Human resources practices are constantly being honed by companies, but it is important to understand what human resources (HR) are, whether you need it, and what tools are available to you.
What is HR and what does it do?
HR is a department within a company that manages the resources associated with employees including:
- Compensation and benefits
- Employee relations
Depending on the department and company size, there can be many roles in HR that are responsible for a plethora of duties. Whether a company has a single point of contact for HR or a comprehensive team, the goals of human resources practices are the same:
- Manage recruitment, hiring, and promoting
- Develop benefits programs
- Create and enforce personnel policies
- Encourage training and career development
- Provide orientation for new staff
- Serve as a guide for disciplinary actions
- Handle worker’s compensation issues in case of on-the-job injuries
Do I need HR and what tools are available to help?
HR is an essential part of a company. Even small businesses benefit from having an HR manager or point of contact dedicated to employee resources. Many businesses choose to outsource HR to a professional employer organization (PEO), but even more see the department as an unnecessary expenditure.
Erin Daruszka, a consultant, offers five fundamental benefits of HR in her blog Why You Need HR:
- HR helps you navigate compliance issues.
- HR builds culture which enhances employee engagement.
- HR identifies problems before they become larger issues, including performance issues that may not otherwise be addressed.
- HR navigates new strategies to help you determine the likelihood of success.
- HR manages the details to ensure you don’t make mistakes which saves you money.
If you’re looking at a PEO, wanting to build an in-house team, or considering a DIY HR, it is important that you know the best human resources practices and processes. Gaining some knowledge into the management of employee resources will better equip you work with your HR to shape your company culture.
Automation makes HR manageable if you’re willing to put the time into learning everything you can about HR practices. There are many tools and templates to help seasoned HR employees, and you can use these too. If you’re going to DIY your HR, start by reading the free e-book DIY: The Tried and True Guide to Mastering HR Best Practices. Then, check out these lists for tools and templates:
- Ultimate Directory of Free HR Templates & HR Forms
- Top 25 HR Tools the Pros Use
- Tee’d Up For Success: Three Core HR Tools that Every Startup Needs to Be Successful
Best human resources practices and processes
There are many discussions about the best practices and processes for HR. You can choose to get strategic help, or you can choose to follow one of the schools of thought—best fit or best practice.
Best fit requires alignment between HR practices and business strategy to center around both the needs of the organization and those of the employee. Best practice focuses on a set of universal processes that are considered proven techniques to lead to top performance.
There are merits of both, but among the best practices and processes are the following:
- Create a safe, healthy work environment that promotes job security.
- Consider an open book management style or create teams that are self-managed.
- Use selective hiring—not everyone who applies is right for the job.
- Pay your top talent above the norm or include bonuses and benefits that push their compensation packages higher than competitors.
- Never stop providing training, promotion opportunities, and 360° feedback (from seniors, peers, and subordinates).
- Information sharing is a must. Being open with employees makes them feel trusted, plus you know with whom knowledge lies and you have the opportunity to cultivate it and help the person pass it on to others.
Businesses that have employees already have employee resources that need managed—and someone is doing that whether it’s you, a team of experts, a PEO, or one employee who is managing multiple job roles. Knowing what tools and templates are available, the best practices for HR, and the responsibilities of that role are crucial to keeping employees happy and engaged with their work.
For more help regarding Strategic Human Resources, Performance Management, Employee Relations, Leadership and Executive Coaching and Development, and all things “HR,” The Pendolino Group is here to support you and your team. Contact us today!
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