Your business’s most valuable resource isn’t the tools or equipment you’ve purchased over the years. It’s your employees. These talented individuals are responsible for pushing your business to new heights and with creating innovations that allow you to grow.
Without a strong human resources team, though, you may not be able to get the most out of your employees.
Your HR department needs to be one of the most effective in the business. If it’s not there yet, how can you build it up?
One way of improving your HR team is to look at its responsibilities. If you understand what your HR team should be doing, you can determine if they are meeting these responsibilities. If they are not, you can work with them to develop processes that do.
Recruitment and Retention
Your HR department is likely responsible for a large portion of the hiring process. This includes advertising available positions, attracting qualified candidates, screening those applicants to create a short list, and then interviewing these candidates. It also may involve establishing relationships and working with recruiting firms. While parts of this process do require the HR team to work closely with the supervisor the new employee will work under, much of the work is shouldered by HR. That includes guiding the new employee through the hiring process and onboarding.Retention is another task in which HR can be instrumental. Once a smart, talented employee is brought in, how do you keep them? There are numerous ways to do so, but there are also some misguided ideas here, too. Your HR team, especially the HR leader, needs to know the most effective retention methods. This is not to say these responsibilities fall solely (or even mostly) with HR but HR has a responsibility to help the business and its leaders put in place elements leading to high retention.
Relations and Business Culture
Your HR team is responsible for fostering the strong relationship between you as an employer and your employees. Much of this connection can be driven by the company culture. Creating culture needs to be a very conscious process and there are concrete measures that can be taken to create it. It’s HR’s job to help build the company culture. While they are not responsible for determining what the culture is, they are key stewards in helping build and nurture it.
HR should assist in providing safety training courses and materials as needed. Often, this is the responsibility of each department, but HR should reinforce and supplement that training. They are also tasked with keeping reports of training, workplace injuries and fatalities and reporting them to the correct federal authorities.
Even more important that the mechanics of safety is building a culture of safety. Safety is not just driven by periodic training. To truly be successful in terms of safety a company needs to ingrain safety into its very being and culture.
Community Outreach and Social Consciousness
HR is tasked with providing support to departments or employees who participate in philanthropic activities, including:
- Non Profits
- Community Events
This community outreach also includes monitoring and influencing how the company is viewed socially. Many consumers/customers are now very conscious of how companies spend their money, how they affect the environment, and what they stand for morally. This can have a much larger impact on profits than many realize until it’s too late. HR can play a key role in advancing this element of the company.
One key factor in employee retention is providing employees with a path to advancement. That often requires employees to learn new skills and knowledge through professional development. These courses may focus on learning skills or new technology, or they may focus on leadership and communication. HR should put in place plans for employees to develop themselves in order to advance professionally. This includes understanding the different needs of the groups of employees in the company. Each group (i.e. baby boomers, Gen X, millennials, …) may have a slightly different view on how this should occur.
Benefits and Compensation
Your HR team, in conjunction with the business leaders, will handle employee compensation and benefits. This includes researching what compensation and benefits are offered by competitors and adjusting the company’s compensation structure when necessary. Benefits include a vast array of things today including — insurance plans, employee assistance programs, education assistance, wellness programs, affinity programs and more. Being plugged into the most compelling benefits can make a big difference in terms of attracting and retaining the best employees and the culture which is built.
In today’s business world, HR teams have to be self-starters and take ownership of their responsibilities. Executives no longer hand down directives for HR teams on a regular basis. Instead, HR management has to develop their strategic plan, metrics, and evaluating tools to show executives that they are meeting the business’s needs and addressing strategic business priorities.
Consider Outsourcing Certain HR Functions
As you can see, HR has a full plate of responsibilities in order to be truly excellent and strategic. However, as a small to mid-sized business, you do not have to be and probably cannot achieve excellence in every area. Have you considered outsourcing some of your HR needs? While it may not be possible to outsource everything, there are many HR tasks that can be outsourced in order to achieve high levels of performance in each key area of HR management. Lauber Business Partners can handle this type of outsourcing. They can provide fractional, interim and project employees, including executives, for businesses that don’t need to or cannot hire someone full-time but are in need of assistance for specific functions/priorities.