What is HR (Human Resources) and what does it do for your business?

HR grew from employers needing to comply with employment law and Government requirements such as PAYE, National Insurance deductions and Statutory payments.  HR (or personnel as it was known 30 or more years ago) became the Police of businesses, making sure everyone complied with the rules and policies they introduced to keep the business out of trouble with Employment Tribunals.

HR evolved from this role becoming involved in business strategy and activities that could be directly linked to business success and now many businesses believe that their success is in no small part down to how their human resources (HR) are managed.

Human resources management is vital to success. Managing employees involves balancing their needs, aspirations and goals with those of the business.

A business’ goals and objectives often include making profits, gaining new customers and being recognised for quality. HR works to get employees to make things happen in a way that delivers the business’ goals and objectives, ensuring prosperity for business and employees.

Business leaders will focus on the big picture, developing high-quality products and services and finding effective ways to market those products and services.

HR will focus on supporting the business to effectively manage staff.

Managing staff involves;

Getting the Right Employees in Place

Ensuring that the business is properly staffed, designing effective staff structures, identifying what types of employment contracts are appropriate for the various jobs. HR work to ensure the best people are recruited for the jobs, ones that will help the business meet company goals and objectives.

And Keeping Them

It is the role of HR to devise terms and conditions of employment, policies and practices which motivate and reward employees and encourage them to stay in employment with the business.

It is expensive to recruit and train new staff so holding onto your existing talent is important.

Maximising Employees’ Performance

HR is key to maximising employees’ performance. Effective performance management consists of;

  • Setting out clearly what level of performance is expected and how this will be measured
  • Recruiting and/or training the staff to ensure they have the capability of meeting the required level of performance
  • Establish and follow a process for measuring performance
  • Review performance with employees
  • Adjust performance expectations and measures where required
  • Train and coach employees where required
  • Discipline and ultimately dismiss if the required standard of performance cannot be achieved

Managing Employees Conduct

Inappropriate employee conduct can be very damaging to businesses.   HR can play a vital role in ensuring that employee conduct adds value to your business success rather than damages it.

To manage employee conduct HR will;

  • Set out what standards of conduct is required from employees
  • Communicate these to employees
  • Embed these into the business culture
  • Train managers on standards or conduct and how to manage these
  • Discipline and ultimately dismiss for misconduct if required

Facilitate Change Management

Change is inevitable in businesses. It can be changes in working practice, working hours, location, terms and conditions of employment or performance standards.

HR will help businesses steer through change the change process ensuring legal requirements are met and the business is operating in the way it needs to.

Legal Compliance and Administration

HR will ensure that businesses meet their many legal obligations under employment law including;

  • devising and issuing employment contracts which contain all the necessary information
  • giving advice which ensures that business does not breach employment regulation
  • introducing policies and practices to deal effectively with employee complaints such as harassment and discrimination claims