10 Must-Have HR Forms Even Small Businesses Should Have

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Some small business owners let HR take the backseat to other priorities and wait until they find themselves in a pickle before they realize the importance of proper documentation. With small businesses, most people can’t afford to employ a full-time HR person, but no worries, you have me (Heather)! So, let’s jump into your must-have HR forms.

You may never find your business in a pickle, and to that, I say, “Congratulations!” However, making sure all of your bases are covered is the best practice, and one of the best ways to cover your bases is documentation. Documentation, especially when signed by employees and employers, creates clear communication and expectations.

Must-Have Forms During The Hiring Process

The hiring process is a key step in the employee journey. It allows you to showcase why an employee would want to work with your company and find the perfect candidate. There are many things you can do to improve your hiring process and create a positive experience for your company and candidates, but the name of the game here is documentation!

#1 Offer Letter 

Before the excitement of welcoming a new team member begins, it’s essential to formalize the job offer with an offer letter. This document outlines key details such as the position, salary, start date, and any other relevant terms and conditions. An offer letter provides a legal foundation for the employment relationship.

Documents to make your Employee Onboarding Smooth and Seamless

It goes (almost) without saying that to onboard an employee successfully, you need to provide and collect all federal and state documentation. Most common is a Form W-4 and a Form I-9, but also specific documentation for your health care plans or retirement plans. These forms are legally required and, therefore, not negotiable. Your documentation process shouldn’t stop there if you hope to have a successful onboarding journey.

#2 Handbook Acknowledgment Form 

Have employees sign an acknowledgment form stating they have received, read, and understood the company’s employee handbook. This helps establish expectations and communicates company policies.

#3 Receipt of Company Property 

Equipment, tools, or other company property provided to employees should be documented using this form. This ensures a comprehensive record of items issued to each employee and aids in the proper retrieval and accountability of all assets during the separation process.

#4 Employee Emergency Contact List
Collect and maintain up-to-date emergency contact information for each employee. This is crucial for situations requiring quick communication during emergencies.

#5 Employee Onboarding Checklist

A checklist that outlines the necessary steps and documents required when bringing a new employee on board. This helps keep you organized and ensures each employee receives a consistent and thorough introduction to your company.

Training and Development Documents to Maintain Employee Satisfaction

Training and development will look different for every employee on your team, which is why training is so difficult. Figuring out the development goals and training needs of each employee can be complicated, but it starts with asking for feedback from your employees. Keep in mind that the training employees want to grow their skills and careers is not the only training they should receive. Consider creating a training routine on important company practices to keep employees informed.

#6 Performance Appraisal Worksheet

Use this form to assess and document employee performance. Regular evaluations help identify areas for improvement, set goals, and provide constructive feedback.

#7 Employee Engagement

Keeping employees engaged is crucial for productivity and morale. Utilize an employee engagement form to gather feedback on job satisfaction, work environment, and suggestions for improvement. This form can serve as a proactive measure to address concerns before they escalate.

#8 Reasonable Accommodation Request 

Inclusivity is key in the workplace. This form allows employees to request reasonable accommodations for disabilities or special needs. By promptly addressing these requests, you create an inclusive environment and adhere to legal requirements.

Must-Have Documentation For The Termination Process

The termination process is the least favored process by any small business owner. However, it is an unavoidable part of the employee journey. Even the best company has employees who retire. Creating a structure around employee exits can normalize the process and help keep structure in often high-emotional situations.

#9 Exit Letter 

Crafting a formal exit letter is a professional way to acknowledge an employee’s departure. This document outlines essential details such as the last working day, the return of company property, and any pending tasks. It helps ensure a smooth transition and maintains a positive relationship with the departing employee.

#10 Employee Exit Interview

Conducting exit interviews helps gather feedback from departing employees, providing insights into the reasons for their departure and potential areas for improvement within the company.

Innereactive has worked with small businesses to help them organize their Human Resources documentation. We evaluate your business and customize these documents to meet your unique needs.  Properly utilizing these HR forms not only streamlines processes but also contributes to a more transparent and compliant work environment.

It’s advisable to seek legal advice to ensure compliance with local labor laws and regulations.


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Heather Morrison

Heather is the VP of Operations at Innereactive and we are lucky to have her. She has over five years of experience running an HR department and enjoys helping businesses like yours find solutions to their HR needs.



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