SHRM Offers Members Free ‘How-to’ Guides

By SHRM Online staff Oct 14, 2009
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The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has launched a group of free products designed to give members step-by-step guidance for tasks on such topics as writing a business plan, retaining and filing I-9 forms, and conducting a layoff or reduction in force.

Nine how-to guides becameavailable the week of Sept. 28, 2009. They address the areas of benefits, business leadership, employee relations, safety and security, and staffing management. Approximately 10 other guides were expected to be available by the end of 2009. Titles rolled out in September 2009 are:

  • How to Calculate the FMLA Rolling Year Method (benefits).
  • How to Write a Business Plan (business leadership).
  • How to Develop an Employee Handbook (employee relations).
  • How to Establish a Performance Improvement Plan (employee relations).
  • How to Handle Communicable Diseases in the Workplace (safety and security).
  • Documenting Reasonable Suspicion (safety and security).
  • How to Conduct a Layoff or Reduction in Force (staffing management).
  • How to Develop a Job Description (staffing management).
  • How to Retain and File I-9 Forms (staffing management).

They have been developed with HR professionals in mind, “to help them execute new processes for themselves or audit a current one to help them stay legally compliant,” said Shari Lau, SPHR-CA, GPHR, who is a SHRM HR knowledge advisor. Lau developed the template for the guides with a team of SHRM HR Knowledge Center advisors.

The new guides are for HR professionals at all career levels. Organizational cutbacks, for example, might require senior HR professionals to tackle responsibilities they never had or have not performed in years, Lau pointed out. They are a good audit tool as well as instructional tool, she added.

SHRM HR Knowledge Advisor Angela Collis, SPHR, noted that the guides, which include workplace examples, are different from SHRM toolkits in that “these offer a step-by-step process on how to accomplish a specific HR task. A toolkit tends to be very broad and covers every aspect of that topic and doesn’t give specifics on how to do something.”

Collis, who led the team that researched and wrote the guides, takes calls from 30 to 50 SHRM members daily. The member contact she and other team members experience influenced the topics chosen for the guides; there were plans for several more by the end of 2009.

Those topics will focus more on practical methods for accomplishing strategic HR. It’s a reflection, she said, of the economy’s impact as organizations turn to HR for such tasks as determining if the employer’s process is efficient and using employees’ abilities effectively.

The guides are available only to SHRM members, who can access them for free from SHRM’s web site in a downloadable Microsoft Word document format.

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