HR, or Human Resources, is an essential component of most businesses. Human Resources departments have various different roles and impact many different aspects of a workplace. HR can often be overlooked. However, the importance of an effective HR department is vital to the success of a business. Whether they are a small start-up or a multinational corporation.
What Does an HR Department Do?
HR departments are responsible for the wellbeing and roles of the people who work for a company. Issues such as employee recruitment, training, payroll, and benefits are managed by a HR department. They can also handle sick pay, annual leave, and other technicalities of employment.
However, a HR department is not just about admin issues. The HR department is typically the “go-between” between managers and employees. It’s important in not only making employees feel welcome, secure, and satisfied at a workplace, but the HR department oversees any potential personal issues or conflicts that may arise.
How Big is an HR Department?
The size of a HR department will be dependent on the size and complexity of the individual company. Along with a dependency on how many workers the company employs. Small businesses may only need one manager in charge of HR. Whereas much larger companies will likely require a sizeable department. However, devising and following correct procedures and company policies with regards to training, payroll, employee reviews, and workplace culture will reduce the strain on any HR department by preventing most issues before they occur.
Thanks to advances in technology, HR systems can be increasingly automated by software. However, there still needs to be at least one human involved.
What Skills Does a Member of the HR Department Need?
An employee in charge of HR generally needs to be well-versed and qualified in the specifics of employment law. This will be used to prevent managers and/or employees from (intentionally or unintentionally) violating these laws. Even if no laws are being broken, HR teams need to be able to ensure that employees are happy and satisfied in their work. It’s for this reason, any member of a HR team should be approachable and socially competent and understanding.
HR departments may sometimes be called upon to mediate and resolve disputes between employees and/or management. This can be anything from pay disputes to harassment claims. Having a HR department which is effective at conflict resolution can prevent a lot of unideal situation. Including anything from employees leaving due to dissatisfaction, to employees even filing lawsuits against a company.
As HR departments are often responsible for maintaining payroll and annual leave. So they will also need a degree of financial knowledge and financial skills. Being a member of a HR team requires various different soft skills and hard skills.
The Bottom Line
The importance of an effective HR department and sufficient HR policies in a company cannot be overstated. After all, a company cannot run without employees who are trained, satisfied, and motivated to work towards a common goal. The costs, both financial and personal, of ineffective HR can vastly outweigh the costs needed to run a successful HR department!
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