If companies monitored their staff’s wellbeing as closely as their profit margins they might notice a positive correlation between the two. This is where Human Resources (or HR) can make the difference between pluses and negatives on a spread sheet.
Some businesses make the fundamental mistake of treating their staff like a literal ‘resource’, ready to be hired and dropped at a moment’s notice with no thought for longevity. Feeling stability in a job boosts employee commitment, and re-emphasises to staff that they are valued throughout the company. A CEO who tries to learn as many staff names as possible will always be more popular than one who resists walking through the ‘little people’. Likewise taking an interest in people’s roles shows a holistic approach to business, which has frequently been shown to increase value in the company as a whole.
Unfortunately, many employees have a common complaint that when directed to HR for help, they feel that the department’s aim is solely to benefit the employer rather than the employee. This isn’t the way it should be. HR should be designed to be of benefit to both the staff and the powers that be. Structuring the HR department as a neutral platform for complaints and resolutions means employees know that there’s always somewhere beneficial to turn to. If a direct line manager can’t be approached knowing that HR will help is reassuring back up.
The reap the best benefits from the HR staff however their training must be up to date so any advice given to staff is fully compliant with the law. Finding the best suited employment law course means that top level staff don’t need to worry about any legal problems down the line if HR can be certain that what they’re advising is in accordance with current regulations. For larger companies, with global interests, this is particularly important for international employment law.
However, to really get the best from employees HR should also have a strong handle on the fun stuff too. Any staff getting married or up for retirement? Organise a whip round with a healthy donation from the company thrown in for good luck too. Planning the Christmas party? Make sure that the budget gets spread as far as possible and create an event the majority of guests will like. Organising a giant cake to share amongst the staff for the company’s tenth anniversary is a great surprise that’ll perk up everyone’s day. Turning a lovely lunch spread into a lovely profit spread sheet.