During the first six months of 2017, we have noticed a healthy rebound in employment, wage and productivity statistics as well as a flurry of hopeful economic indicators. As we enter the hot summer months, HR professionals must deal with a unique set of personnel issues and also cast an eye to the manpower needs of the next six months. To survive the summer and set your organization up for success in the second part of the year, here are some things to address now:
Conduct mid-year performance reviews
A mid-year review allows supervisors a formal opportunity to check in with team members and exchange updates and ideas. Management and staff can evaluate progress and make goal adjustments if organizational or departmental needs have changed. Managers should provide positive feedback on accomplishments to date and constructive feedback on areas where performance may be lacking.
Finalize summer vacation requests
In a perfect world, summer vacation requests have already been turned in, evaluated, and granted or deferred. But in reality, managers may be confronted with the last minute deluge of requests which leaves the team periodically shorthanded through the summer months. Whether your company uses seniority or a first-come, first-served method to grant time off, be sure the process is consistent to avoid conflict or liability. Managers should create a vacation calendar and a backup list for everyone on the team in anticipation of summer absences. Consider hiring temporary workers if the workload can’t be effectively covered by the remaining staff.
Address summer dress code issues
As soon as the weather heats up, management must inevitably deal with employees who push the boundaries of appropriate workplace attire. If flip-flops and spaghetti straps are not acceptable, take the time now to outline the rules of summer attire in your workplace.
Evaluate jobs for interns, minors, and summer hires
At companies across the U.S., summer means hiring interns, minors, or seasonal workers who are tasked with a myriad of jobs from answering phones to managing company social media campaigns. Federal guidelines define what makes an intern an “employee” as opposed to a “trainee, will be” and a company could face considerable penalties if the rules are not followed. There are also federal regulations on age and job restriction for minors. The start of the summer is a good time for HR professionals to review their companies’ policies on these types of summer hires to ensure that they are in compliance with government requirements.
DOL Fact Sheet on Interns: https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm
DOL info on Child Labor: https://www.dol.gov/whd/childlabor.htm
Review summer safety guidelines
If employees are working outside during the summer, employers should provide tips for staying safe in the sun and heat. Although OSHA does not have a specific standard that covers working in hot environments, the OSHA Act requires employers to protect workers from recognized serious hazards in the workplace, including heat-related hazards. Clarify rules and guidelines regarding safety, breaks, and emergency procedures.
OSHA guidelines on Heat Exposure: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatstress/standards.html
Anticipate upcoming seasonal employee needs
Most businesses have predictable cycles of high and low activity and HR professionals must be at the forefront of anticipating and fulfilling staffing needs accordingly. Take a moment to review previous years ‘cycles, communicate with management, and determine if you will need to ramp up or cut back on recruiting in the coming months. If your organization anticipates needing more manpower in the latter half of the year, start the recruiting pipeline now.
Keep the recruiting pipeline full
Review and update job descriptions as they pertain to the second half of the year. Some roles or responsibilities may have been added, removed, or changed, so use the most current job description to ensure that you are attracting the right candidates. Refresh the recruiting information on your corporate website, remind employees about any referral incentives, and reach out to placement agencies so they are better prepared to serve your upcoming staffing needs.
The experts at VIP Staffing are here to address your seasonal, short-term or long-term staffing needs.