New Year's Resolutions Every HR Professional Should Make
Earlier this week, we made some suggestions on New Year's resolutions every business owner should make. We wanted to follow up that post with a few more resolutions specific to the human resources profession.
HR professionals have a unique position in their companies: As the department responsible for recruiting, retaining, training, and engaging employees, the decisions they make tend to impact their company's entire workforce. With that in mind, here are five tips our President & COO John Allen shared with Smart Business Houston a few years ago that still ring true today:
- Make sure your efforts align with your company’s business strategy.
HR is responsible for acquiring and optimizing one of your company’s most vital assets — its employees — so shouldn’t the group understand and be aligned with the organization’s business goals and objectives? Ask to be included in strategic planning sessions so it can proactively recruit for a growing business unit or redeploy the right talent to a new venture.
- Develop a sustainable process for evaluating and rewarding performance.
One way to ensure employees are working toward a common goal is to establish a performance evaluation process that measures performance based on a set of criteria tied to that goal. A consistent and objective evaluation process can also help to ensure that your organization is rewarding employees based on merit rather than favoritism.
- Employ technology to track productivity and minimize costs.
Web-based time and labor management technology have made time cards and manual time entry systems obsolete. Advanced time and labor systems provide businesses with the practical tools they need to effectively plan, direct and oversee their staffs. Imagine being able to tap into real-time labor data online anytime or anywhere to assess current staff coverage, identify immediate staffing needs and make changes accordingly.
- Alleviate common risk factors associated with the HR function.
People aren’t perfect, so it is critical that HR maintains practices to mitigate the risks associated with human imperfection. During the hiring process, faithfully conduct background checks and drug testing. Insist on professional references, not merely family or friends. To prevent litigation, conduct annual diversity training, harassment training and salary surveys, and ensure that policies and standards are applied equally to all employees. To protect employees’ safety, implement a workplace security policy with photo ID cards, a receptionist and a visitor sign-in sheet, and always remember to lock up sensitive personnel information.
- Create an employment brand that attracts exceptional talent and enhances employee engagement.
“Basic Branding 101” teaches that a strong brand helps attract buyers and build consumer loyalty. The same is true of a company’s “employment brand.” Human resources plays a pivotal role in helping a company establish a first-class employment brand. By promoting an attractive corporate culture and offering competitive compensation and flexible benefits, HR can help ensure that your company is perceived as an employer of choice in the markets where you operate.
These five goals won’t transform your company overnight, but just one can begin to change how your HR department functions.