The HR department covers more than just hiring and firing. Human resources teams create policies, build procedures, work to foster accepting company culture, and protect the company from liability. Your HR team is a strategic part of your business, but it’s rarely seen that way by business owners. This means that the human resources department is often understaffed – and HR executives scramble to keep your business staffed, employees trained, and mitigate liability.
Business Success Consulting Group CEO Adi Klevit recently interviewed Cindy Free, CEO of HR Annie Consulting. They discussed why HR often falls between the cracks and what a business owner can do to establish working HR systems. This article provides a summary of their discussion.
Why Does HR Fall Between the Cracks?
Your entire business runs because you have fantastic employees procured by your HR team. So, why do most companies fail to give the human resources department the attention it deserves?
Here are a few of the most common reasons why HR falls between the cracks:
1. HR’s contributions are difficult to quantify. Staffing is likely the most visible and easily quantifiable aspect of HR. Employee happiness, well-trained and oriented employees, avoided legal issues, and money saved due to excellent policies are challenging to quantify. Therefore, they often aren’t regarded as a company scales – until an emergency happens.
2. Some business owners have experienced hiring an HR person who cannot keep up with company growth. This can make it seem as if human resources isn’t particularly useful – and is something that should be taken over by leadership. However, an efficient HR director can be the difference between rapid scaling and slow growth.
3. It can feel easier to be reactive rather than proactive. Part of the HR department’s job is to be proactive and implement preventative policies to keep the business out of trouble. However, many companies don’t get into significant trouble more than once – and that one time is what drives the owner into closing the doors. Prevention can seem like a hassle unless everything comes crashing down.
4. As a company grows, many urgent priorities face a business owner. Most of these priorities are clearly tied to company growth and scalability and tend to bypass HR.
5. HR isn’t traditionally invited to the leadership table. This leaves business owners viewing HR staff as administrative or support roles – rather than a strategic part of the team.
All of the above is commonly seen in most businesses. If you are reading this article, you likely would like to make a change and build a robust HR team. Read on to find out how to build systems to support your HR team as you grow this aspect of your company.
You Need to Build HR-Specific Systems
Systematization is a fantastic way to build HR supports into your business. Whether you have a strong HR team or just one staff member, creating policies, processes, and procedures around HR actions will keep your company consistent. This gives your staff something to count on and can help protect your business against legal issues.
Look at these areas as you build HR-specific systems:
1. Legal and compliance
3. Employee lifecycle as it relates to HR (i.e., hiring, training, complaints, reviews, exit, retirement)
4. Industry best practices
5. Company culture
6. Needs of existing employees/Employee retention
7. Reviews – how to learn from past actions and build your own best practices
Finally, consider how you would measure success and failure in each of these areas. Tracking HR metrics can help you catch legal problems before they begin and discover holes in employee retention/hiring that you can solve before you experience a mass exit.
Follow These HR Best Practices when Systematizing
As you consider systematizing your human resources area, follow these best practices to ensure your processes and procedures will work within your business.
Build administrative systems
HR does quite a bit of administration. Keep your files in order by doing the following:
- Find a paper or online system for collecting paperwork and maintaining personnel files in one place.
- Ensure your system is easy to update and allows you to set reminders and alerts.
- Ensure your system is secure. There is a lot of malware and spyware out there. As your company grows, you need to ensure robust security.
Establish Best Practices for Documentation
Training new employees and supporting continuing education requires documentation. However, one can also go overboard with documentation and end up with piles of paper with no discernable priorities.
So, ensure that there is someone in charge of documenting processes and someone else in charge of documenting actions that could be involved in legal proceedings. Both need to understand the purpose of their job.
Determine Where Legal Liability May Occur
Make a list of where legal liability is most likely to occur so your HR team can establish best practices for each scenario. This likely will include consultation with a legal expert/lawyer. Having these best practices and policies established at the beginning will save your business time and money later.
Understanding how your business can benefit from robust Human Resources systems will help you as you grow and scale. If you are considering this area for the first time, or you plan to scale and want to establish policies and systems now, get in touch with Business Success Consulting Group. We will work with you to customize your HR systems, so they best fit your business.