HR Challenges: Top 10 HR Nightmares We Can Help You Avoid

Jun 29, 2023
hr challenges

“There's no dollar sign on piece of mind, this I've come to know.” -Zach Brown Band, Chicken Fried

Here are 10 HR challenges we can help you with… so you have peace of mind!

1. Watching Your Star Performers Quit:

Replacing star performers is expensive and time-consuming. We provide you with lists of employee recognition ideas to help you ensure your employee recognition programs are effective and easy to administer so that your best employees always know how much they are appreciated and stay with you longer! For example, ensuring that recognition is not just an afterthought for managers – but something they are accountable for as part of their performance metrics. And not just any recognition – specific and timely recognition that is meaningful and sincere – and done regularly!

2. Dealing With a Lawsuit:

While we are not lawyers at Expedition HR, we can guide you with HR compliance and ensure you document correctly to avoid lawsuits. Documentation doesn’t need to be time-consuming! It can be as quick as sending yourself an email with the details of an incident right when it happens. Documentation can also be a quick email to an employee after you had a meeting with them about a behavior you’d like them to correct.

3. Negative Workplace Culture/Atmosphere:

Negativity is contagious, and toxic. When it penetrates your office environment, it can be hard to correct. You want to ensure you have a solid employee onboarding process to acclimate new employees to your culture and your values to strive to keep the intentional culture you worked so hard to build in the first place. When you improve your workplace communication and ensure that employee performance issues are addressed early, you will avoid lingering problems, which causes frustration to other employees, disengagement, and a negative work culture.

4. Messy Employee Files:

Knowing HR compliance when it comes to employee file retention is a necessary evil in the workplace. It is crucial to keep employment records and medical records separate, through two separate files for each employee. One should be marked as “employment records” and one should be marked as “medical records.” Further, you will want to make sure you keep good documentation from everything from an employee’s hire details such as a job offer letter, to their performance review paperwork, to their termination date and exit interview - and everything in between.

5. Hiring A Toxic Employee:

Let’s be honest - hiring new employees is always a bit of a gamble! Inevitably, at some point, you’ll make a bad hire that suddenly turns into a toxic employee. The first step is to acknowledge when this happens. Ignoring it will make it worse. Do something about it immediately by addressing the specific behaviors that they are exhibiting that are toxic in a direct and professional way and document that conversation. Use a formal disciplinary write-up as appropriate. Once you set these specific expectations and then do not see quick improvement, you need to decide if you need to part ways. (See more about how to tackle a tough conversation in our blog called 5-Step Formula for Workplace Conflict Resolution.) Another way to do your best to avoid these bad hires is to be intentional about incorporating company values questions into your interview questions. (Typically, if someone is not a values fit, they likely won’t be a fit for your culture overall so these questions can help flush this out.) Avoiding “yes/no” questions and focusing on behavioral “Tell me about a time when” type of questions also aids with getting a better sense of the candidate. These types of questions help you learn about actual situations in this employees work history and how they dealt with it which can be very telling with what type of employee they will turn out to be.

6. Repeat Offenders of your HR Policies:

How to avoid this? Create a handbook and ensure that it includes key policies in your workplace. When you need to enforce the rules, you are in a much better place when you can refer back to a handbook that the employee signed off on during onboarding when they were hired.

7. Misclassifying Employees:

Are your workers W-2 employees or 1099 contractors? These are completely different classifications. In a nutshell, you can manage W-2 employees closely as far as where/when they work, tools they use to do their job, and reporting you require from them. 1099 Contractors use their own equipment, can work where/when they choose, and they are in control of when they report back to you on projects, etc. If you misclassify, it can cost you if audited, and it is not that uncommon to be audited. For more details on this topic, check out our past blog: Are You Sure Your Independent Contractors are Classified Correctly?

8. Discrimination and Harassment:

During employee onboarding, talk about your policies as it relates to these topics. Ask them if they have questions. Hold regular (at least annual) leadership training and company-wide HR training programs on this topic to ensure everyone is clear on expectations for workplace communication and behavior, and what is appropriate and what is not. Be crystal clear with employees about your policies regarding treating their work peers equally and professionally to avoid issues with claims of discrimination and harassment.

9. Having to Frequently Fire Employees:

Firing employees is never something anyone wants to do regularly – or at all! Addressing employee performance issues early will give the employee the best chance to correct the issue. It will also position you so that, if the employee doesn’t work out despite your efforts, you have the right documentation in place to solidly be able to stand behind the termination decision. Also, ensuring that you talk about your culture and workplace values frequently, not only during employee onboarding, will help you recruit and retain the best employees and avoid the need to frequently fire ill-fitted employees! Inevitably, someday you will need to fire someone and don’t beat yourself up when this happens – it happens to the best of us! We have you covered if this does happen in our recent blog called How to Fire Someone in 6 Steps.

10. Struggling to Find the Best Job Candidate:

The best way to avoid struggles when trying to find the best fit for a position is to provide interview skills training to your hiring manager. Even if your inbox is filled with job applications, you still have to have a solid interview process in order to find a candidate with the right skills, attitude, and experience to do the job. Remember those values-based interview questions and the “Tell me about a time when” behavioral questions and you will be off on the right foot. Also, helping managers to craft great interview questions based on the job description for the role will ensure they make the most of the interview time and give them the best chance at securing the right candidate the first time!

Luckily, you can avoid these HR nightmares by taking the proper steps to begin with. One way to have the support and resources to know what these steps are is to become an Expedition HR Subscriber or participate in the next HR Jumpstart Training Program. Or, consider having us speak at your next company event or scheduling one of our Leadership Trainings. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


How to Get Started With Expedition HR


Join the HR Subscription to receive comprehensive and affordable Human Resources Support. The subscription is ideal for for small businesses and non-profit organizations.

As a subscriber, you...

  • Receive on-demand HR Consulting and other HR Services for a fraction of the cost to hire a full time HR employee
  • Have the support and knowledge to deal with workplace conflict
  • Know exactly what phrasing to use for tough conversations with your employees
  • Have extra time in your day because you have immediate access to the right HR forms, checklists, and tools (no more Googling HR forms!)
  • Have an expert to guide you with how to fire someone when the need arises
  • Know how to better manage employee performance
  • Understand HR Compliance
  • Have peace of mind

Schedule a Free Consult  or email us.

Book a Free Consult