It’s easy for business owners to underestimate the importance of human resources. Whatever your line of business, from a catering company to a long-haul trucking operation, human resources is what gets the right employees in the door, keeps them working with maximum productivity, and keeps you out of trouble when things go wrong. Even small businesses need HR expertise. Here are ten things HR does to help your business.
- Creates an effective hiring process
Did you know that turnover costs your company up to twice the salary of the lost employee? With that kind of money at stake, you can’t afford to leave the hiring process to chance. Managers are often too busy to give hiring the full attention it deserves. HR can handle much of this process, resulting in managers using their time to pick between several qualified candidates.
- Manage benefits programs
As your company grows, the benefits program can quickly become a full-time job of its own. HR handles the time consuming but financially important task of selecting benefits programs and negotiating with insurance companies. HR also tracks and monitors paid time off and deals with issues like extended leaves of absence.
- Training and career development
Employees need to see a clear path to upward mobility. Otherwise, they are apt to look for opportunities elsewhere. HR creates training programs that assist employees in succeeding in their positions. It also manages career development paths, a crucial part of employee engagement. When employees know and understand the path to career growth, they remain part of the organization.
- Formalize the onboarding process
New employees are often lost during the onboarding process. Without a formalized process, it’s easy for managers to neglect the onboarding of new employees, especially in dynamic environments where shifting priorities can quickly take precedence. Left alone, new employees may feel disoriented and be unproductive. Ultimately, that can mean frustration for them and their managers. HR creates a process where all new employees receive the orientation they need to succeed.
- Resolving interoffice conflicts
Office politics often lead to unproductive conflicts. Resentful employees don’t do their best work. Disputes over workloads and territorial concerns take away valuable focus and energy. Personality conflicts cause misunderstandings of intentions and directions. When these conflicts fester, lost productivity only increases. HR people are trained to deal with interoffice conflicts in a way that strengthens interoffice relationships and puts employees in the mindset to work together effectively.
- Legal Concerns
When employment law concerns come to a head, every business owner is thankful for a strong HR manager. Complaints of discrimination, harassment, or contract violations must be investigated promptly and professionally. A company’s best defense against an employment law related claim is a thorough investigation with documented results and resolutions.
- Compensation Analysis
Human resources compensation specialists are able to analyze employment markets to make compensation packages competitive but not overly generous. To work, compensation must attract good employees without breaking budgets.
- Strategic Management
HR participates in staffing decisions based on strategic needs to hire employees with certain skills. Part of strategic management involves assessments of current employees and what areas the company needs additional help.
- Employee Relations
HR managers are crucial to maintaining strong relations between management and employees. Through daily interaction with the workforce, the HR manager builds the confidence in management that employees must have in any successful organization.
- Interaction with Executive Leadership
The human resources department, though its roles in hiring, onboarding, training, employee relations, conflict resolution, and terminations has great insight into what is happening at all levels of the organization. Through HR interactions with executive leadership, top-level leaders are able to better understand where the company stands.
HR professionals know where companies are strong and where weaknesses lie. Through HR’s involvement in all aspects of hiring, compensating, and terminating employees, business owners gain higher productivity from their workforce and protect themselves from problems, such as office politics run amok and legal complaints. To keep an enterprise churning along smoothly, strong HR leadership is crucial.