This week our guest blogger deals with the importance of HR to SMEs. Juliet Martin says that HR support is of immense value to business organisations because they employ people – it really is that simple. People aren’t cookie cutter products, i.e. identical products cut from the same mould, but instead complex, unique creatures and that makes them challenging to manage at times.
Whilst management level decision makers usually have years of education, training and hands-on experience under their belts, policy making often proves challenging and when the policies management introduce cause friction or fail to achieve what they set out to achieve, having HR support on hand can prove crucial.
Aiding decision making is, however, just one aspect of the multifaceted role that HR support plays in a business organisation and whether a business organisation decides to outsource their HR needs or create a dedicated internal HR department, it’s essential that everyone from senior management to entry-level employees has access to HR support.
How HR Helps Business Organisations Achieve Their Goals
Employee acquisition is one of the most notable ways in which HR departments help business organisations achieve their goals; however, they also assist with compliance management, training and development, along with core and quality control.
Employee acquisition strategies are, or should be, inextricably linked with retention strategies because it isn’t enough to hire the talented individuals business organisations work hard to attract, they need to make sure they’re engaged and happy and that they aren’t about to look for employment elsewhere.
Training and development is another important aspect of HR support and leading business organisations invest heavily in training and development for their employees for a number of reasons; for instance, as a part of an employee retention strategy – employees tend to feel happier and more engaged when they know they’re valued and the provision of training conveys the impression of being a valuable part of an organisation.
Compliance management, i.e. ensuring business organisations adhere to government regulations and labour laws, is another critical aspect of HR, one that makes HR invaluable to businesses, because strict compliance management plays a major role in helping businesses avoid lawsuits as a result of disputes between employer and employee.
Core and quality control is often a broad area encompassing the cost of training and development, employee benefit materials, compensation packages, etc.
Image credit: AGmakonts, license Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamgrabek/6424464061
How HR Assists Employees
HR, whether internal or outsourced, assists employees in a number of ways, some of which overlap to a certain extent, as does the role of HR departments – do they assist the employer or the employee?
It’s important to understand that they assist both business and employee, so employees who feel as though their rights have been violated or need to seek resolution for a workplace conflict should feel comfortable approaching HR representatives.
Workplace conflict and related considerations aside, an important way in which HR departments assist employees, and the business at the same time, is through training and development.
This could entail:
Arranging training programmes
Savvy management recognises the inherent importance of providing their employees with training and HR departments can play a major role by arranging training programs.
Determining suitable training mediums
In addition to arranging training programs, business organisations, whether they outsource or keep employee training in-house, need HR support to identify suitable training mediums to improve competency in areas identified as deficient.
Assisting with career paths within the organisation
HR departments can assist employees with career path guidance within the organisation, for instance by discussing goals and the milestones that employees need to pass in order to be considered for promotion.
As abovementioned, it’s important to understand that HR departments exist for the benefit of both employer and employee and that when they assist one they are essentially assisting the other.
This might seem at odds with the way that events transpire, though it’s important to understand that both employers and employees have something to gain when HR departments work at conflict resolution or take measures to avoid taking disciplinary action against an employee and/or their manager or supervisor.
Is It Time to Outsource Your Business’s HR Needs?
Human resources, although critical in business, can be costly to keep in-house and many large businesses outsource their HR needs just as small businesses, which typically can’t afford a dedicated HR department, usually do.
However, this trend also runs the other way, with once small business organisations setting up their own HR departments in-house once they’ve grown large enough. “Once a company gets very big, then it is easier to have an in-house HR department,” says the owner of National Employee Management Resources, Janis Sweeney, a professional employer organisation (PEO).
There’s a lot to take into account when deciding whether to keep HR in-house, outsource it or establish a dedicated in-house HR department, though whatever management decides to do, the value HR support provides can’t be understated or overlooked.
If you’re deciding to outsource your HR and you’re looking for practical advice make sure you give Russell HR Consulting a call!
Juliet Martin is a freelance writer for a global workspace provider. Founded in 1989, Regus UK is a global organisation that aims to provide only the best office spaces and meeting venues to all kinds of businesses.
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