Making HR audits meaningful

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on what went well this past year and what may need to be revisited. There are many different reasons to assess your HR practices and conduct an audit. Whether you are part of a growing start-up, a company that has reached the milestone of 50 employees, or an established organization looking to ensure HR is strategically aligned to goals, an HR audit will help you determine compliance and the overall efficiency of the human resource function.

When conducting an assessment, there are several key areas you will want to take a look at:

  • Legal compliance
  • Employment practices
  • Performance management
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Payroll
  • Termination
  • Record keeping

When identifying gaps, it is also very important to look at how your company — or whether your company — is actually upholding its own policies and procedures. Checking a box on an audit list is not enough; you will also need to examine if you are walking your talk. A true assessment will include a reality check on just how things are done. Look hard and look deep to ensure you are working smartly.

Once the assessment is papered, you will need to prioritize action items. Correcting compliance matters should top your list, as violations can be costly. Next, target any inadequacies in each area, and decide strategically what requires attention and when. It’s OK to pick the low-hanging fruit first, but then prioritize based on company goals and budget. Implementing best practices wraps it up.

The decision to complete an HR audit should not be taken lightly. You will need to determine who will complete the assessment internally or if an outsourced solution makes sense. Set a timeline and goals you want to achieve for your end result. And most importantly, act on your findings. An audit does no good if it just sits there.

For an audit template or assistance with your internal audit, contact us.