Human Resource (HR) management plays a vital role at the core of any company when it comes to overseeing HR functions including administration, development and management of employees.
For SMEs or early-stage startups, a HR department is typically non-existent and HR can be ad hoc and impromptu, but once staffing hits a critical mass, having effective HR professionals on board is crucial for the well-being and seamless operations of companies.
Yet, many people overlook the important role that HR plays. The common stereotype depicts HR as neglecting the needs and requests of employees and not taking feedback seriously.
However, HR can be a huge boost to any company if it’s done right. With the following quick tips, one can quickly harness effective HR to produce highly effective company outcomes:
1) Coordinate HR Processes
The hiring, retention, and resignation of employees happens organically in every company. However, this isn’t simply some random dynamic. Why do some people get hired, why are others leaving, why are some employees outperforming others and why are some more satisfied than others?
The most effective HR teams are essentially strategic business partners who can optimise HR processes to achieve the company’s goals, and are not just paper-pushing departments.
Especially for large firms, having an organised database of employees’ personal and job-related information is crucial. When the time comes for an annual review or a promotion, information is power. Details including an employee’s date of hire, employment type and other relevant information help to determine, for instance in this case, an annual review.
An effective HR professional needs to stay up-to-date and coordinate these HR processes.
And it takes a lot of time and team effort to complete any given process. A lack of observation and attention to detail can easily cause mishaps.
2) Focus on Cultivating Relationships
We perform our best when we have healthy relationships at work.
Performance and quantifiable results matter because they’re directly related to the bottom line, such as sales and profits.
At the same time, many studies have described the importance of social relationships in keeping people bonded and close.
It’s rightly said that the success and failure of a company is directly proportional to the relationship shared among employees.
This is where HR plays a prominent role in cultivating binding relationships with employees.
Employees are often so preoccupied with their work that the only time to socialise is during lunch. In larger firms, employees may not even know the full names of those working in the same building.
HR needs to involve employees in team-building activities which can give them an opportunity to familiarise with one another.
Team spirit matters. People who enjoy the company of their colleagues are more willing to work unitedly and cooperate.
Hard results are important at least in the short run, but neglect the relationship-building aspects within an organisation, and results will suffer in the long run.
3) Keep Employees Aligned with Company Goals
When employees know what they’re working for, they understand the importance of their role and are thus more apt to stay committed.
People need to know that their work makes a difference as well as how they fare in performance in order to stay dedicated to their job.
Having clear operational goals ensures that each individual in the company is moving towards the same direction and is aware of how their job fits in with the goals of the company.
If these goals are communicated and measurable, not only will employees be more motivated and productive, they also understand more precisely what’s important and what’s not.
With everyone working together toward the same objectives, companies can experience massive growth, progression, increased flexibility and adaptability.
4) Create a Performance Feedback Culture that Matters
The word “feedback” is a new buzzword in HR.
In line with keeping employees aligned with company goals, regular face-to-face meetings are now expected of HR.
“No news is good news” isn’t exactly good news. Employees need and seek feedback on their performance and progression for career advancement opportunities. People often want to be deeply involved in the company they work for, and such feedback sessions are important for them to be able to speak their minds openly.
Demonstrating that the company is concerned about the unhappiness or dissatisfaction from employees shows them that you care, allows for more valuable feedback of potential problems, and promotes the retention of employees.
5) Nurture a Learning Environment
People can be broadly classified as being oriented towards learning or performance. Research has shown that performance-oriented people, while highly motivated to win and get results, are more likely to be afraid of failure than learning-oriented people.
On the other hand, learning-oriented people tend to be more patient in mastering their tasks, willing to take risks, are creative and positive in approaching challenges in general.
When HR takes the initiative to make an effort to connect with employees, whether in person or as a group, employees are motivated in so many ways.
People have great ideas on how to improve various aspects of the company. Listen and encourage conversation. When people feel accepted, encouraged and appreciated, they tend to perform better and this creates a joyous workplace environment.
As employees adopt a learning stance towards their tasks, they become more interested, motivated and invested in mastering the skills needed to achieve their goals and do the best job possible.
