9 essential documents for the Human Resources Department
Human Resources departments are intuitively powered by empathy and interpersonal skills. And this remains true, yet the companies require multiple documents to ensure the smooth and efficient operations. That’s why we delivered a list of documents maintained by HR.
One of the key challenges for Human Resources departments around the world is to deliver measurable and consistent proof of their performance. Some aspects of work can be reflected in churn or new employee acquisition. On the other hand, though, the HR dept is in charge of multiple day-to-day activities that deliver little to no opportunity for providing a quantifiable output.
It is the HR depts responsibility to build the culture or maintain the smooth day to day work of employees. And this is what all the procedures codified in HR documentation are delivered for. If the procedure is properly designed and followed, all the non-measurable goals of the HR dept are met. And if not – the procedure is the codified instruction that can be updated if the bottleneck is spotted.
Documents and procedures serve also as a guide and day-to-day support for the department, providing references and sources for their operations.
Essential documents required for HR departments
There are many documents and document templates that every HR team may need. Just no name the key ones:
One of the essential HR documents, a job profile is a detailed document that holds the key information about the position to be filled. It has recently overtaken the job description when it comes to popularity. The job profile delivers clear information for the potential employee if one is qualified enough to work and what will be key responsibilities.
What is a job profile?
Job profile is rather about the job to be done than the position to be filled. Contrary to the job description, the job profile focuses on the goals to be achieved and what needs to be fulfilled. By that, this document is more to-the-ground and detailed than the job description. An ideal job profile includes:
- Key responsibilities,
- Necessary skills,
- The physical demands of the job,
- Level and department,
- Pay range information.
How to prepare a job profile
In the ideal world, it would have been developed by a team of employees who either understand the needs of the organization or have a deep knowledge of the needs of the organization.
When the company consists of founders and an assistant, there is little to no to be memorized. Yet in every organization, there is a high potential for chaos and confusion to thrive. The organizational chart is one of the simplest ways to avoid it.
What is an organizational chart?
An organizational chart is the visual representation of the organization, possibly with all jobs, teams, and departments possible. The role of the organizational chart is to deliver reliable and consistent information regarding the structure, the responsibilities, and the teams engaged in the organization.
How to prepare an organizational chart
This one is a tricky question. The best answer is “the chart needs to reflect the organization”. If there is a strong hierarchy, with C-levels, directors, managers, and specialists, each reporting to each, the chart will look like a pyramid. On the other hand, if the company is flat, for example using the holacracy framework, the organization chart would be flat and wide.
Setting a fair level of compensation for work is not an easy task – multiple companies have good specialists paid less as well as multiple other ones that offer much more money. Also, the team needs to ensure that everyone is paid fairly and according to his or her skills – and that’s what salary structure tackles.
What is the salary structure?
While a salary range applies to a particular position, a salary structure shows the level of compensation for a particular position. In the simplest form, it is a list of positions with pay ranges included. A good salary structure is frequently (at least once a year) updated to.
How to prepare a salary structure
In the most common approach, the salary structure is based on the market pricing method, where the company either gathers the data by itself or uses the information from the business intelligence companies.
A more sophisticated version of the salary structure includes information about the value provided by the benefits of paid leave.
Apart from the compensation, the company usually offers a set of benefits for the employees. Depending on the size, the industry, and multiple other factors, There are also benefits delivered for every employee or only a group of them. Also, there may be a set of benefits that are offered with no additional cost (for example paid leave) or where the employee participates (for example a retirement plan).
What is the benefits overview?
A benefits overview is enumerating the benefits with a detailed description and information about the costs and effects for the employed. This particular HR doc is a single source of truth regarding the benefits one can access in his or her job.
How to prepare a benefits overview
While pretty straightforward at first glance, delivering a comprehensive and reliable benefits overview requires a good deal of paperwork and digging through rules and documentation. It needs to be prepared using a simple, comprehensible language.
Again, the document that is pretty intuitive and straightforward when it comes to monoethnic and single-culture teams becomes a greater puzzle for a distributed and multicultural team.
What is the holiday schedule?
