No matter how big or small your company is, as long as you have employees, you need an HR department. Whether that “department” is really one person that handles everything, or a team of teams who work together to keep things running, it’s important that there is a system in place for completing HR-related tasks.
As important as it is to have an HR department, it’s just as important that that department is set up for success. While your HR department will be unique from those at other companies, we’ve found that successful HR departments have a few key components in common. The best HR departments are:
HR departments serve an important purpose within a company: to manage the needs of the people that work there. This cannot be done well if the department is not fully compliant with current laws and regulations. Knowing current policies, communicating those policies, and working by those policies keeps employees safe and happy, and keeps the company out of legal trouble.
The best HR departments are organized and streamlined. To whatever extent they can, they work all their functionalities through a single system, making information easier to find, to update, and to protect. Because of this efficiency, mistakes are less likely. Employees also feel confident in the department’s ability to answer questions or retrieve important information.
This may seem obvious, considering that the department basically exists to benefit employees, but the best HR departments take this focus to the next level. They get to know their people—what motivates (and demotivates) them, what circumstances allow them to do their best, what incentives are important to them, and so on. Successful HR departments play an active role in employee engagement, talking to employees and being available to them. This encourages employees to come to them with questions and problems, which can then lead to progressive change, which will benefit the entire organization.
In today’s world, “good enough” is not good enough. The most successful HR departments don’t do the bare minimum and then wait for problems to come to them. Rather, the best HR departments are strategic and proactive. This is especially true when it comes to recruiting and hiring practices. Effective hiring is one of the most important things an HR department can do, so having a good strategy in place can make a big difference in company culture and performance. If developing a hiring or HR strategy has proved difficult for your department or company in the past, consider hiring a staffing firm to help you make smarter hiring decisions.
Aware of culture and image.
Your company has a culture. Hopefully, culture is something you’ve shaped and developed deliberately, incorporating company values into daily operations. Good HR departments are aware of the culture within the company—what it is, and what it should be. Great culture is one of the things that keeps good employees around and attracts top talent, so culture is very much an HR-related topic. Similarly, the company’s image to the outside world is something HR should be aware of. Working to develop a positive image can make a big difference when it comes to recruiting and hiring. HR departments should regularly take stock of both company culture and image, and should take steps to fill in any gaps or remedy any problems.
Throughout our years in the staffing industry, we’ve seen these components prove to be crucial to the success of an HR department. No matter what your HR department looks like, these practices can help them be more effective, resourceful, and beneficial to the company as a whole.
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