What is the greatest resource of your organization?
It’s your people! Employees are the foundation and the cornerstone of any organization.
One effective way of making sure your business will succeed is assessing the needs of and taking care of your people. Treating people well, leading them effectively and providing opportunities increases not only employee satisfaction but, in turn, company goals and performance. On the other hand, when an organization does not show they value their employees, the foundation of the organization suffers and frequently leads to high turnover, low performance and instability for the company.
That’s where the Human Resources (HR) department enters the picture. At the organizational level, this department has the highest potential to manage the most crucial and valuable resources of your company – your people. Having a group of leaders whose focus is on the human assets of a company, from fairness to communication to motivation to well-being, and everything in between is one key element in propelling a company to high levels of performance and efficiency. Human Resources is crucial to any business, even from its inception.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at why HR is so important in today’s workforce.
Why is Human Resources So Important?
HR is often overlooked when it comes to small businesses. Often, entrepreneurs, whose companies grow rapidly, end up grappling with people management issues as the company expands. They may be more experienced with a product or service and don’t even realize how much time and planning it takes to manage the people aspect of the business. They also may overlook the expertise needed and not have the passion for this aspect of the business. But with a qualified HR team, great things are possible.
Some think that Human Resources is only there to hire, fire, and handle reviews but that is only the tip of the iceberg. HR plays a significant role in relationship management, communication, employee development and engagement, and building a positive culture within the organization. By having an effective and responsive HR team, leaders within a company have true partners to continuously problem solve, implement solutions and move the company forward despite the ever-changing workplace dynamics.
What are the Crucial Functions of HR in an Organization?
Talent Acquisition and Onboarding
While names of functional groups may vary, it is most common for HR to oversee the practices surrounding recruitment, interviewing, and onboarding of qualified candidates. Defining and then selecting the right people to work for your company is one of the most complicated and critical tasks for HR. More and more companies have seen the tremendous value a good fit makes, as well as the negative impact of a bad hire. Multiply that by the number of employees in any business and you see the exponential impact of HR. The recruitment process starts long before a job is posted and HR can help define the role, the qualifications – both talents & skills, the attractiveness and branding to candidates, and the selection process which is most likely to yield the best candidates and improve long-term retention. A failed recruitment strategy not only wastes time and resources, but can result in huge losses and cripple a company.
A dedicated team of HR professionals or even an HR team of one understands the real importance of onboarding and can design an effective process and structure here. Don’t confuse onboarding with orientation because onboarding refers to the entire experience of hiring, welcoming, orienting, and engaging a recruit in such a way that he/she adapts to the culture of the organization. Proper onboarding sets the tone to maximize a team member’s engagement and increases retention. This is easy to overlook in a smaller company.
Employee Development, Performance Management and Engagement
An important part of HR involves how employees at a company are developed, trained, performance measured, and what opportunities for growth exist. Performance management by HR helps discover the strengths and areas of opportunity of team members and implement solutions for improvement and growth.
With an effective performance management system, HR can offer support to team members who need it most while identifying future star performers. Even when team members have basic skills for a job, offering growth opportunities as roles and technology evolve is essential to avoid stagnation and continue improving performance. When learning opportunities are available, most team members benefit from higher levels of engagement and creativity. They see the company is investing in them and most people appreciate that. All of this drives increased productivity, reduced employee turnover, and ultimately adds to a more positive work culture.
Comprehensive training and personal development of your team members by Human Resources can help reduce operational weaknesses in the company. By investing in your people, it will strengthen your organization and give your business a competitive edge.
Developing Better Communications
Good communication is an integral part of any organization becoming successful. Study after study finds that employees frequently cite poor communication as a complaint about their company. While it may look different depending on the industry, size of the organization, etc., HR is there to advise and partner with all levels of an organization to effectively communicate a message that benefits both the company and the employees. It’s not either-or. One benefit of HR is being skilled at looking through the lens of both the employer and the employee to craft a message, the delivery, the timing, and the logistics to meet the needs of both.
Having the right level of open communication helps HR have a positive impact on how people process what they think, feel, and experience in the workplace. Healthy communication can truly shape the base of an organization’s culture. When people communicate well in an organization, there is a clearer understanding which enhances engagement, increases trust, improves relationships (employee, client, customer), and encourages innovation and creativity.
Creating a Positive Company Culture
It’s an overstatement to say that one department sets company culture – it is a group effort! But it’s not an overstatement to emphasize that an HR department has the invaluable role of understanding and pointing out, from the big picture as well as the small details, how actions and decisions impact the culture – good or bad.
What company doesn’t want a positive business culture? It elevates engagement, job satisfaction, staff retention, loyalty and is evident in customer satisfaction and bottom-line performance. Yet, without HR, companies are more inclined to have behaviors inconsistent with building positive cultures. Here HR plays a primary strategic role when it comes to developing, reinforcing, and transforming the organizational culture in a positive way. Having systems in place for conflict resolution, seeking employee ideas and feedback, rewards and recognition, fair business practices, setting policies, corporate social responsibility, and inclusion, while at the same time being always mindful of underlying employment laws, is of great benefit to any organization.
Building this positive and unique culture that most companies are seeking is not an easy task. It is a multi-pronged process, which is never-ending actually, but HR can champion and nurture while setting the tone along the way.
Businesses worldwide are embracing the idea that a dedicated Human Resources team is not a luxury but is essential! The Human Resources department helps add value to an organization, assisting in producing positive outcomes for stakeholders, employees, leaders, executives, customers and investors. Etech’s Human Resources team has been an effective, constant pillar supporting the development and nurturing of our people. It is one component in helping our company consistently make a remarkable difference.
Does your company have a competent HR department?