establishing a limited liability company (LLC) as the owner of the building. This will provide legal protection through limiting your personal liability and protecting your personal assets from potential lawsuits. Buying a building through an LLC also guarantees privacy, as LCC records are not public property records. Finally, be sure to obtain the correct local, county, and state licenses and permits for your business and industry.

Save Energy
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to save energy through making adjustments to lighting, office equipment, and the HVAC system. For example, use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and replace any incandescent ‘exit’ signs with LED ‘exit’ signs. Be sure to install motion sensitive lights in areas that are occasionally occupied, such as break areas or conference rooms. Purchase EPA approved, Energy Star equipment, and plug load controllers that can shut down inactive electronic equipment. Laptops use over 80 percent less energy than desk computers, and you can keep your HVAC system in top shape through regular, preventative maintenance.

Lawn Care
Using a professional landscaping service will save you time, which in turn will save you money. A BBB business reviewed lawn care service company will have commercial-grade equipment and tools which will save a lot of money in the long run, since lawn maintenance requires a variety of supplies and equipment, such as fertilizer, leaf blowers and lawn mowers. Landscapers will have the expertise and know how to properly care for plants and trees. And most services like Pro-Lawns aren’t just hired for the pleasant seasons, but also come in handy during winter for snow removal in St. Louis or wherever your business is located.

As a business getting into a new building, you can save a lot of money through using competent real estate agent and contracting professionals, utilizing project management software, understanding finances and licensure, and can cut costs through energy efficiency and by using a lawn care service. Use these tips to help you get started saving more on your next building.

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How to Keep Employees Safe on the Job: 5 Excellent Programs

Safety on the job isn’t just about construction accidents, but involves many different aspects for protecting employees and employers alike. Below introduces five excellent programs on how to keep employees safe on the job.

How to Keep Employees Safe on the Job

OSHA Safety Program

Any company that employs manual labor should have a safety program based on sample OSHA Policies. There are a variety of topics which need to be covered, such as lockout/tagout, fall protection, and hazard communication. Most states offer an official OSHA-approved state program and most of these state’s Safety and Health departments offer free consultations and assistance with setting up a formal safety program.

Safe Driving

Companies that require employees to drive as a regular part of their duties, such as a delivery service company, should offer safe driving training. A defensive driving course can be offered online, in person, or outsourced to an actual driving school. When possible, consider allowing employees to take a defensive driving course with an experienced instructor so they are more prepared to handle incidents on the road.

Health and Wellness

Employee safety goes beyond preventing accidents and physical harm. Health and wellness promotion is one of the best tools to prevent accidents and health problems. Consider encouraging employees to exercise through offering gym reimbursements or bonuses. Even better, consider building a simple on-site gym for employees to work-out in. This is an excellent way to promote healthy living while reducing stress and cost for you the employer.

Emergency Action Training

Emergencies can consist of anything from a medical emergency, to an earthquake, to workplace violence. Consider implementing regular emergency action training. Every company should offer Basic First Aid/CPR training to employees. However, not every employee needs to be certified. Having a few employees and one supervisor from each department should be sufficient. In addition, teach all employees how to respond to natural disasters.

Drug Free Workplace

Every company should have zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use in the workplace. Not only do they cause accidents, but result in loss of money and even lives. As part of the drug free program, consider performing annual, random UAs on all employees. If there are any concerns due to drug use, consult with a business lawyer like Carter West. While some drugs like marijuana may have medical uses, it is still unsafe for on the job use, especially in industries that work with tools and equipment, such as manufacturing and construction.

Listed here are five programs that will improve employee safety and save your company money. These include adopting an OSHA Safety Program, offering defensive driving training and health and wellness programs. In addition, emergency action training and enacting a drug free workplace program are essential to protect lives and save on injuries and accidents in the workplace.

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In House Litigation: What Your Company can do to Prepare Your Case

Business in today’s world is often riddled with matters of litigation and legal crossroads. From not abiding by your own sales conditions, to law suits involving intellectual property rights, in-house corporate litigation issues will often require more legal flexibility than exists in an outside legal firm. If your company decides to hire an in house litigation team to prepare your next case, then here are some ways your team will be able to help you out in the right ways.

Proper Communication with outside Legal Entities

If you have to work with outside legal professionals, your in-house litigation team will be a valuable tool to facilitate proper communication with your outside legal interests. This is useful is because your in-house lawyers will be more aware of your corporate business strategies and interests, which is one area where an outside legal entity may be at a disadvantage or lack proper understanding of your business. In this situation, your in-house lawyers will be able to act as a go-between. This helps to ensure that any special outside legal entities you deal with will be able to better understand not only the legal issues involved with your case, but also the business-related aspects of the case as well.

Drafting and Filing Legal Documents

Another way an in-house litigation team will help your company on its next case is by drafting any specialized legal documents you may need. With more than one attorney on your team scrutinizing how things are worded and prepared, this will help any major oversights from occurring in document preparation. In addition, in-house attorneys will also be able to help your company file any legal motions through proper court channels so everything happens when it is supposed to. With your team you can directly oversee the way documents are handled and prepared and make sure all your information is correct.

Specialized Counsel

An important aspect of allowing an in-house attorney prepare your litigation case is that their perspective is obtained from inside the business itself. This means they will have enough of an insight into how your company operates to guide the legal course of action your company should take to secure its best interests. If anything out of the ordinary emerges that requires you seek outside litigation attorneys to augment your in-house team’s efforts, chances are your in-house team will know the best place to turn to obtain the specific type of legal counsel required. They should be able to anticipate where or what to do in a court of law and how your business reputation will be able to handle any blows.

When it comes to preparing for your next case, your in-house litigation team will be an integral key to your success in court. Who better to represent your company in litigation matters than attorneys who deeply grasp how your company does business? Even if things look bleak, experienced in-house attorneys will often be able to better know how to help your company mitigate any losses.

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