Human resources play a vital role in any business. As the part of the business that will handle the recruitment of new employees, and all the paperwork and other forms that entails, as well ensuring their overall wellbeing, it’s easy to understand why this department is considered so important. Despite this, many businesses still seem to massively underappreciate their human resources departments and the functions that they serve.
A well-managed and well-optimized human resources department will make a big difference behind the scenes of a business. If your human resources department is not being run efficiently, this usually leads to the kinds of administrative oversight that can cause a business serious problem.
Here are some top tips for better managing your human resources department so that it can perform its function at maximum efficiency.
Anticipate Their Needs
The better you are able to anticipate the needs of your human resources department, the easier it will be to meet those needs. For example, if you find yourself facing an understaffed human resources department who are desperate for new staff, you may have to say no on budgetary grounds. This kind of thing can be very demoralizing, and a demoralized employee is an unproductive employee.
It is much better for your human resources department, and for your relationship with them, if you are able to anticipate that they are likely to require more staff in the near future. This then allows you to begin preparing for that by making room in your next budget.
That is just one example of a scenario where anticipating human resource’s needs can be beneficial. Also, by taking the long-term view more generally, you are demonstrating your attentiveness to individual departments within your business. Taking a long-term view will benefit individual departments by helping you to anticipate and meet their needs, but it will also help you as a business manager.
Manage Your Employees Skills
Effective skills management is an essential component of an efficient business, especially one that has grown significantly in size. Skills management refers to the pairing of workers with particular skills to the positions where they can best make use of them. It’s easy to see the benefits of such a system; it is more effective than leaving an employee’s role within your business up to fate.
If someone takes on one role in your business but then demonstrates a strong affinity for another role, it may well make sense to transfer them to the position for which they are more naturally suited.
Given that your human resources department is the department that will handle an employee’s initial recruitment, and their subsequent movements around the different departments of your business, they will have an important role to play in helping you to ensure that you are matching workers to positions based on skill above all else.
Also, it is such an obvious point that it is easy to overlook, but skills matching within your human resources department itself will massively improve the efficacy of their work.
Depending on the current size and state of your business, it might be worth undertaking an audit of all your employees’ skills. To do this, have your employees fill out questionnaires about their skills, their ambitions, and any other information that you think would be helpful in matching them to the right role. Make sure that you do not ask them about their current role in your organization.
The purpose of this exercise is to then assign your workers roles based on where you think they would be best suited. Check your answers against their actual roles, then make any changes you feel are warranted.
Invest in People
As well as pairing the best candidates with the most suitable roles, it is also important to recognize raw talent where it exists. Whether employees are thriving in a position that you have assigned to them, or they have proven to be consistently good workers since they first joined your organization, you should always seek to reward and reinforce good behavior.
Where you identify key talent within your business, make sure that you do everything that is reasonable to retain them in your organization. As time goes on, any employee becomes more valuable simply because they gain experience, and experience is not something that you can shortcut your way into. In recognition of this fact, you should always be willing to go the extra mile if it means retaining the services of your most valuable workers.
One of the ways that you can demonstrate to the key talent in your human resources department that you value them, is to pay to send them on training courses. These courses will make them more valuable to you, and any future employers, and will also help to foster loyalty.
If you search HR training courses online, you will find that there are a wide range of human resources training courses out there. Pay particular attention to the management certificates. Some of your junior staff may well wish to undertake the necessary training to progress into a management role. If this isn’t something you have considered before, it is worth speaking to your key staff about it.
Manage Your Resource Assignment
The bigger your business is, the harder your human resources department are going to have to work. We mentioned earlier how important it is to anticipate the future needs of your department and to take steps to meet them as early on as possible. On a similar note, it is vital that you have carefully considered your resource management within the department.
Resource management, as the name implies, refers to the way that you distribute your available resources among your workforce. The term ‘resources’ can mean a number of different things, depending on the context. In the case of most human resources departments, the staff themselves are the resource, and they must know how to prioritize and assign tasks effectively amongst themselves.
Your procedures for managing the allocation of resources, such as computers and telephones, to employees, must be designed with overload scenarios in mind. You want policies that will still be actionable when the department is at its most frantic and inundated.
Ensure That the Workload is Spread Evenly
This is an important consideration for any department within your business, but especially one as hectic as human resources. Your resource management will allocate work and resources on a day-to-day basis, but an employee’s workload refers to the nature of their work in general, over a sustained period of time.
For example, a human resources staff member having to lift some heavy boxes one day because there is a delivery of office supplies does not constitute a heavy workload. On the other hand, if that employee is expected to carry heavy boxes every single day, then that is a part of their usual workload.
If you don’t spread the work evenly across your human resources department, you will find workers becoming resentful, both of you and of one another. The best way to avoid this situation is to take the time to clearly lay out for yourself what each of your employees’ current workloads is like. If any are noticeably more intense than others, that is often a sign that they should be adjusted.
Your human resources department is one of the most important in your whole business. Ensuring that they are able to function effectively should, therefore, always be a key objective.