Running a business requires a pretty impressive balancing act. One area of management that should never be overlooked is HR. The following will explore what HR is and aspects of this critical position to be conscious of, as well as areas where the processes or effectiveness of your HR team might be able to be improved. 

What Is HR?

HR stands for human resources. It refers both to the people who broadly work for a company and those who are charged with managing all employee matters. Human resources management refers to caring for motivation, humanization, organizational behavior, benefits, screening, and recruitment, among many other tasks. Responsibilities may vary from company to company, but often human resources management includes handling compensation and benefits, firing and hiring, meeting legal requirements, and providing a safe and, if necessary, an anonymous outlet for staff to address problems in the workplace such as harassment or mistreatment.

The HR tasks described above can be performed by people within a company or can be outsourced to out-of-house teams. Human resources management often includes the use of software to keep employee information safe, organized, and accessible, as well as to ensure that there is a legal paper trail (even if it’s digital) that can be used in the event that for tax or other purposes a company is required to prove they took certain action.

Be Wary Of Micro Managing

When it comes to improving the processes and effectiveness of HR, this advice might seem contrary to common sense, but it isn’t. One of the major roles HR plays is providing somewhere that employees can share grievances without fear of being fired or further mistreated. To do this, they need to be able to speak to HR without you there. They need to be able to interact with HR without you finding out that it was them who brought up a concern. Especially when issues of a sensitive nature arise, like sexual misconduct, it can be terrifying for an employee to speak up. Making sure HR has space away from the boss, where no one is standing over their shoulders, is critical.

Facilitate Inter-Departmental Communication

One of the best ways for an HR team to learn how to serve a particular company better is for them to gain an understanding of what is going on daily in other departments. People within HR want to gain a bird’ eye view of each department within the pipeline but also an employee’s view of each department. Those working in HR want to understand the responsibilities of those they are trying to serve and gain an understanding of what the process of interacting with HR is. You might want to schedule days for different members of HR to work in different departments.

This doesn’t have to be often—it can be a one-person, one day per week thing. It can be a biweekly or monthly thing. It could involve one HR employee working in another department for one week straight once every two months. HR’s role is to help your employees; the more they understand your employees’ trials and tribulations, the better they will be at their own work.

Stay Open To Developments In Payroll

The world of payroll is constantly changing, and HR departments need to stay on top of new trends and expectations. Since the advent of direct deposit, HR departments everywhere are learning about a variety of ways they can better serve employees. More frequent payments are a commonly used approach to improving employee satisfaction (if staff are less worried about money, they are more likely to be present and enjoying their work), as well as payment alternatives being available like Paypal or pay card options for those who do not have a traditional banking situation (25% of Americans don’t have a traditional banking situation). Of course, payroll is going to look drastically different depending on your business and compensation packages; payroll solutions for small businesses will often be completely distinct from those for larger businesses. Ensure that your HR team is doing their research and due diligence when it comes to new payroll options, and be sure that you’ve made it clear they are able to approach you with ideas they have upon completing this research.

The above tips should help your HR team get things done more smoothly and effectively. It’s critical that you are performing regular audits of your HR situation both by asking those within HR where improvements could be made and by those within your company but outside of HR.