HR Strategy

4 HR Mistakes to Avoid on Groundhog Day … and Every Day

By

Rod Lott

| Feb 1, 2017

4 HR Mistakes to Avoid on Groundhog Day … and Every Day

In the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character of Phil Connors finds himself stuck in a time loop that keeps repeating Feb. 2. Brash and egotistical, Phil views the situation as a pass for misconduct, since technically, there is no tomorrow. And if there is no tomorrow, consequences for today’s actions do not exist.

The more he’s forced to re-live the same day, the more he misbehaves. Still, nothing changes beyond his level of mischief. Eventually, Phil begins to change from within, into a humane person whom everyone comes to adore. Only then does the time loop end.

The beauty of Groundhog Day lies in the lesson it portrays: For an outcome to change, the process must change. This rings true, even from an HR perspective. As we celebrate Groundhog Day, let’s review four HR mistakes that employers should avoid … so they don’t get stuck erring time and time again.

  1. Poor Hiring Decisions

A CareerBuilder survey revealed that 69 percent of employers said that a poor hiring decision had put pressure on their company; 24 percent reported a financial cost of more than $50,000 per employee, while 41 percent cited a loss around $25,000.

In a survey by Robert Half International, 39 percent of chief financial officers stated that hiring the wrong employee caused a decline in productivity, with supervisors having to spend 17 percent of their time managing underperformers.

To avoid the cost of a poor fit, it is important to hire the right talent.

  1. Improper Handling of Wage-and-Hour Laws

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the agency collected an average of $730,000 in back wages for employees each day in 2016. The most common areas of wage-and-hour violation include:

  • minimum wage, including for tipped workers
  • overtime, including for salaried-nonexempt employees
  • misclassification of exempt and nonexempt workers
  • paycheck deductions
  • meal and rest break
  • child labor
  • record keeping, including time and labor

To prevent noncompliance, employers must know which of these laws are relevant to their organization, and accurately administer them.

  1. Failure to Provide a Safe Work Environment

In fiscal year 2015, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration performed 35,820 inspections, resulting in 65,044 violations. Of that total, serious violations equaled 47,934, with 527 cases deemed willful violations.

Establishing a culture of safety not only helps with government compliance, but also leads to increased productivity and reduced health care costs, absenteeism and injury rates, according to the American Psychological Association.

  1. Lack of Training and Development

An IBM publication reported that employees who feel they cannot reach their career goals at their present employer are 12 times more likely to quit. New hires are even more vulnerable, at 30 times.

In general, well-trained employees are more confident, capable and productive in their roles. A study of more than 3,100 workplaces by the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce found that just a 10 percent increase in workforce education led to an 8.6 percent rise in total productivity.

Nearly a quarter-century after playing at a theater near you, the comedy Groundhog Day remains a beloved and memorable movie, in part because it drives home the point that its protagonist would not experience positive change until he stopped repeating his mistakes. Similarly, the above four HR mistakes are not only costly for employers, but also luckily avoidable.

About the Author

Rod Lott

As Paycom’s Creative Services Manager, Rod Lott brings more than two decades of experience in marketing, advertising, branding and journalism. A published author and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he has worked with such brands as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sonic Drive-In and OU.

See more posts by Rod Lott