For small businesses and large conglomerates alike, the human resources or personnel function can be helpful for much more than simply processing payroll or handling the open enrollment season once a year. Human resources plays an essential role in developing a company’s strategy as well as handling the employee-centered activities of an organization.
Human Capital Value
Having an in-house human resources function is important. An in-house human resources staff or a human resources expert on staff can increase the understanding of how important human capital is to the company’s bottom line. For small businesses, in particular, human capital is critical because so many smaller firms have employees who perform cross-functional duties. With a smaller workforce, if just one person leaves, it leaves the company with a huge gap to fill and a potential threat to the company’s profitability.
Business Budget Control
Human resources curbs excessive spending through developing methods for trimming workforce management costs, which includes negotiating better rates for benefits such as health care coverage. In addition, human resources ensures competitive and realistic wage-setting based on studying the labor market, employment trends and salary analysis based on job functions. As some small businesses have budget constraints, this human resources function is especially helpful.
Employee Conflict Resolution
Workplace conflict is inevitable, given the diversity of personalities, work styles, backgrounds and levels of experience among employees. A human resources manager or a staff person specially trained to handle employee relations matters can identify and resolve conflict between two employees or a manager and employee and restore positive working relationships.
Training and Development
Human resources conducts needs assessments for the organization’s current workforce to determine the type of skills training and employee development necessary for improving skills and qualifications. Companies in the beginning or growth phases can benefit from identifying training needs for existing staff. It’s much less expensive than the cost to hire additional staff or more qualified candidates. In addition, it’s a strategy that also can reduce turnover and improve employee retention.
Improving Employee Satisfaction
Human resources specialists usually are charged with the responsibility of determining the level of employee satisfaction – often an ambiguous measurement at best. With carefully designed employee surveys, focus groups and an exit interview strategy, human resources determines what underlies employee dissatisfaction and addresses those issues to motivate employees.
Human Resources Cost Savings
The cost to hire new or replacement workers, including training and ramp-up time, can be exorbitant for employers, especially small businesses. With a well-constructed recruitment and selection process, the human resources function can minimize expenses regarding advertising job postings, training new employees and enrolling new employees in benefits plans.
Employee Performance Improvement
Human resources develops performance management systems. Without a human resources staff person to construct a plan that measures performance, employees can wind in jobs that aren’t suitable for their skills and expertise. Additionally, employees whose performance falls below the employer’s expectations can continue on the payroll, thereby creating wasted money on low-performing employees.
Sustaining Business Success
Through succession planning that human resources develops, the company identifies employees with the promise and requisite capabilities to eventually transition into leadership roles with the company. This is an important function as it can guarantee the organization’s stability and future success.
Improving Corporate Image
Businesses want to be known as the “employer of choice.” Employers of choice are the companies that receive recognition for the way they treat employees; they are the companies for whom people want to work. Becoming an employer of choice means human resources balances recruiting the most qualified applicants, selecting the most suitable candidates and retaining the most talented employees.
Steadfast Business Principles
Human resources ensures the workforce embraces the company’s philosophy and business principles. From the perspective of a small business, creating a cohesive work environment is imperative. The first opportunity human resources has to accomplish this is through wise hiring decisions that identify desirable professional traits, as well as orientation and on-boarding programs.