7 Reasons Your Human Resources Department Is Vital To Your Business
At the companies I’ve worked for in the past, I always considered the human resources department as somewhat of an enigma. Often tucked away, you don’t always see them, but you know they’re there. Like Caped Crusaders, they dart about saving the office and its people from peril.
While HR staff handle many of the matters pertaining to employees, they’re increasingly valuable in helping management develop long-term strategies for the growth of a company. Furthermore, HR departments often act as peace-keeping intermediaries between employees and management, where both can turn to for either company information or advice respectively.
Similes aside though, these resourceful human heroes absolutely underpin any business and are crucial to its success. Here are 7 reasons why HR are the glue holding your Post-Its to your PC.
According to the CIPHR , many organisations have to compete to acquire top talent. Success falls on the shoulders of HR and the methods they adopt to recruit high performers. Following the first point of contact and necessary background checks, they’re often the first to conduct interviews with applicants, to then arrange workplace inductions with a follow-up with departments and managers. The people in your company are your lifeblood, your bread and butter. Having the right team is vital.
Happy employees are productive, and this positively impacts on the bottom line of your business. With a team dedicated to help people manage stress at work and employee conditions, and capable of organising beneficial events and away days for the staff, all go towards making a bigger and more robust organisation.
HR staff may handle employee complaints, help resolve disputes and monitor employee remediation programmes. HR also typically handle disputes between employees, or any claims related to workers’ physical and mental concerns. Employee’s wellbeing is becoming increasingly relevant, calling for specific HR approaches improving wellbeing and establishing a positive employment relationship and mutual gains, as highlighted in a study by David E. Guest. Overall, various components need to be considered when designing a human resource management strategy: Delery and Gupta indicate that selectivity of staffing, performance-based pay and employee’s participation in decision-making result may enhance organisational effectiveness.
If the right training packages aren’t put together, how can your staff do their job effectively? HR are usually responsible for putting together training materials. In addition to the initial training, the HR department often helps coordinate further training and mentoring programmes to continually develop employees’ skills.
Benefits of training to your business are twofold: staff not only become skilled and effective at their job, but also begin to adopt your company’s ethos and brand values. This is evidently crucial since staff embody everything you stand for as a business.
Performance management is a process by which managers and employees work together to plan, monitor and review employees’ work and overall contribution to the organisation. As the adage goes ‘what isn’t measured doesn’t grow’, without a handle on how your staff are performing within their role, your company will not be capable of growth. More than just an annual performance review, performance management is the continuous process of setting objectives, assessing progress and providing on-going coaching and feedback to ensure that employees are meeting their objectives and career goals.
Moreover, as research suggests, performance management processes should look at engaging employees systematically, identifying key drivers for this engagement at each stage. The fundamental goal of performance management is to promote and improve employee’s effectiveness. Aligning organisational, group and individual factors may help create human and social capital leading to improved performance, as this study shows.
Payroll and Salary
In some companies, particularly small businesses, HR will take on some of the payroll duties, such as tracking leave and pay, maintaining a holiday schedule, as well as managing employees’ benefits. In the big picture, HR monitor salary and wages within the company’s industry to ensure compensation remains competitive. The department also helps management map out pay structures and remuneration within the company.
The HR department can be likened to a PR department – for internal affairs that is. They are representatives of the business and may manage the internal communications towards the employees. In some cases, HR may manage external communications for external partners, stakeholders and the media. In addition, their involvement may span CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) campaigns, employees’ satisfaction surveys and actions.
In the main, HR uphold and promote the positive image that your company wants to portray, both in the micro and macro environments.
Developing and Implementing Policy
For companies with employees who are part of a union, HR often oversees union contracts and assists management with union negotiations. Many companies offer employee assistance programmes that provide counselling and help for a variety of personal issues. While small businesses may outsource these programmes, the HR department would still monitor compliance, contract and privacy issues with these external providers.
It’s important to note that company’s compliance issues must be monitored regardless of size. The HR department keeps track of compliance issues as well as the laws and policies that govern benefits and compensation.
Pierce Ivory is the Marketing Director at Advance Systems, a company that provides world-class enterprise workforce software. Involved in digital since 2010, Pierce completed a Master’s degree in digital marketing getting first class honors. He specializes in the field of people operations and HR management for B2B software companies. You can find Pierce on Twitter (@pkivory) and Linkedin.