The holiday schedule is a list of upcoming holidays of any sort, including state and religious ones. Also, these contain information on whether the day is expected to be a day off or not. When combined with the information about the localization of the employee it can be used to plan some work and time off ahead.
The information can also be significant from a social point of view. For example, it may be a faux pas to prepare a company-wide celebration during Ramadan.
How to prepare a holiday schedule
This can be done by asking the employees about the state and religious holidays they wish to include in the calendar and marking these. This is probably the safest and most inclusive way to prepare a holiday calendar.
This is a key one. Performance metrics are fair and unbiased ways to verify if the employee delivers the results. Similar to the pay range and salary structure, the performance metrics need to be closely monitored and aligned with the particular position.
What is a performance metric?
A performance metric is usually a numerical value that can be tracked and which delivers an indication of the performance of the employee. Depending on the position and the nature of work to be delivered, these metrics vary.
How to prepare a performance metric
A good practice is to establish performance metrics with the employees, to track their progress. Also, the manager needs to be involved in setting the metrics. Last but not least, the metrics set for a particular employee should be aligned with the overall company goals. Thus, once set, the metric is not carved in stone forever, but may (or may not) be adjusted when needed.
Time and attendance policy
The time and attendance policy codifies the approach to time tracking, attendance, and the flexibility of the employment. While for most employees these matters can be considered obvious, this knowledge needs to be codified to avoid confusion, support onboarding practices, and be a point of reference when resolving conflicts.
What is the time and attendance policy?
The policy needs to include information about what is encouraged, discouraged, or prohibited regarding the time and attendance. For example, whether it is permitted to take an hour off during the day or if one needs to announce being Away From Keyboard (AFK).
If there is software used to track time and attendance (for example – Calamari), the policy needs to include the rules of using it, good practices, and guidance regarding the mistakes done during tracking the time.
How to prepare a time and attendance policy
To not overcomplicate the matters, the time and attendance policy needs to include the rules regarding being late to work, overtime, undertime, working over hours, and the means used to track the time.
The policy needs to be updated on the regular basis to include the common challenges and changes faced during the work. For example – is one allowed to work over hours or balance the over hours by going out earlier or granting an additional day off mandatory.
Hybrid work policy
Following the time and attendance policy, the hybrid work policy aims to codify the ways the employees are allowed to work from home or the office.
What is a hybrid work policy?
The hybrid work policy contains information on the company’s approach toward hybrid work. For example, it is about the number of mandatory office days, remote days allowed or the software used to collaborate.
The policy needs also to include information on resolving the eventual conflicts or dealing with different time zones.
How to prepare a hybrid work policy
Again, the best way to prepare this policy is to closely collaborate with the employees and check their preferences. Also, the policy needs to include the company goals that need to be achieved by implementing remote work.
Onboarding and offboarding procedures
Last but not least, the onboarding and offboarding procedures need to be codified as a document. The onboarding and offboarding experiences are crucial for the employer branding, and by that are a strong focus of the HR department.
What is onboarding
Onboarding is a process of introducing the employee into the company. This includes all the software access and allowance, HR documents for new employees, the tour around the company, and the involvement of buddies.
A properly done onboarding process shortens the time the employee gets productive in the company and introduces him or her to the culture in a smoother way.
What is offboarding
Offboarding, by contrast, is the process of letting the employee go, either laid off or one who decided to change the job. The process includes the exit interview, the security matters, and the overall vibe of the process that builds the employer brand in the mind of the employee.
How to prepare onboarding and offboarding procedures
These procedures are forged in years of practice and are one of these HR documents in a checklist format that need to be followed every time. In this particular matter, the experiences and good practices gathered throughout the process are the key information. Keeping them codified ensures continuity in the HR processes.
Running the smooth and seamless HR processes are challenging at least, overwhelming at most. Modern software solutions like Calamari enable the companies to make this matter easier and allow the team to focus on the tasks that require more creativity and effort, like talent sourcing or maintaining the company culture, cutting out the HR paperwork.
If you wish to talk more about the documents the Human Resources department needs and how to facilitate its operations, don’t hesitate to contact us now!
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