What is HR?
Human resources, or HR, is a department of a business that is responsible for managing the employee life cycle and administering employee benefits. Human resources can sometimes earn a bad reputation because they are responsible for handling employee misconduct, but there is a lot more to the job than that. The primary role of a human resources department is to support a business’s employees. After all, it is meant to act as a resource that employees can engage with when they are unsatisfied with something in the workplace.
A competent human resources department also improves a business’s agility, meaning it can better adapt to industry changes. In fact, there is a good chance that your HR department will be responsible for speaking with a change management consulting specialist in times of need. Here is a quick list of some of the responsibilities that fall to an HR department representative.
- Hiring employees
- Onboarding and training employees
- Process the business’s payroll
- Conduct disciplinary actions
- Provide career growth opportunities
- Offer continued education opportunities
- Handling employee disagreements
How Does Effective HR Boost Your Business?
- Recruiting Top Talent
An effective human resources department will be dedicated to recruiting the best talent for the company. Filling a company position can be simple but finding the best candidate for the role and detailing why your company is worth being a part of is much more complicated. In a way, your HR department is a major contributor to your brand’s public image. They are the first point of contact with your company for potential employees. Human resources also handle communication with individuals who were considered for a position at your business but didn’t join the team for one reason or another. They are tasked with maintaining civil communication with people who may be upset or even angry with your company.
- Employee Engagement
A human resources department is also responsible for managing employee engagement. If employees aren’t engaged with the company they work for, then they will likely underperform, and the business will suffer as a result. However, when employees are engaged with their work, they will be more productive and feel appreciated. This is why good human resources representatives are constantly searching for ways to improve employee engagement. Ensuring that employees feel appreciated and are engaged with their work can make up the bulk of a human resources representative’s day-to-day work.
- Company Culture
Developing a strong company culture has several benefits for a business ranging from improved productivity to improved public reputation and recognition. The responsibility of creating that workplace culture largely falls to human resources. They are responsible for implementing policies that are designed to cultivate a workplace culture where employees feel safe, welcomed, and appreciated. Human resources can clarify the identity of a company to its employees by implementing policies that reinforce its values and purpose. For example, companies that have decided to take extra steps to protect the environment may implement policies that reward green behavior in the workplace.
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Strategies for Effective Management
- Communicate Don’t Command
In general, people don’t respond well to commands. It can make them feel underappreciated and resentful of the person commanding them. A good human resources manager will recognize this. Instead of issuing commands, an effective human resources department will communicate with the employees of a company. This will show employees that you respect them. It is also recommended to genuinely listen to employees’ complaints and recommendations. Employees will work harder for a company that shows interest in their thoughts and feelings about a company. In this way, communicating with your peers will result in improved productivity.
- Nurture Teamwork
Teamwork is the basis of a successful business, and human resources is responsible for inspiring team members to work together. This is primarily done through implementing policies that encourage teamwork and helping employees settle disputes when they arise. Think of a human resources department as a sort of coach for teams within the business. They may not be involved in the daily operations of the teams they oversee, but they are in constant connection with them. When issues arise between team members, or players to continue the metaphor, it requires the human resources department to step in and find a solution that leaves everyone satisfied. Here are a few quick tips on nurturing teamwork in the workplace.
- Play to individual strengths
- Establish ground rules
- Agree on a team mission
- Ensure everyone is aware of goals and timelines
- Build a relationship with team members outside of the office
- Show Appreciation
Everyone likes to be appreciated, and the employees of your company are no different. When workers feel appreciated, they will try harder and generally experience improved productivity. Showing your team appreciation is also an important part of developing a strong workplace culture. Consistently be on the lookout for instances where your employees went that extra mile for the company and reward them for it. Rewarding your employees can be as simple as telling them directly, but it can be even more effective if some sort of incentive is involved. Consider handing out awards or gift cards to show your appreciation. Remember to show your appreciation in front of other employees sometimes as well. Publicly showing appreciation to one employee can encourage other employees to act accordingly.
Consequences of Good Management
Good human resources management has two primary benefits: it creates a great workplace culture, and it improves brand recognition. We’ve already briefly touched on the benefits of a strong workplace culture, but they cannot be overstated. Creating a setting at work where employees feel genuinely appreciated and content has incredible benefits for a business. Employees will come to work happy and ready to work when they believe that the company, they work for cares about them as an individual. Put most simply, if your company cares for its employees then the employees will care for the company. This will improve productivity across the entire business. A well-run human resources department will also improve a company’s brand recognition. When you treat your employees well other people will begin to recognize it, including consumers. Responsible consumers will go out of their way to support companies that they believe are “good.”