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November 19, 2018 in HR

Creating an Effective HR Incident Reporting Process

The workforce is more digitally savvy than ever. Your employees are in touch and well-informed. They are keeping close track of their own schedules, vacation time, sick days, benefits, and more. They are also very familiar with their rights, including what should happen and not happen in the workplace.

Smart bosses encourage connectivity and a highly educated staff. This approach brings clear advantages—it improves productivity in the workplace and creates leaders.

Another way to build that same environment is to create and maintain a high-quality HR incident reporting process. In this piece, we’ll share our top tips for generating high-quality incident reports that have a positive effect on workplace culture and attitudes (this is possible even when the incident itself is negative in nature).

We will also show you how these tips can make everyone happier to come to work and help them grow from past experiences. One major factor is the difference between a comprehensive and a non-comprehensive HR system, and we will explain why taking your system online is an excellent way to make incident reporting work convenient.

An estimated 50 percent of our customers come to us for help after an incident has taken place, and they tell us they want to be better prepared the next time around. Following most incidents involving employees, a human relations representative must respond appropriately. That “appropriate response” usually includes a number of forms and other paperwork—but a proactive approach also includes effective communication, training, consistent feedback, and more, detailed below.

While some of what we’ve listed below is legally mandated for most companies, we also recommend going the extra mile, even when it is not required by law.

HR Reporting Requirements

HR incidents reports fall into two categories: Injuries and illnesses. In both cases, there is a required amount of reporting by law. Any injury or illness that impacts a person’s ability to work must be noted. If you’re not sure about how federal or state laws affect your HR department and its duties, you can take a look around here. While there are a few exceptions which exempt certain small businesses, we recommend always following the criteria below to maintain excellent records and best serve your hardworking staff.

So much of the work can be done before an incident occurs. Below are five simple steps to help deal with a staff event by staying proactive in your approach. A solid employee incident report is only one piece of the puzzle.

  1. Document the Safety Incident Management Reporting Process

Give your HR department the opportunity to detail both the necessary steps and to identify the people responsible for taking those steps well in advance. If this process can be created within an automated system and kept online, it is much easier to accomplish. Calendar or system alerts can be set up to move the exercise along so that things happen in a timely manner, and in the correct order.

  1. Train Your HR Staff

There are many training programs which can contribute to a well-informed HR team. Subjects as diverse as sexual harassment, emergency incident preparedness, and how to handle extended family or maternity leave can help managers know exactly what to do when the unplanned occurs. An online training system is helpful here as well; automated notifications upon completion are sent to higher-ups so that they do not need to waste time asking for results.

  1. Dedicate Communication Channels

The world we live in can be a frightening place; we have to constantly remind managers how important it is to keep employees safe. Developing a workplace where people feel like they can come to you with concerns is crucial. An open-door policy, dedicated communication channels, and a calm, even-handed response to issues send the signal to everyone that they can feel comfortable discussing potential issues with their bosses.

  1. Share Learning Points

Sharing what you’ve learned after an employee incident also strengthens your ability to deal with similar situations in the future. Your partners in the administration should have access to all pertinent details of an incident within the company’s recent history. These records also come in handy during any type of litigation or charges brought against either the company or its employees.

It would be a mistake, however, to attempt to contain these conversations within your company’s highest ranks. Sharing learning points also means taking the time to implement office or HR policy changes in reaction to the incident, and offering appropriate conversation access with your entire staff on the subject.

  1. Build a Feedback Loop

Finish addressing the problem by creating a feedback loop. It’s a good idea to close out the incident by touching base with the people involved. Did an employee file a report? Were there people made uncomfortable or unhappy as a result of what took place? What needs to be done so that they feel good about coming to work again? This feedback loop demonstrates to every single individual on your payroll that their voice and opinion matters, and it is not taken lightly.

Communication is Key

An automated HR portal can do the following, and much more:

  • Protect both you and your employees from audits and lawsuits
  • Keep all relevant parties fully informed of incidents
  • Increase confidence among employees that you are prepared to take the right steps in any situation
  • Access important records with the click of a button

It’s not uncommon for our clients to decide to team up with us during periods of major transition or growth within their companies. Rather than lose control due to an unfortunate accident or event, they know they need to automate many of their HR responsibilities in order to keep tasks on target as they make drastic changes.

When you create an online self-service portal, everyone at the admin level has access to each report the moment it is filed, along with a customizable notification system to provide alerts. The system is also designed to flag an incomplete or incorrectly completed HR report, so that incidents do not fall through the cracks.

It’s hard to overestimate how much time and money these measures can save. It will also ensure that you are never caught unprepared by an unexpected event that impacts your bottom line.

Let us help you to be proactive in setting up effective workplace accident reporting policies. Take a look at the automated HR services offered by PC Payroll here.

Sign up for a free demo!