By promoting a learning environment, employees are motivated to step up and take on a wider variety of projects and put in the effort to accomplish ambitious goals.
6) Do Not Underestimate the Presence of Mentors
Studies have found that people with mentors are more likely to excel and get further in life and career than people without. The mentor-mentee relationship is a powerful, symbiotic and naturally occurring one.
Mentors have a wealth of knowledge they’re glad to impart while mentees are eager to learn from respected seniors.
However, such relationships cannot be forced.
A dedicated HR department that wishes to leverage these mentorship relationships needs to pay close attention to individual staff and identify those with natural leadership, wisdom, as well as a nurturing personality.
Others, especially less experienced juniors, are likely to gravitate towards them to absorb more knowledge. When employees are learning, they’re engaged, so it’s important to offer leadership training and skill development courses. Job shadowing and mentor programs are good ways to expose employees to different skill sets.
The mentor-mentee relationship is an efficient means of enabling soft training, thus freeing up resources that’re otherwise needed to train employees more formally. Good mentors are often effective employees as well, which helps the company reproduce effective workers like themselves in later generations of junior staff.
7) Retain Your Top Performing Talent
This is a no-brainer for HR but that’s not what’s actually happening – retaining top performing talent.
HR departments with poor foresight sometimes commit the error of retrenching their most costly employees. Top performing talent may also be courted by rival companies, and if companies are not mindful in stepping up to the retention game, these top performers are gone in an instant.
After HR has invested the time, effort and resources to hire the most suitable talent possible, they should be retained for as long as possible.
Losing the top performers of your company has a huge impact and can be more damaging than losing any other group of employees. Quality matters over quantity; it’s not about how many you’re losing, but rather who you’re losing.
Providing support to employees and letting them know about the career advancement opportunities that’re available in the company shows them that they’re valued and are able to grow with the company as they go along.
8) Managing with Persuasive Communication
In order for HR to implement many of the important processes and policies that’re needed to streamline and optimise the operations and performance of a company, including some of the points listed above, HR also needs to be effective in persuasive communication.
When the HR department of a company provides a good listening ear, they can use persuasive communication to acquire information about employees’ concerns and interests.
Persuasion is the ability to influence people with their consent to do so.
Persuasive communication, such as appealing to employees’ interests, showing a willingness to give and take and demonstrating consideration and tolerance, can go a long way towards getting employees to sing along to the same tune.
9) Stretch the Limits of Employees
People do not respond only to encouragements or enticements. For instance, productivity tends to be flat until a deadline is near, during which productivity and risk taking soars exponentially. This provides the insight that there’re ways to entice workers more effectively.
In line with creating a learning environment, let employees know that they’re encouraged to take on new challenges. HR should help employees to accomplish their goals if it’s within the company’s means, regardless whether these goals are personal or professional. This is because the personal lives of employees directly affect their work.
The saying, “keep things professional,” is overstated as people often inevitably mix their personal lives with work.
HR must be familiar with and mindful of how people tend to correlate their pay raise, bonuses and other rewards and benefits with their work performance.
Therefore, make it obvious and straightforward to employees about the pay raise, bonus or promotion is out on the table. This way, the limits of employees will be stretched so that they will work harder and accomplish more in their work in order to progress further.
10) Invest in a Software as a Service
This is where modern HR management software like HerdHR, also known as software as a service (SaaS), comes into place. Cloud-based solutions are capable of integrating many processes together with minimal effort. Automation, management and analysing of information are critical to optimise HR effectiveness.
Readily available reports are generated with a click of a button.
Performance measures can be easily assessed so that a bird’s eye view of who’s doing well and who’s not can be quickly assessed.
Employees are found to be more engaged, productive and happier when their lives are simplified and enhanced with SaaS. HR and managers are able to spend more time communicating and building meaningful relationships with their people.
In an era where technology dominates almost every work function, failing to effectively utilise technology can dramatically decrease productivity and progress in the company. With SaaS in place, companies can save time and money without replacing costly hardware and spending on maintenance costs. HR can get used to painless upgrades and seamless integration of business processes.
These guidelines serve as quick yet rich information to strategise the best HR practices to entice better performance and satisfaction in employees.