5 Things Every HR Team Should Be Doing (But Probably Isn't)
When it comes to human resources, not every company is created equal. While larger companies can afford to have multiple HR professionals on staff to handle essential functions like payroll, employee benefits administration, labor law compliance, and risk management, small and medium-sized companies simply don’t have the means to hire more than one full-time, highly skilled HR professional, if any at all.
But even companies who have the resources to hire a full HR staff may not be managing their human capital needs in the most effective manner. Below is a list of the top five things every HR department, no matter how large or small, should be doing in order to keep up with the growing needs of today’s workforce.
- Shifting from reactive to proactive.
HR has historically been a department rigidly ruled by paperwork. Need something from HR? Fill out these request forms, and they’ll get back to you. An employee has an issue with their supervisor? Fill out this report.
While there are certain protocols that are necessary given the nature of the information HR professionals have access to (Social Security numbers, salary and wage rates, employee medical histories, etc.), the role of the modern HR department should exist in this kind of transactional vacuum. Most employers don’t realize that HR doesn’t have to be solely a source of unending costs. Rather, a company’s HR team should be made an integral part of a company’s business plan. Why? Because experienced HR professionals have the ability to completely transform a business’ entire workforce in ways that streamline processes and improve employee productivity, all of which contribute to minimized operational costs.
- Implementing a strategic employee performance review strategy.
Employee performance has a direct impact on a business’ success. If employees are performing their jobs efficiently and effectively, that means the quality of a company’s goods or services are always top-notch. If employees aren’t performing as well, the overall performance of the business suffers as well.
So how can employers improve employee performance? One strategy that’s been proven to be effective is to link rewards (bonuses, raises, promotions, extra days off, etc.) to performance. The only way to do that is to develop and implement an evaluation strategy that is capable of accurately measuring an employee’s performance, rewarding the employees who excel at their jobs and providing a path for less-than-stellar employees to improve their performance.
- Using technology to automate and innovate.
It’s the 21st century! If any department is not taking advantage of all of the great technological advances the business world has seen over the past few years, they’re really missing out. This is particularly true when it comes to human capital management. There are so many platforms and tools available to employers now: paper time sheets are replaced by biometric scanners or web-based time and attendance platforms; benefits enrollment forms are now completed entirely online; the entire new hire onboarding process can be completed as soon as an employee accepts an offer, and all from the comfort of their own home!
Businesses that take advantage of these technologies have the opportunity to alleviate their HR teams of the burdens of many of their more tedious and time-consuming duties, allowing them instead to focus on some of the other strategies outlined here.
- Constantly monitoring for possible compliance issues.
ACA, ADA, HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA, OSHA. For HR professionals, those aren’t just a random combination of letters - they represent complex labor and employment laws and regulatory agencies. Not knowing how each of these laws applies to your business is a mistake no company can afford. Having a dedicated compliance officer or other professional with the skills and expertise needed to ensure your business remains compliant with applicable regulations is vital to ensure your business’ success.
- Developing your company’s unique corporate culture.
Talk of “company culture” has been one of the predominant topics of the HR world for years. Even business leaders who aren’t well-versed in human resources are aware, now more than ever, that it’s not just a company’s external reputation that matters - how an organization treats their employees now has serious weight in a consumer’s buying process.
Just look at Amazon. While it’s still one of (if not the biggest) retailers on the planet, the widely talked about recent New York Times article concerning the way it treats its employees and the intense cut-throat culture it breeds has many consumers pledging to boycott the online retailer. Wal-Mart has also faced several instances of backlash from socially conscious consumers regarding its low wages and poor benefits package. Companies who are known for having great corporate cultures (Google, Southwest Airlines, Apple), on the other hand, tend to be beloved by consumers, and enjoy higher customer loyalty rates than their competitors.
A company’s HR team plays a huge role in creating and maintaining a positive corporate culture, as well as ensuring that policies, practices and procedures align with your company’s vision and values. Not only will instilling a great company culture improve how your current employees feel about your company, but it will also attract talented professionals who identify with your company’s goals and values and want to become a part of that culture.
While every business should strive to focus on the strategies listed above, the truth is that many don’t have the time, resources or personnel to do so. That’s because, no matter if you have an internal HR team of 15 or just one, the majority of an in-house HR team’s time is spent on the daily, transactional tasks associated with keeping their workforce going: processing payroll, implementing and enforcing policies, acquiring new talent, administering benefits plans, etc.
Even very strong companies can have weak HR organizations. With business owners and internal HR personnel spending so much time on these tedious but necessary functions, they simply don’t have time to focus on the more strategic but equally important functions that can really drive their business forward.
Don’t let your company’s success take a backseat to the daily grind. Instead, consider bringing in someone who can take care of the more administrative HR functions and free up you and your staff to focus on what matters most - growing your business.
As a leader in the human resources outsourcing industry, G&A Partners knows a thing or two about how to effectively manage a business’ human capital needs. With more than 85,000 employees from 750 client companies depending on us for top-notch HR and administrative services like payroll and employee benefits, our HR experts have the skills and experience companies need to grow and thrive. Call 1-866-634-6713 or schedule a free business consultation with a G&A Partners Business Advisor to learn how G&A can help you grow your business, take better care of your employees and enjoy a higher quality of life.