So, what does HR really do? Part 2
We’ve discussed the tactical side (Part 1 of 2) of HR, however, there’s also what we call the strategic function (where HR really makes a difference).
HR Solves Problems
HR sees it all. What other department can recruit your most difficult position, face down the EEOC, negotiate contracts, settle arguments among employees, and run a blood drive – all in the same afternoon? Whatever workforce issue an organization is having, nine times out of ten it is going to involve a people-based solution, and that makes HR an organizational leader’s biggest ally.
HR Advises Management
There’s a lot of discussion on employee boards about how HR is not your friend and works for the company. This, too, is terribly upsetting to the amazing consultants at HR Affiliates, who wish more employees understood that HR’s job really is to mitigate relationships between employees and the company. HR wants to advocate for the employee, while at the same time making sure organizational goals are met. HR helps to manage risks, protect the company culture, advise employees, manage policies and procedures and when done right becomes a strategic partner to the ownership and executives to ensure the employees are not forgotten in any decisions. In this role, HR is an influencer in an organization and provides counsel, expertise, and rationale while managing risk to support leaders being informed of their decisions.
HR Makes the Plans to Meet Objectives
Ownership and the executive team (of which hopefully HR is a part of) make the goals for the company. When it comes time to implement, however, HR is right in the middle to collect key data and outline the plans and policies necessary for these objectives to roll throughout the organization, from communication to compliance.
HR Motivates Employees
Or it should. Through company culture, employee relations, and rewards programs, HR is responsible for motivating employees by boosting morale and improving cooperation. However, the perception can be that HR is only responsible for the paperwork. The reality is that for any organization to thrive, it must provide a good or a service — the employees who provide that good or service are the organization’s most valuable and greatest asset. HR must be the service to those employees who are keeping the organization running.
HR Trains, Coaches, and Supports Managers
Rather than being the adversary that sometimes HR is portrayed, HR should be a manager’s best resource. HR can provide guidance to managers, making sure that their department and teams are as healthy and functional as possible.
HR Supports health and wellness
It’s important to remember the employees receiving these resources are people. People have a lot of different needs, concerns, and worries that may or may not involve the workplace, but which can certainly be supported by the workplace. They’ll likely at some point need help navigating mental health, sickness, debt, and any number of hurdles life can throw at them. HR can help support employees through any type of circumstance by not only providing clarity on what resources are available through the company, but also through Employee Assistance (EAP) or community programs.
This IS what HR should be doing for your organization, and frankly we left quite a bit out. If your HR is not operating to this level, maybe it’s time to get a little (or a lot) of assistance. That’s where HR Affiliates can help. With our team of professionals, you can get a VP of HR, a Recruiting Manager, an Employee Relations Specialist, a Payroll and Benefits Specialist and everything in between to help support your organizational goals.
If you missed out on our first blog regarding the tactical side of HR, please click here.