Everything The CEO Optometrist Needs To Know About HR – Bonus!

BONUS SECTION…

Shared from wheniwork.com

In part 1 of this blog series, I gave you an overview of what HR is and why understanding it is important for your practice.  In part 2, I showed you how to implement a good HR strategy in your practice and also gave you links to tools you can use to create your own manual. In part 3, I told you what mistakes to avoid. Now in our bonus section, I’m going to give you a few pointers about HR and Technology. Ready! Let’s get started!

Human Resources And Technology

Technology has changed the face and scope of human resources. Online and social media activity of employees has added entire new categories of rules and restrictions for small businesses, and opened the doors to understanding employees more than ever before.

Let’s look into a few key areas.

 

1. Social Media Research and Monitoring

 

It is becoming more common for employers to dig into potential employee social media activity to learn more about their digital footprint.  This has scared many people into cleaning up their online presence, because of the growing trend of employers avoiding employees that have no social presence.

There are questions employers cannot ask of their potential or current employees in person or in writing. However, some employers are trying to circumvent that by using social media research to discover that same information.

While there is nothing to keep an employer from performing an online search on the web and on specific social networks (53% of employers now do it), be aware that you should not ask a potential or current employee for their social media login information in order to dig into their life. By doing so, you are likely breaking the social network’s terms of service, and you are crossing the line as far as employee privacy is concerned.

What an employee puts out for the public to see might be open game (but not always), but forcing an employee to turn over passwords or insist that they add you as a friend in order to gain access to private information is not acceptable. States are individually passing laws to make this a legal issue. Despite this, a 2015 Harris Poll revealed that 35% of employers send friend requests to potential employees.

In regards to monitoring, hopefully you’ve included in your employee handbook your expectations of how employees handle work-related social media accounts, whether they are accessing the official account of the practice or are using an account under the auspices of being a representation of the practice.

While you cannot really control what an employee does on their private social accounts on their own time, you should have a clear policy of what they can do on your time and on any accounts associated with your practice. Tread carefully in how you use social media in hiring and discipline. Before you fire an employee because of social media activity, do some investigating first.

 

2. Overwhelmed By Technology

 

Employees, particularly those who are telecommuting, can easily feel overwhelmed by (and because of) technology. Lines are blurred between work life and personal life because mobile devices and connectivity allow us to answer emails and deal with work issues at any moment.

If your practice is one that encourages this kind of dedication, be sure that your hiring procedures make this clear. Otherwise, let your employees know in the employee handbook that you do not expect nor want constant connectivity.

Here’s an example of such a policy:

[Practice Name] employees are expected to use technology responsibly and productively as necessary for their jobs. Internet access and e-mail use is for job-related activities; however, minimal personal use is acceptable.

Employees may not use [Company Name]’s Internet, e-mail or other electronic communications to transmit, retrieve or store any communications or other content of a defamatory, discriminatory, harassing or pornographic nature. No messages with derogatory or inflammatory remarks about an individual’s race, age, disability, religion, national origin, physical attributes or sexual preference may be transmitted. Harassment of any kind is prohibited.

Disparaging, abusive, profane or offensive language and any illegal activities—including piracy, cracking, extortion, blackmail, copyright infringement and unauthorized access to any computers on the Internet or e-mail—are forbidden.

 

3. HR Data Security

 

You have a responsibility to keep your employee’s data secure. As with any data, technology has provided a door for those wanting to get their hands on that information using everything from malware-infected resumes to well-publicized data breaches.

As a small business, you probably don’t think this affects you. And, if you are using paper files and a locked room, you may be right. Most practices, though, keep files on computers and in the cloud. If this is the case, you are responsible to make sure that computers and software are password protected using strong passwords, that backup hard drives are not easily accessible, and that any cloud backup is encrypted.

 

4. HR From Anywhere

 

Even if your practice isn’t made up of many locations, you can still benefit from the cloud-based HR apps that are available. Time management, employee tracking, and recruiting and hiring are all part of where technology-saturated HR is headed.

As with any cloud app, you get the benefits (no updates, no installations, access from any computer) without the hassle. Here are a just a few, in an ever-growing list:

NetSuite: A robust app that provides nearly everything you’d need to handle your HR. Employee leave and development, notes, resources, job postings — it’s all there.

BambooHR: Another app that has nearly everything you need, from time tracking to benefits to custom reports to records storage.

EffortlessHR: This app works like an employee portal, making it the central place for employees to get mail, track time, and store other information.

TimeSheets: This app focuses mostly on tracking time and pay, with a few other features thrown in. This is the one we use in my practice.

WhenIWork: Make scheduling who works when much easier with this mobile app that gives both you and your employees a sense of ownership over the schedule.

 

5. HR Resources and Help

 

As a small business owner, it’s pretty easy to feel overwhelmed at this point, but there are a lot of HR resources available to you.

SHRM: The Society For Human Resource Management has a website full of extremely helpful articles. Whether you choose to join SHRM or just read their articles regularly, you’ll find a lot of information to put to use.

DOL: If your business is in the United States, you’ll want to use the U.S. Department of Labor website to research and find answers to questions of compliance.

 

Conclusion

 

Having your human resources program and policies in order as early as possible sets you up to deal with the inevitable problems that arise as your practice grows. Employee complaints, legal issues, and clear communication all depend on your HR department to sort things out.

There is a lot more to learn when it comes to HR. For more advanced HR reading, check our the following articles on the web – HR best practicestalent managementemployee experience, and HR innovation

I hope you found value in this article and will come back for part 3 next week. You will definitely want to check it out.  In it, I’m going to tell you the 5 Human Resources mistakes you need to avoid.  So, stay tuned!

If you are reading this and you’re thinking, “Lauretta, this all sounds great. But I need help putting my manual together. I don’t want to do this alone.”  If that’s you, then I’ve got good news for you.  In my CEO of YOU™ consulting program for private practices, I do help you create a custom employee manual for your practice.  So, if you need help, sign up for my consulting program today.

Stay tuned our next series – How to create a SHIELD for your practice! You’ve worked so hard to build your practice, you have to protect your legacy from vicious predators. That is the focus of our next series, so stay tuned! Until then, remember to Dream Big, Take Risks and become the CEO of YOU™!

Want to take your practice to the next level? Sign up for the CEO of YOU™ Consulting program for private Optometry practices.