The role of Human Resources
The role of Human Resources

The role of Human Resources

The job of Human Resources today is to make people and organisations grow!

Dave Ulrich  created the emperors’ new clothes when he suggested that the HR Business Partner should be essentially a business-focused HR Manager role. However, this new role was introduced with little impact in reality.

So where does that leave HR today, and specifically where does it leave HR in SME’s?

HR professionals who want to be recognised as true Business Partners to business owners must see themselves first as business people who specialise in HR, not as HR people who advise a business. In an ideal world, this would require HR professionals to emerge from within a business or shift out of HR to work in a line management position to gain perspective and training.

This is quite a leap, specifically for those of us who have only known a career in HR. However, what I can tell you as the Managing Director of a business is that you quickly need to learn how business operates, and specifically how you prioritise resources and time to ensure commercial success. You also learn the real importance of customers and how important they are to the success of the organisation.

But what else can HR do to help businesses grow?

Find and retain people that embrace your business and its values…

Organisations of all sizes need to create, market and sell an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that reflects the true culture of the entity along with the reason it exists. If your internal employees are not living your values then they aren’t in reality engaged in what you are trying to achieve!

If they are not engaged, then they won’t go the extra mile when you need them, or stay the course when things inevitably become tough.

If you are not sure what your employees would say about what they experience working for you, ask them directly or through an anonymous survey. You as an organisation should desire to hire employees passionate about your cause and purpose.

Work with your HR provider to create a few interview questions to find a good fit with a potential employee during an interview. By looking for common themes in candidates’ responses (those which run parallel to the job they are interviewing for and also match your organisation’s purpose), you will get a better sense if they are a good fit.

Create Organisational Alignment

Building a successful and sustainable organisation requires a unified team effort. If an individual or department succeeds while everyone around them fails, something is wrong. This isn’t because individual performances can’t shine during the darkest of times. Rather, those high performing individuals and departments should be expected to assist those around them in achieving great things, too.

Leaders, employees and departments need to think “organisation first” during all actions and objectives. Everyone top to bottom needs to support this thinking. Building incentive, reward and recognition systems tying employees to the organisation’s core purpose and mission – plus short- and long-term objectives – will merge the organisation together, ensuring all have skin in the game.

Accurately Measure The Right Things

HR will often tell you that effective measurement of their success might be associated with:

  • The number of annual appraisals completed
  • The speed at which a standard HR process, such as a disciplinary, is completed
  • The number of tribunal claims won
  • The speed of hire
  • The number of managers trained in an HR process

Good measurement is of course key to the success of any organisation, otherwise how will you recognise improvement?

However, to be really commercial, every part of your organisation, including HR, needs to ask the following questions on at least a quarterly basis:

  • Are we doing the right thing for our people, customers and business?
  • How are we contributing to the top and bottom line?
  • How are we measuring our organisational effectiveness and impact?

It is the information from these type of questions and measurements that help guide the success of your organisation.

Need Help?

Having the peace of mind to know that someone is there to advise and guide you whilst your business grows during uncertain times is crucial. Learn more about how HR can help your business with our handy infographic and video here. PlusHR offer practical, legally compliant HR advice to support you with HR issues. We can be “hands on” and deal with the issues on your behalf or be there behind the scenes to advise and guide. Learn more and sign up for a free trial here.

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