It’s one thing to fully understand a Human Resources definition, but another thing entirely to understand what a successful Human Resources department looks like.
Let’s start with the basics: What is HR? Human Resources is pretty much the engine powering your company. An HR department overlooks a myriad of both general and vital responsibilities in a company. A brief list of human resource jobs and responsibilities would still probably be several sides of paper – so let’s umbrella it.
Under the HR umbrella, you’ll find several important elements of business management: recruitment, retention, benefits, employee support, task delegation, training and administration. Basically, HR is responsible for all things worker-related.
There are so many HR jobs and concerns that without a clear policy, plan or approach to managing these tasks, it won’t be long before your employees and your business lose the plot.
That’s probably a more appropriate question. So you know what your HR department is supposed to do, but how should it do it successfully?
The best way to produce a strong and applicable HR strategy is to keep things simple. By using a simplified process, and completely understanding the needs of your organisation – inside and out – you will be able to select the most critical, most useful, components of your strategy development.
Successful human resource management clarifies the role of the HR team down to a T. You should be able to explain these roles to a 5 year old without difficulty – sounds ridiculous, but if you can make your responsibilities clear enough for a child to understand, you’re on the right track.
Once you’ve clarified the exact role of HR in your company, you can determine the size, structure and cost of the resources required to carry out HR activity.
From here, all this activity must be aligned to the company needs. Let’s get down to business.
Plan like you're playing chess
The role of HR is to add value to the structure and operation of the business. This is done through putting together a strategy that will invest in maximising the company workflow by orchestrating it around how the staff actually work and behave.
This means when crafting your HR strategy, you need to take into account the shape, size and structure of the organisation, as well as the socio-cultural behaviour of the employees.
From here, you can figure out what needs to be done to get the most out of your employees and to meet customers’ needs.
Expertise is inevitably required here. For starters, how capable are the managers in the organisation? HR may need to intervene in some cases if managers are not up to standard. To leverage company performance, you first and foremost need strong leaders to spearhead your strategy.
The organisational structure should be defined by HR clearly at every single level. For instance, who is responsible for what? Who answers to who? Who do you go to for support? If there’s something or someone missing, HR need to find out what or who.
Look back at previous projects. What worked? What didn’t? Make notes. If you want to progress, you need to stop making the same old mistakes. Make links and correlations between what spurs on your business and what doesn’t.
Steve Jobs once justly pointed out that planning ahead is a little bit like playing dot-to-dot. At his famous commencement address at Stanford University in 2005, Jobs said that “you can’t connect dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”
Based on what you’ve already achieved and what you’ve managed to establish in the past, “you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
Look back over previous strategies. Maybe they worked perfectly, and of course, why change something that doesn’t need changing? But maybe one didn’t work because of a small strategic error that you could solve and update with a little time and effort.
Learn from the past to move forward and have confidence in what your business has achieved and what it could go on to achieve.
Once you’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t, you need to figure out how to supply your employees with the resources they need. This means identifying exactly what each department and each individual requires to undertake their work.
Resourcing isn’t just about handing out tech and teacups though, it involves the actual process needed to determine resourcing needs, attracting the right people to fill positions in the company, and assessing and selecting these newbies too.
For recruitment, it’s important that the HR department strategises how they want the company to come across in the recruitment market. Create a recruitment brand, an image of the organisation that will attract new talent, that supports the success of the company. The company’s values and goals must be made clear through the branding.
Following on from resourcing, HR should know exactly what’s needed for the application of certain jobs and responsibilities. If someone does actually need the tech or teacups, it’s the responsibility of HR to source the necessary kit and provide it.
This kit isn’t necessarily physical though. We’re also talking mental and intellectual tools too. Training and development aims to increase business skills which contribute to the effective performance of the organisation.
At an individual level, it’s important that training needs are met so employees can continue to develop their skillset and achieve their own personal career targets.
At a team level, these individual skills should be aligned with those of the team as a whole. This ensures the company is well equipped to achieve those highly desired production rates.
If you’re going to provide all this training and kit, you’re going to have to reward your employees for actually working hard with the resources you provide. Communication is key here too. If someone is doing something well, let them know!
Compensation and benefits systems should align the organisational performance of the company with the way it rewards people. This provides the appropriate incentives and motivation needed for the company to deliver and achieve its targets.
Components of a reward and recognition scheme could include a combination of bonuses, profit sharing or a mix of personal benefits (meal vouchers, cinema tickets, reduced gym memberships etc.).
There is a lot of evidence to show that compensation is a really significant constituent of strategic HRM. Economically, it’s a conduit to increased production rates, but in relation to employee well-being, benefits boost positivity in the workplace.
Monitoring the company culture has a lot to do with managing rewards and recognition. Company culture is about how employees interact, react and act around one another and within the different projects they take on.
HR need to be sensitive to employee needs and behaviours when putting together their strategy, and so should be closely involved in the organisation’s cultural ambition and working styles.
Through a sound knowledge of the organisations working psychology and philosophy, HR can provide solutions to deliver any improvements, and work on ways to keep encouraging boosts in morale and team spirit.
You may have gathered, but at Perkbox, we like HR strategies. One of our main priorities is actually talking to people. The way we see it is that the best way to develop a team is to become part of the team you’re helping.
Building a strong relationship with your staff will allow you to truly understand how they work. With this knowledge, you can adapt your business strategy to suit the working environment of your company. Each HRM strategy should be unique because every company culture, every company goal, is different.
Building a strong relationship and a developing trust and credibility is, in our opinion, largely grown organically from recognising and rewarding hard work. This is why we have our benefits plan.
We know that happy teams do great things! So we provide a platform which enriches the experience and working life of every employee. Perkbox helps your employees’ pay cheques go further with hundreds of perks, discounts, and freebies from big-name brands.
Benefit platforms create an environment where staff feel looked after and motivated to work hard for their company.
Benefit schemes, like those which we provide at Perkbox, should definitely be considered when putting together your human resources strategy. It could be the difference between halting your business’ progress or advancing at full speed ahead.
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