In this age of hybrid working environments, 4-day working weeks and casual contracts, you may wonder if Human Resources remains a relevant business function. The truth is, no matter where your workforce is located, and even if you only have one full-time member of staff, you still need HR.
What is HR?
Put simply, HR or Human Resources is a function within all businesses that manages the lifecycle of employees and contributes to effective business management. If you look at the corporate structure of major corporations like Amazon and Apple, you’ll see that HR is as vital as Finance and IT.
While HR takes care of all the elements of resourcing, hiring and retiring staff members, it’s far more than just people management. A well-oiled HR function establishes the most positive and productive workplace culture for employees, senior management and the business entity itself. Think of an HR function as the catalyst for achieving organisational goals.
Why your Business needs HR
- Hiring and Keeping Talented Employees
One of the functions of HR is recruitment; that’s a given. HR departments or specialists can be essential to a business in this respect since hiring the right employees can result in increased productivity and higher revenues. HR takes care of every aspect of recruitment, from compiling job specifications and adverts to interviewing the most suitable candidates.
But HR’s role doesn’t end when the talent has been hired. It’s the responsibility of HR to ensure ongoing training and development. A business that doesn’t conduct periodic employee assessments is one that simply isn’t utilising its workforce to the fullest extent. Offering employees regular opportunities to improve their skills and developments will ensure long-term staff retention and minimise turnover.
- Conflict Resolution
In a perfect world, each and every person involved in a business would find ways to work together in harmony. In reality, however, things are a little different. Businesses, no matter how small, are comprised of people who all have diverse backgrounds. As a result, there’s always the possibility that somewhere along the line, conflicts and issues will arise between colleagues.
The number of resources that you could end up spending in an attempt to resolve conflicts that have escalated would be slashed if effective HR procedures were implemented in your business from the start.
- Implementing and Enforcing Disciplinary Procedures
There are times in any business when employees don’t comply with established company practices. There are several ways in which an effective Human Resources function can assist with this.
To begin with, an HR function will clearly communicate company practice to all employees and board members. Then, on the unfortunate occasions when these practices haven’t been adhered to, HR should be able to implement and enforce the appropriate disciplinary procedures.
As a business owner, you may feel the need to enforce disciplinary action yourself. However, these situations are often sensitive and need to be mediated in a neutral and diplomatic way. HR doesn’t just protect the organisation; it also takes into account the point of view of employees and aims to find common ground between the two as well as a suitable resolution to the disciplinary process.
- Compliance with Employment Laws
Adhering to employment laws, whether national or international in the case of global organisations, needs to be of paramount importance to every business owner with employees. It’s the responsibility of an HR function or department to firstly stay abreast of employment laws and communicate them to the relevant members of the organisation, as well as ensure ongoing compliance.
This can be extended further to include overall HR compliance, which incorporates all practices regarding hiring, termination and employee benefits.
- To Maintain Organisational Culture
The strength of a business really does rely on its people; creating and maintaining the most effective organisational culture is vital to ensuring employee motivation and satisfaction. The culture of an organisation incorporates shared beliefs, vision and values and the behaviours of the people at the centre of it. A key responsibility of HR is to establish the most appropriate culture and maintain it throughout the lifecycle of the business.