No matter how you slice it, human resources is an important part of any business. That’s because HR is the business of people, and people are the backbone of every business. More specifically, human resources encompasses the business (or science, or art, depending on how you look at it) of finding, managing, retaining, terminating, etc. employees, and every business has employees. From recruitment to retirement, HR is a part of every employee’s daily working life, whether they’re aware of it or not.
Yet, HR as an internal business function rarely reaches its full potential. HR has the power to propel a company forward through innovative management strategies and technology, yet many businesses and executives think of it more as an afterthought, or something they grudging have to deal with.
For all those companies and organizations just coming to terms with how important HR is (hopefully before a noncompliance lawsuit), here is our five-point plan for how to get the most out of HR.
- Invest in your workforce.
Your workforce, your employees, your team, your people. Whatever you call them, they’re a key element of your business’ success, and there’s no better ROI than an investment made in your people. Investing in your people starts right from the beginning, with recruitment.Realistically, a company could find someone to fill a job opening almost immediately by hiring the first person that comes along (and sadly, many companies do). Companies who do this however, run the risk of hiring the wrong person, a mistake that can cost a company considerable time and money. A key function of effective human resources is to help organizations identify and hire only the most qualified candidates, even if it takes a little longer.That investment shouldn’t end at an employee’s first day, but continue long into his or her tenure with the company. Employee training programs, for instance, allow employees to grow and develop as professionals within their field in a way that is instrumental to engaging employees in their work and increasing retention levels.
- Actively manage employee performance.
The vast majority of employees want to do well in their jobs. However, many lack the direction and feedback they need to actively contribute to their employer, and as a result feel disengaged from their work. A hastily thrown-together, once-a-year cursory overview of what a manager remembers about the work their employees did throughout the year simply doesn’t cut it any more (and likely never did). Building a performance management process that effectively and fairly measures performance and enables managers to more efficiently manage their staff is a crucial function of human resources.
- Develop and implement sound employee policies and procedures.
Employee policies and procedures are the building blocks for how a company will run on a day-to-day basis. Employee policies, like those that make up an employee handbook or manual, establish the expected standards of behavior and performance, and give workers guidelines to follow and refer back to as needed.
- Make compliance a priority.
Employers may also be required by law to implement certain employee policies, such as health and safety standards. Not having these required policies in place could result in costly litigation and fines. And between the hundreds of federal, state and local pieces of legislation governing employment across the country, keeping up with and understanding the various applicable rules and regulations is a full-time job in and of itself. Making regulatory compliance a priority will ensure stays in business and out of the courtroom.
- Know when to bring in an expert.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of all that falls under the human resources umbrella, and you may already be feeling overwhelmed. If you’re starting to think that your company may need additional help to get your human resources functions up to snuff, you may be right, and you certainly aren’t alone. Many businesses, both large and small, find that they simply don’t have the resources to effectively manage human resources on their own. Fortunately, there are many options for businesses looking to attain outside HR expertise:
- HR Consulting Firms
For companies who decide they need limited or specific assistance, the best choice may be to engage an HR consultant or consulting firm. Similar to other business consultants, HR consultants help companies identify any problem areas or weaknesses they may have in regards to their human capital management, and then work with the company to develop a plan to address the identified problems.
- HR Outsourcing Firms
Companies who decide they need more expertise or ongoing service may choose to outsource all or some of their HR functions to a human resources outsourcing (HRO) firm. As opposed to an HR consulting firm, an HRO company actually takes over the tasks associated with human resources, including but not limited to: payroll processing, benefits administration, risk management, regulatory compliance, performance management, employee relations, etc.
- Professional Employer Organizations
Companies looking for a true HR partner should consider bringing in a professional employer organization (PEO). In a PEO arrangement, companies enter into a co-employment relationship with a PEO provider, which allows the PEO to act as the “Employer of Record” for the companies’ employees. As the employer of record, the PEO is able to perform employment-related tasks for the employees on the company’s behalf and assume much of the administrative responsibilities and liabilities associated with carrying employees.Whether companies are looking for an all-encompassing solution to their HR needs or just a supplement to their current people and processes, PEOs are able to offer products and services that address all of their specific needs while also minimizing costs, reducing risk and increasing productivity.
When you get right down to it, the essential goal of human resources as a business function is pretty straightforward: to figure out how to get the right people all consistently and actively working toward the singular goal of driving a business forward. Accomplishing this goal, however, requires a great deal of expertise, and not every business has the resources to manage human resources on their own.
For a more detailed review of each of the points discussed above, download our free whitepaper: 5 Strategies To Strengthen Your HR Infrastructure.
G&A Partners has been a leader in the HR outsourcing (HRO) and PEO industry for more than 20 years. Unlike other PEOs and HROs that promise more than they can deliver, G&A Partners is a forward-looking HR partner with unrivaled human resources expertise, innovative technology and reliable service that helps business owners and leaders focus more of their time on what matters most: growing their business.
To learn how G&A can help your company get the most out of its human resources, call 866-634-6713 to speak with an expert or visit https://www.gnapartners.com/contact-us/ to schedule your free business consultation.