People have many different interpretations about what is HR? – and what it involves.
I hope that this blog will clarify and inform… especially when it comes to using HR skills and expertise to help our clients with their people and business solutions.
HR (Human Resources) is what it says on the tin. It is about obtaining the best performance and results from the human resources available within the business i.e. your team.
A well-known phrase of mine is: “We are all human and that is what makes us unique and hence we cannot tar everyone with the same brush!”
This is why HR within your business needs a set standard of Policies & Procedures that are:
- Compliant with legal requirements
- Work within best practice
- Fully understood by the team
- Acted upon by everyone including management
Good HR helps to ensure that everybody feels part of the team and the business cycle. Everybody feels valued as without any member of the team, the cycle is broken and the business cannot fully succeed.
In comparison to Personnel, HR is a key part of the business. It at the forefront and covers what we call ‘The Employee Lifecycle’. It creates a working environment that is legal, working to best practice, motivational, profitable & an employer of choice.
The Employee Lifecycle consists of:
- Employee Relations
- Training & Development
- Reward & Benefits
So how does HR help businesses to achieve this?
From the offset a business needs to identify whether recruitment is necessary to meet the needs of the business – or is it a case of re-adjusting the current workforce and the their current accountabilities? If recruitment is the best option then a range of areas need to be covered from writing the Job Description, deciding how you are going to advertise the position, reviewing applications received, arranging interviews to what questions will be asked? Are they going to be Competency based? If yes, what are the Companies Competencies? Who is going to conduct the interviews? Where & when? These are just a few of the questions to be asked initially and further details can be found here.
This is a very vast area and covers everything from: HR & Employment Law, Contracts (employment documentation) & Handbooks, Recruitment, Absence Management, Investigations, Disciplinary & Grievances, Redundancies and Rewards & Benefits. Businesses need to ensure that all these areas cover best practice and legal requirements, taking into account the ever changing Employment Law
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT: Team members need to be given the skills required to successfully provide what is required by the company for its success. Training & development and can be anything from skills training (Customer Service, Till, Product etc.) to academic (CIMA – Chartered Institute for Management Accounts, CIPD – Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development, CIM – Chartered Institute of Marketing) to name a few. Employees also need to be Performance Managed regularly with an average review every six months. This review should set SMART objectives and provides an opportunity for employees and their line managers to discuss what has gone well and what could be improved, (in a friendly environment).
REWARDS & BENEFITS: This initiative can help all areas of ‘The Employee Lifecycle’, helping businesses and teams alike. Rewards and Benefits can include rewarding for the introduction of people who become employed by the business and stay with the business for 6 months. After all – where better can you find people that are going to fit into the business than from the ones that you already employ? (They must be ideal or you would not employ them!) Incentive schemes are another area that you can introduce. Consensus HR clients have enjoyed particular success when incentivising reduction in waste, improved sales, improved customer service and achievement of nationally recognised awards.
Working with and as a team to address all these key areas of HR will help you to get the best from your team, benefiting the business and team members. This can be achieved by adapting the areas specific to your business. However – another saying that I am known for is: “Rome was not built in a day.” You need to persist with what is needed until it becomes part of the culture of the business. It can feel like an uphill struggle but ultimately will result in a rewarding business environment for both the team member and business owner.