A List of Employer Responsibilities to Employees

November 14, 2019

Employees work for their employer, but the employer must still do certain things for them. Here is a list of employer responsibilities to employees.

Image of a business woman holding up a checklist.

Let’s talk about employee and employer responsibilities. We’ve all heard the saying, “Ask not what your employer can do for you, but what you can do for your employer.” Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly how the quote goes. However, there is some truth to it. For instance, an employee’s responsibility is to help a business grow and prosper. 

The Road of Responsibilities Runs in Two Directions

Consequently, success at work can lead to feelings of increased confidence and satisfaction. These feelings can positively affect other areas of an employee’s life. Therefore, employer responsibilities to employees are equally as important.

So, what are some of these employer responsibilities? For starters, employers owe employees compensation for work completed. Besides this, employers should communicate the most current information to employees. The information they need to communicate pertains to employee roles, benefits, and compensation, among other things. Furthermore, they should be communicating information in a timely manner.

These items, however, are far from the only responsibilities an employer has to employees. Let’s dive into what you can be doing as an organization to make sure you are taking care of your employees. After all, they are working to take care of you.

List of Employer Responsibilities

So, you might be scratching your head right now. Are you wondering what responsibilities you have to your employees? Well, some of these items are simply good things to do. On the other hand, some of these things could end in legal trouble, if not properly minded.

Not to keep you in the dark, here are some items you should be sure you are doing:

Must-Do 1: Interview a variety of candidates.

When you post a position within your company, the goal is to have the best person fill that position. However, sometimes the interview with the first candidate goes well. Then, you decide right away that you want to extend an offer. Other times, you’ve felt pressured to hire a boss’s friend or relative. Either way, those are two practices you should avoid during the hiring process. Specifically, discrimination and nepotism. The best way to handle this is to be sure to interview a variety of candidates before making a decision.

Must-Do 2: Provide new hire paperwork in a timely manner.

The stack of paperwork a new hire must complete is pretty impressive. Since the new hire is filling a vacant position, you might want the person to start immediately. However, there are certain documents you must have employees complete immediately. For example, the Form I-9 and the W-4. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to begin background checks as soon as possible. Additionally, don’t forget to provide the new hire with a copy of the Employee Handbook.

Must-Do 3: Train new employees.

Again, when you have a vacant position to fill you are ready to rock and roll. You want to get the new employee up and running! Nevertheless, it is unwise to forego training. Even if your employee is an industry veteran, he/she could still gain a lot from a pre-fab training seminar. At minimum, discuss things such as dress code, conflict resolution, and harassment policies.

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Must-Do 4: Provide professional development opportunities. 

Many employers forget that it is easy for employees to slip into a complacent attitude when they become stagnant in their role.  Provide employees opportunities for professional development. Then, they can continuously sharpen their skills and learn new skills.   

Must-Do 5: Update employees of benefits changes.

Each year, there are many changes to things like healthcare and retirement account contributions. For example, it is not uncommon for minimum or maximum contribution amounts change. Furthermore, sometimes there are additional products you can purchase with FSA funds. It is the employer’s responsibility to notify employees of these types of changes.

Must-Do 6: Remind employees of company matching for retirement accounts.

Speaking of retirement contributions, many companies generously match contributions to retirement accounts. It is your responsibility to keep employees updated about matching percentages. If your employees know that you are matching, it is likely that they will want to contribute.

Must-Do 7: Assist fairly with HR-related issues.

Life happens. So, when you have a workers’ compensation claim, you must assist. This also goes for leave requests and accrual information. Additionally, you must assist fairly. While workers’ compensation claims are costly for your company, they are your responsibility. Be respectful, and be fair.

Must-Do 8: Appropriately terminate employees.

Keeping fairness in mind, there will come times when you must terminate an employee. In those situations, whether firing or laying off, avoid discrimination. The best way to do this is to make sure you remain professional in your interactions. Also, provide the necessary termination paperwork. Finally, see that your employees receive an exit interview.

Must-Do 9: Manage managers.

While it might seem unnecessary, part of your responsibility is managing your managers. No one is exempt from coaching, and no one is too important to answer to no one. Everyone must answer to someone. So be purposeful about checking in with your managers. Make sure they are managing their portion of the business appropriately. After all, ignorance is not bliss in business. So don’t turn a blind eye and assume they are making all the right decisions.

Must-Do 10: Encourage social-emotional learning. 

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is a learning process that is being encouraged in many schools across America.  However, this process translates well into the workplace.  Essentially, SEL teaches soft skills that help employees function better in the workplace.  These skills include active listening, self-control, and conflict resolution.  When employers implement training programs that help employees understand SEL, they see a notable decrease in problematic behaviors.

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Staying on Top of Employer Responsibilities

Image of an employer staying on top of his responsibilities.
Image by Mohamed Hassan | Source

Now, these items are not the only responsibilities you have to your employees.  So, it can be quite a chore trying to keep up with everything you need to oversee.  Nevertheless, dropping the ball isn’t an option.  So, here are some suggestions for managing your responsibilities to your employees.

  • Divide and Conquer – Allow other departments to spearhead some of the responsibilities.  For example, put the HR or training department in charge of planning and implementing professional development opportunities.  Then you can have them report back to you with quantitative data.  Make sure to provide those departments with all the necessary tools to handle the task effectively.
  • Set Calendar Reminders – At the start of each year, set automatic reminders to check in on the items on your list, so that nothing slips through the cracks.
  • Keep up with Important Information – Changes to contribution amounts for things such as retirement and health savings accounts can happen annually.  Additionally, labor laws are constantly changing.  So, stay apprised of the most current information. This way, you will avoid passing along outdated information to your employees. Then, you’ll remain in compliance with labor laws. 

You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours

At the end of the day, the employer-employee relationship should be mutually beneficial. In other words, you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.

It’s true that the purpose of having employees is to employ a labor force. However, employers have responsibilities to employees, too. Employers need to be mindful of their responsibilities to employees. So, they need to put measures in place to make sure they are managing those responsibilities. Since the list of responsibilities is long, and it can be overwhelming, dividing the list among capable departments can help lighten the load.  Furthermore, the HR department can assist in keeping things in compliance with the labor laws.  Finally, keep a quid pro quo attitude. If you are good to your employees, chances are your employees will be good to you.

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