Chilling ghost stories are a guilty pleasure, but horrifying HR nightmares are no laughing matter. Terrifying tales of irretrievable paperwork and staffing shortages can cause human resources managers hours upon hours of headaches and hair pulling.

Luckily, when equipped with the right strategies, you can prevent these scenarios from becoming a recurring nightmare in your workplace. Here are some common HR horror stories haunting countless companies along with tips on avoiding these crises at your company.



1. Failing to track important documents

Documentation is a necessary evil in the workplace. Lost documents, whether through lack of organization or failures with transferring ownership, can lead you into the dark depths of the forest with the daunting task of finding missing information. An HRIS keeps important and sensitive data centralized and secure by providing digital storage for your most important documents and records this includes everything from employee contracts to performance evaluations so that you’ll have them at your disposal when needed.

2. Running into errors with payroll processing

The danger of manually entering data into spreadsheets is that the redundancy of the task can make you prone to making human errors. This is especially true in the case of payroll processing, in which you may be susceptible to overpaying, underpaying, and even making mistakes with benefits deductions, RRSP matching, commissions, bonuses, and reimbursements. Opting to go the online business payroll system route can guarantee accuracy in your pay runs through the simplification and automation of the process. If the payroll technology you choose can automate documents such as remittances, T4s, and ROEs, even better.

3. Mismanaging the distribution of group benefits

Access to a group benefits plan is a valued aspect of being an employee, which makes it of utmost importance to ensure precise administration and education. Discrepancies in benefits plan deductions and misunderstandings in communicating the more complex terms of your group health insurance can leave your employees feeling unsettled towards your benefits program. To avoid this, be sure to look for an HR software that can assist you in better managing your company’s group benefits. Ideally, the software you choose should have certified benefits advisors on hand who can guide you through the process of working with group benefits providers, keeping both you and your employees satisfied.

4. Misclassifying your workers

Not paying attention to the proper classification of your workers can cost you literally. If an employee is misclassified as a freelancer exempt from tax withholdings, your company can incur high penalties from the CRA. The federal government has set guidelines to comply by when classifying your workers as employees or as independent contractors. Factors to consider when determining between the two categories include whether the company has ownership over the completed work and whether the employer provides the materials needed to complete the work. You can learn more about the difference between a contractor and an employee in this CRA article.

5. Experiencing staffing shortages

You know the scenario due to an oversight on your part, you approved time off requests from various members of your sales team, only to later realize you neglected to confirm that there will be ample coverage in the office during that week. Avoid staffing shortages and interruptions to workflow with an HRIS that supports your workforce labour management by enabling you to track and manage vacation as well as PTO requests with ease.

6. Delivering poor employee orientation experiences

New hires that encounter a poorly facilitated job orientation can begin their journey on bad footing. Don’t spook your new employees with a less than stellar first impression of your company. You want to prevent workforce zombies and foster engaged team members with an onboarding process that is fully comprehensive in terms of information-sharing, knowledge-building, and skills-training with regular check-ins in-between. When you make new employees feel valued from the get-go, you can build a strong working relationship founded on respect and loyalty.

7. Losing your top employees

No employer wants to see their best talent walk out of their office doors. If you find that your top performers are leaving your company, be proactive with preventing turnover from becoming a recurring trend. If growing vacancies are left unchecked, it will be a poor reflection on your company’s image as a good workplace. In addition to gathering intel through exit interviews, take comments gathered from employee performance reviews and feedback forms seriously. Get insight into what your people like and dislike about working for your company and take their suggestions as an opportunity to improve and become a more competitive employer.

For further reading on employee turnover and how to prevent it, check out Natasha Jeshani’s article, Why Your Top Employees Are Leaving You.

8. Being unprepared when handling workplace mistreatment reports

Your mission-critical priority as your company’s HR leader is to ensure that your people feel safe. If an employee feels threatened in what should be a safe space, that is an urgent issue that must be addressed immediately. If reports of workplace misconduct such as incidents of harassment or discrimination are responded to and handled poorly, this can have a detrimental effect on your entire organization. Treat the situation with importance by listening to your employee and working to resolve the issue. If you feel ill-equipped to handle the situation, seek assistance from an HR consultant to help you with next steps. By taking your employee’s experience seriously, you will reassure your employee that they matter.

Let Rise help you avoid HR nightmares with our people platform that combines HR, group benefits, and payroll data into one, simple management system. Book a free demo today.

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