The scope, complexity and effects of HR’s functions have continued to increase strain on landscaping companies. To help, I put together the following “abbreviated” key HR issues necessary to maintain legal compliance, employee engagement and company success.
1) Does the company revise and distribute its employee handbook to all employees every year?
2) Does the company require each employee to sign the at-will and employee handbook receipt acknowledgment form every year?
3) Does the company require each employee to sign an arbitration agreement before beginning employment?
4) Does the company require each employee to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement before beginning employment?
5) Does the company have suitable employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) coverage?
6) Does the company conduct an external audit of its active and inactive I-9 Forms each year?
7) Have all “independent contractors” signed the company’s independent contractor agreement?
8) Does the company have a written strategic business plan (revenue, operational, human resources, safety goals) in place?
9) Does the company have two written organizational charts (current and 18 months in the future) in place?
10) Does the company have a written annual HR calendar in place?
11) Does the company have an annual staffing plan in place?
12) Does the company president meet with all of the employees as a group at least twice a year?
13) Does the company have two personnel files (one job-related, the other confidential) for every employee?
14) Has every employee received a current job description?
15) Has every employee been formally classified as either FLSA exempt or FLSA non-exempt?
16) Has every employee received a written performance appraisal during the past year?
17) Does every desired candidate receive a conditional job offer letter?
18) Does the company have a legally-compliant time card with the three legal attestations (injuries, meal periods, accurate hours) on it?
19) Does the company have a legally-compliant paycheck stub?
20) Does the company have acceptable pay ranges for specific job classifications for every position?
21) Does the company review its compensation, incentive and commission programs each year?
22) Does the company have a formal rewards and recognition program in place?
23) Does the company have a formal new employee orientation program in place?
24) Have all supervisors received interviewer training in the past year?
25) Have all supervisors received performance appraisal training in the past year?
26) Have all supervisors received employment law training in the past year?
27) Does the company do formal supervisory training each year?
28) Does the company have a formal field operations training program in place?
29) Has the company conducted an employee opinion survey during the past two years?
30) Is the company part of a workers’ compensation-approved medical provider network?
31) Does the company have the OSHA 300 and 300A Forms and workers’ compensation loss run reports for the past five years on site?
32) Does the company conduct monthly claims’ review meetings with its workers’ compensation provider?
33) Does the company have OSHA-compliant training (tailgate, fire prevention) in place?
34) Does the company have a full-time safety coordinator in place?
35) Does the company have a series of written safety audit procedures (weekly, monthly, annually) in place?
36) Does the company have all legally-required state and federal employment posters in place?
37) Does the company have an accurate leaves of absence tracking program (vacation, sick leave, FMLA) in place?
38) Does the company have legally-compliant records retention guidelines in place?
39) Does the company have written procedures (selection, investigations, discipline) in place?
40) Does the company conduct monthly audits of its benefits, payroll, and administrative programs?
Follow-up. This audit should be conducted annually prior to the company’s strategic planning session. With that context in mind, every audit item receiving a “no” response should be placed onto an action plan list, with an identified point person, allocated resources, organizational priority and specified timeline for completion.
With the results of this audit in place, landscapers can begin to improve the quality of their HR programs.
Steve Cesare is an industrial psychologist with the Harvest Group, a landscape consulting group. www.harvestlandscapeconsulting.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.