When new people ask us what we do for a living and we reply that we work in human resources (HR) this never seems sufficient. That’s because many people view HR as a purely administrative role involving arranging interviews, creating offer letters and termination letters, tracking absence and holidays and issuing numerous policies, procedures and forms. Whilst the clerical function is important, HR is so much more than that. It is about effectively managing workforce talent so that long-term business objectives are achieved.
An effective HR team will work closely with you to ensure employees’ skills are developed and utilised for maximum impact on your business. An HR professional’s role begins with a thorough understanding of your business goals in order to find the best human resource solutions. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Perhaps your business goal is to break into a new market. This might involve analysing the skills of existing employees to discover if any extra training is required. Consideration may be given to whether employees are better matched in other departments, or to attracting the right new employees to your business.
On the reverse, you may need to close an office, streamline or reduce your workforce. In this case legal compliancy and understanding employees’ rights is imperative as legal proceedings can be devastating to a business’s reputation and financial health. The process is emotionally challenging for everybody involved and at the same time you will need to consider the welfare of the remaining staff. High employee turnover comes at a considerable cost in terms of disruption and the financial price of recruiting, training and supporting new employees. A skilled HR team will help increase employee retention by making sure they are fairly treated and that their professional development is valued. Fostering loyal, motivated employees helps to drive a business to success.
You may be looking to increase your sales two-fold over the next year. You might be planning a merger and acquisition (M&A), preparing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) or similar. These aims and processes can fail to achieve their objectives due to HR related issues such as a poor communication with employees, uncertainty about the future of the business and diminished trust in business managers. A well-qualified, experienced HR team will support you to facilitate transitions by managing and advising on factors such as cultural integration when businesses merge, identifying the leadership skills required to manage the change, consistent and clear communication with employees, and placing employees with the right skills in the right roles.
Each of the examples above is business critical and, if they are not designed with thought and executed with care, utilising the skills and knowledge of your people, a successful business may get into trouble quickly. A human resource team with the right skills can ensure all processes within your business are managed smoothly which saves you time and money and enhances your company’s reputation.
To assess the effectiveness of HR within your business you may wish to start by looking at what tasks they carry out and how they are perceived by other departments. Unfortunately, many HR teams simply fulfil an administration role with a secondary focus on people. True HR serves your business, working directly with you to build solutions to your problems. When considering the effectiveness of your HR function begin by identifying your current HR goals and questions. For example, is your goal to retain key staff after redundancies have taken place? Do you have concerns about high employee absenteeism? Evaluate how your HR team is addressing these areas to deliver successful outcomes for your business.
If your HR team is primarily engaged in administrative tasks but your business requires the value-added functionality that HR can provide then you may wish to develop your team’s skills over time. At HR Ready we have found that the more you engage with HR in the business, the more successful your HR team and business can be. You will be able to address issues quicker and implement solutions that make sense, saving you time and money.
We understand that not all businesses have the luxury of hiring an in-house team of value-added human resource professionals whether or not they have an existing HR team. That’s why outsourcing to us is a practical, cost-effective solution.
Whatever your position we can offer you an HR business partnering service. As an HR business partner we bring extensive knowledge of every aspect of human resources, as well as meticulous dedication to understanding your business aims and strategies. Our function is to ensure that your HR procedures and policies are driven by the goals of your business.
To discuss your HR needs or to arrange for us to come in and support you, get in touch.
HR Ready – you value your people, we take care of them