Written by: Roisin Flood, Talent Acquisition Specialist
Human Resources (HR) may be one of the most misunderstood departments in every company. Sure, we all know they are important for a company to function successfully, but what exactly do they do? Well, everyone knows that a company with unhappy employees is an unsuccessful company which usually results in high turnover, low engagement and low morale. HR is the driving force that attempts to fix these problems before they occur. They seek to bridge the gap between the company and the companies employees — in the simplest terms, HR works for the staff.
Throughout this article, we will be taking a deeper look at the most common questions employees have regarding HR.
- What is an HR department?
The human resources team’s main duty is to integrate and connect each department to come together and create a synergistic environment. The main goal is to help engineers, designers & the sales teams to work as one. The HR team needs to be well connected to each team and facilitate them all to create, work and build something wonderful. This helps to develop a systematic language to help streamline, coordinate, and redirect the work to reach the company’s highest potential.
2. What does HR do?
- Recruitment: this is the most basic component of HR. Building a talent market reputation is extremely vital to attracting the best employees for the role while also maintaining organization-wide diversity. In HR, the team is constantly looking to grow with the business and bring in the best of the best for the company.
- Performance Management: One of the most significant HR factors is helping employees map out their career paths with the company. A great way to keep on track of this, is to have regular performance management assessments. This helps to identify strengths and areas of improvement of the employee so they can identify exactly how far away they are from achieving their career goals. Additionally, being transparent from the start encourages employees to know exactly what they have to improve on in order to be considered for or receive promotions as well as any potential salary adjustments.
- Update policies and procedures: Although often overlooked, the policies and procedures that HR implements leads to creating a safe, comfortable and effective work environment. This can include health & safety, sick leave, harassment, benefits, vacation, and any other mandatory protocols for the well-being of the employees. Oftentimes, employee surveys are sent out so that the HR team stays attuned to the employee’s needs, pain points and expectations.
- Training and Development: Managing employees can often be difficult. The most effective way to create success is to train each employee on an ongoing basis properly. This is vital to encourage employees to acquire new skills and hone existing ones based on business requirements. This benefits employees’ progress within their role as well as helps to further their individual career growth.
3. How does HR help to support employees?
Human Resources professionals provide support to employees with questions on company policies, procedures or safety. HR is there to assist if an employee is having challenges with their manager, team members or the company. Disagreements and differences of opinion are naturally going to occur in any business. Having a neutral third party, which can support the team, is vital for efficient problem-solving. Additionally, HR is there to assist and support employees through any personal issues that they may not feel comfortable discussing with other seniority members within the company; this may include harassment or misconduct. HR will act as a third party to review all concerns and take any appropriate action, when and if required.
Providing team building events, out-of-the-office socials, events and celebrations that acknowledge, praise, recognize, and show appreciation for employees’ efforts is one way HR shows their appreciation of the employees.
4. How should you approach the HR department?
One of the goals of the HR team is to create a neutral, safe and open space where employees feel comfortable coming to them with any sensitive issue or problem that they may have. With that being said, reaching out to someone on the HR team through email, slack or teams messenger for any informal questions or requests will suffice. All issues and concerns are dealt with confidentially. Employees should be aware that the HR team is there, if they wish, to schedule a call to ensure that their concerns or adversaries are heard.
5. Key skills that HR professionals must have
Remaining calm in crisis:
- Confidentiality and neutrality with calm, effective solutions for any concerns brought forward.
The team possesses an openness to learn:
- This may be the most important skill for an HR professional to possess. They should constantly be looking for ways to grow personally and to help the business grow.
Being attune to the actual goals of the company:
- The more effective they are at achieving this, the better HR will excel at their jobs and helping the company grow.
Ability to advocate and promote the brand of the organization:
- Internalize the business and create an appreciation for business and the talent process.
Increase employee engagement:
- Use your communication skills to build up employee engagement and determine what the team is missing to increase morale. This encourages a positive work environment that is optimal for employee productivity.
Roisin is one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists here at TribalScale. She works with the HR team to recruit, manage and works to harmonize the various departments within the organization. When she is not working behind her computer she is often found cooking or walking her dogs.
TribalScale is a global innovation firm that helps enterprises adapt and thrive in the digital era. We transform teams and processes, build best-in-class digital products, and create disruptive startups. Learn more about us on our website. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook!