The Role of HR in Managing Change in the Workplace


The Role of HR in Change Management


Change, as the formula Barack Obama used in the 2008 election campaign, is in fact inevitable. There’s no way to escape change, no matter how resistant you are to it. If there’s anything that Obama has taught us, it’s to embrace change.

Yet, it’s important to acknowledge that its complex nature presents a multi-faceted challenge for HR. Change is hard to predict, non-linear, and especially hard to reproduce. But organisations today can take different approaches to its management – think defensive vs. offensive styles.

Whether you decide to adapt to change, anticipate it, or use a mix of both, HR have a great role to play in leveraging this opportunity. In an era where organisational agility is a must, it’s time to rethink the importance of HR leadership in bringing about change.

Bringing Change To The Workplace

Change is what brings forth new ideas, solutions and growth. It’s about breaking free from our circle of comfort in order to start seeing alternative routes offered to our organisations to progress in the right direction. It’s about embracing business transformation, making your organisation more agile, ready to adapt, and taking advantage of the latest innovations to boost competitiveness.

Change in the workplace can take many forms. From the introduction of new processes and all the way to more unsettling changes such as a merger or an acquisition. In any case, change is first and foremost a matter of behaviours. Objection, resistance or on the other hand: drive and enthusiasm, are all emotional reactions that could make or break the success of change implementation.

One thing that we need to understand is that change can’t happen without someone facilitating it. General management stands in a position of force to drive change management. They have the power to elicit positive emotions and neutralise negative ones to drive the organisation towards success.

An organisation’s management guides its people and is responsible for bringing stability to ensure a smooth transition during phases of change. A strategic vision, a proactive contribution to building a strong company culture, and a committed investment in developing competencies are all essential to support organisational change. In essence, the leadership team is responsible for making change happen in the workplace.

The Role Of HR In Change Management Process

Conducting change, or in other words: transformation, is the fact for an organisation to make its processes evolve to gain in competitiveness. Obviously, the larger the organisation, the more challenging the task is.

And who’d be better placed than HR to uptake the role of walking change agent? Their proximity to the people of an organisation makes it easy to influence leadership and provide the right framework to support change in the workplace.

A Role Of Watchdog

The HR department plays an important role in re-thinking organisational design to bring about change and facilitate the implementation of these new processes. This implies that it also has a crucial monitoring role to do. During phases of change, HR leadership will be expressed by guaranteeing the company culture’s integrity and making sure that processes are coherent and harmonious.

Taking The Time To Communicate

As HR gain in expertise and business intelligence, it’s important for them to share their strategic vision with finance and marketing, as well as other key departments of the organisation. HR’s central function in the management of people and talent means they can easily influence change adoption through strategic HR policies in the fields of remuneration, succession and hiring to cite a few.

Middle managers, the foundation pillars of your organisation, are too often left out in this process. Information reaches them too late or they miss the competencies required to bring about change. Why? Companies often get ahead of themselves when it comes to business transformation. They go too fast, changing processes and systems, without taking the time to train and explain the situation to managers.

Establishing A Change Agenda

HR should recommend a calendar and define specific milestones to be reached by both the organisation and its employees through time. Business transformation takes time and if rushed, could inevitably end up in a costly failure. So taking it step by step will ensure that employees adhere fully to these changes and don’t even think about “it was better before”.

Anticipating Emotional Roadblocks

We know too well how change can create fear and reluctance amongst employees and managers alike. Change is not an easy thing, hence why it’s important to anticipate negative reactions as much as possible – even if not everything can be planned in advance, of course.

Training Managers

It’s important to accompany and train managers, not so that they become good change agents – this should be done before business transformation happens – but so that they understand the ins and outs of the change they are contributing their efforts to. You should provide them with a meaning and purpose to engage in the business transformation. Actively listening to your managers is essential to accompany them through the different challenges they will face too.

Proposing Adapted Solutions

Depending on whether change is required to adapt in a highly competitive market or due to a phase of growth, HR should propose adequate solutions to each situation. For example, a high level of market competition that necessitates to reduce costs will not have the same challenges than a company that is expanding its operations worldwide. HR should be able to come up with a strategy that is suited to the context in which change needs to happen.


Customer Success & Growth Manager


Critical Importance of Human Resource Planning


by Zach Lazzari; Updated October 19, 2018

Human resource planning is often overlooked, especially in the early stages of a business when the focus is solely on profitability and proving the business model. There comes a time however, when planning is an absolute necessity. Not only does it shield the business from hefty legal consequences, planning creates a smooth process for employee management that is both efficient and effective. The HR team often coordinates with payroll to manage paperwork and ensure everyone is properly enlisted in the company and company programs while being paid in a timely manner.

The human resources department has an important function within most businesses. Any business that relies on multiple employees to function stands to benefit from human resource planning. Not only does the HR department become a tool of legal compliance, they also work strategically with the business to manage growth, employee issues, training and a number of organizational tasks that simply require an HR specialty approach.

Why is human resource planning important?

There are several elements to human resource planning and all are equally important. The first is the actual planning of the workforce. Even in a small business, specialized skill sets are not always easy to source and planning for a growing workforce is critical. Planning for a reduction in the workforce is also intensive and requires strategic thinking to work through temporary or permanent layoffs. Legal planning and process building are used to shield the company from legal ramifications for discrimination of workplace misconduct. The human resources department is responsible for educating and training employees on company policy, they handle legal aspects of the employee relationship like workers compensation and they communicate with every department in the business. Human resources also works as a bridge between employees and payroll by ensuring contracts are executed and honored. Effective planning in the human resources department leaves the managers in position to focus on meeting goals that are responsible for driving revenue rather than spending time dealing with administrative issues and employee paperwork.

With all of the planning required, you might wonder who is actually responsible and what goes into human resource planning. The number of people in the human resource department ultimately depends on the company size. A small company of 5-10 people might have a single HR administrator while a large company of one-thousand employees will have twenty or more. It all depends on the company and their needs. A business with large seasonal hiring needs may have more HR folks on staff to handle the intensive training and paperwork required for on-boarding with regularity. A company with a very stable staff and little turnover will require a smaller HR department. Human Resources management is offered as a degree path at many institutions and it sets the stage for a career dedicated to HR. Numerous certification programs are also available to qualify individuals coming from other fields. It’s not uncommon for employees with administrative and management experience to make the transition into human resources. They can do this through certification training programs. The certification courses open the door to employees with undergraduate degrees in related fields but not a dedicate human resources degree. The experience from a business management degree for example will combine well with an HR certificate. To reach the human resources manager level, employees will often work within and HR role for three to five years.

Planning for Growth

The company stands to gain returns by scaling a workforce quickly. If a plan is in place, the company can bid on bigger contracts and effectively grow without being understaffed. The planning aspect applies to the additions of permanent employees, temporary employees and contract workers. A temporary growth opportunity often calls for seasonal or contract labor to avoid a cycle of hiring and firing. Planning to meet these expectations falls on human resources.

When a company needs to grow quickly or add a large seasonal workforce, human resources must plan for the hiring and manage recruiting. Recruiting fairs, advertising and other recruiting events are largely responsible for locating the workforce and placing them in jobs while still following company policies and procedures. A large retailer may hire thousands of employees for the holiday season on temporary work arrangements. Despite being temporary, human resources is still responsible for educating each employee on company policies, workplace safety guidelines and their role within the company. This is often done in the form of a contract where the employee signs off after receiving the training and agrees to follow the company policies. This holds the employee responsible for their actions at work and protects the company from legal actions if they fail to comply. It’s especially important when large numbers of new people are entering the workplace simultaneously. Not only does the human resource planning and training help the new employees understand their roles and the rules, it reduces chaos and guides everyone into position so they can begin working and executing their daily tasks.

Growth planning is also a requirement to receive contracts in many cases. Government contracts are one common example where the company must prove they can access the workforce necessary to complete a contract. Any large scale, contract based business deal is a candidate for human resources planning of this nature. Failing to demonstrate an ability to access and hire a qualified workforce may remove the company from the running for a contract.

Scaling Down

When you think about what is involved in human resource planning, scaling down and laying off employees does not always come to mind. It is however a critical aspect of planning. A business can lose a key client or account that results in a larger workforce than necessary. This can capsize a business financially and scaling down becomes an unfortunate necessity. Laying off employees can happen in a temporary or permanent fashion. Layoffs come with some legal consequences if handled improperly and the human resources department must ensure each layoff is justified and handled properly. They must work through the employee pool and determine who must leave based on input from management. Determining layoffs is based on seniority, immediate need and financial resource planning. Some employees will require severance packages and unemployment benefit eligibility notification and guidance. Contracts for a severance are built by the legal team and the human resource department. A HR manager is often present during the individual or group layoff announcement to ensure everything is handled properly.

Planning throughout a layoff process is not only prudent for the company, it ensures the employees have the maximum notice possible, access to unemployment benefits and a genuine ability to move forward with their lives while seeking new work. They should also understand why the layoffs happened so their is no lame on their shoulders. Sometimes, business just goes in the wrong direction. Communicating this difficult message effectively requires an excellent human resources team that really understands the process.

Productivity and Employee Wellness

Productivity in the workplace is measured by managers and department heads but human resource planning can influence productivity through employee wellness programs and initiatives that create a healthy and happy workplace where individuals have the energy and positive attitudes required to succeed.

Every workplace is different but human resources departments plan to ensure employees have the minimum number of breaks required by law. Additionally, they can introduce incentive programs, health programs, gym membership discounts and general wellness programs to create a healthy and productive workplace. Even the layout of furniture, introduction of plants to an office and change in the lighting can have a major impact on employee wellness. Measuring productivity before and after the implementation of each program can demonstrate increases in output. Building a healthy workplace also cuts down on sick days and improves the long term capabilities of each employee. The human resource planning behind wellness and productivity programs can increase the bottom line in the long run while improving morale in the workplace.

HR acts as a communication tool with employees as well. They can survey employees while ensuring that no repercussions will be executed for undesirable answers. The ability to collect honest employee feedback functions as a key identifier for weak points in the business. The human resources department can essentially uncover hidden issues that employees are not comfortable resolving otherwise. The survey process can have a major positive impact on driving a more successful business.

In addition to basic wellness and creating a positive work-space, human resources is responsible for addressing mental health. They are a neutral resource and field reports of harassment and workplace misconduct. This outlet is important for developing a safe place of work for everyone. If a trend of harassment or misconduct develops, the department is responsible for planning a course of action to resolve the issue. If they have done the planning necessary to build an employee handbook with policies that each employee has learned and signed in a contract, taking action is easy to justify from a legal and logical point of view. In order to manage conflict and practice conflict resolution however, advanced planning must take place to define clear boundaries and draw an actionable road map to effectively handle those situations.

Legal Planning

The overarching purpose of human resources is to create a system of checks and balances in the workplace. The HR department is supposed to represent the interests of every employee equally. That means the CEO is beholden to the same set of standards as the interns from a human resources perspective. In order to hold everyone accountable for their behavior, the department must train everyone and make clear guidelines. This sets a legal precedent within the company with the intentions of making it a safe and comfortable place to work. The major aspect of legal planning involves the employee handbook and company policy. While these documents often seem like something to rush through during the hiring process, they are very important and set can act as a legal contract between the company and the employee. They protect the company from legal ramifications when the company follows protocol and reprimands violators and they also protect the employee from harassment and mistreatment at work.

Risk Management

In the larger sense of things, human resource management serves to manage and mitigate risk. The planning processes create a safe working environment that meets regulatory standards while building a healthy environment. This allows employees the opportunity to flourish in an equal opportunity workplace. It also limits legal liability for the company which does far more than protect just the company. A large suit has the potential to shut a company down and remove the jobs for everyone including those who are not involved. The risk management through HR ensures the company can withstand accusations because it followed a strict human resources procedure and it protects the workers as much as the company itself.

References (3)

About the Author

Zach Lazzari is a freelance writer with extensive experience in startups and digital advertising. He has a diverse background with a strong presence in the digital marketing world. Zach has developed and sold multiple successful web properties and manages marketing for multiple clients in the outdoor industry. He has published business content in Angling Trade Magazine and writes white papers and case studies for multiple corporate partners.

7 Steps to Strategic Human Resource Management

Merhawi Kidane 

Merhawi Kidane

Content Writer

June 19, 2018


Table of Contents

  1. Develop a thorough understanding of your company’s objectives
  2. Evaluate your HR capability
  3. Analyze your current HR capacity in light of your goals
  4. Estimate your company’s future HR requirements
  5. Determine the tools required for employees to complete the job
  6. Implement the human resource management strategy
  7. Evaluation and corrective action


What is strategic human resource management?

Strategic human resource management is the connection between a company’s human resources and its strategies, objectives, and goals. The aim of strategic human resource management is to:

  • Advance flexibility, innovation, and competitive advantage.
  • Develop a fit for purpose organizational culture.
  • Improve business performance.

In order for strategic human resource management to be effective, human resources (HR) must play a vital role as a strategic partner when company policies are created and implemented. Strategic HR can be demonstrated throughout different activities, such as hiringtraining, and rewarding employees.

Strategic HR involves looking at ways that human resources can make a direct impact on a company’s growth. HR personnel need to adopt a strategic approach to developing and retaining employees to meet the needs of the company’s long-term plans.

HR issues can be a difficult hurdle to cross for many companies, there are all kinds of different components that can confuse business owners and cause them to make ineffective decisions that slow down the operations for their employees as well as their business. To ensure that you never have to worry about being lost on HR related issues again, click on the button below to be linked to a direct download of a one-page document of the 7 steps to strategic human resource management.


Why is strategic human resource management important?

Companies are more likely to be successful when all teams are working towards the same objectives. Strategic HR carries out analysis of employees and determines the actions required to increase their value to the company. Strategic human resource management also uses the results of this analysis to develop HR techniques to address employee weaknesses.

The following are benefits of strategic human resource management:

  • Increased job satisfaction.
  • Better work culture.
  • Improved rates of customer satisfaction.
  • Efficient resource management.
  • A proactive approach to managing employees.
  • Boost productivity.

Seven steps to strategic human resource management

Strategic human resource management is key for the retention and development of quality staff. It’s likely that employees will feel valued and want to stay with a company that places a premium on employee retention and engagement. Before you implement strategic human resource management, you will need to create a strategic HR planning process using the steps below:

  1. Develop a thorough understanding of your company’s objectives
  2. Evaluate your HR capability
  3. Analyze your current HR capacity in light of your goals
  4. Estimate your company’s future HR requirements
  5. Determine the tools required for employees to complete the job
  6. Implement the human resource management strategy
  7. Evaluation and corrective action

1. Develop a thorough understanding of your company’s objectives

Since the success of strategic HR is dependent on how well it links to your company’s goals, you need to have a thorough understanding of your aims, objectives, and mission. You’ll need to be able to articulate both your short and long-term plans for growth to the relevant HR personnel. Ensuring clear communication of your company’s goals will make it easier for HR personnel to formulate an effective resource management strategy.

2. Evaluate your HR capability

Evaluating your current HR capabilities will enable you to understand the employees you have and how they contribute to fulfilling your goals and objectives. Additionally, you should also undertake a skills inventory for every employee. Skills inventories help you to discover which employees are experts in particular areas. It also helps you to identify the employees who have an interest in being trained in a particular aspect of your company. A great time to asses skills is during a performance review. However, the traditional performance review is dying. Check out our guide on how to conduct an efficient and results driven performance review while obtaining the skills inventory you need from your employees!

[Download] 9 Best Practices to Master the New Performance Review

3. Analyze your current HR capacity in light of your goals

An assessment of your HR capacity will help you to recognize barriers and implement a plan of action to capitalize on opportunities and effectively deal with threats. Strategic HR personnel will analyze the number of employees as well as their skills and will work with senior leadership to identify ways to better equip employees to serve the needs of your company.

7 Steps to Strategic HR Mgmt


4. Estimate your company’s future HR requirements

After an analysis of your company’s employees and skills has been done in relation to your objectives, it’s time to forecast your HR needs. The forecast should be done in relation to:

  • Demand – A prediction needs to be made in relation to the number of employees with the associated skills that will be required in order for your company’s future needs to be met.
  • Supply – Looks at the employees and skills that are currently available to help your company achieve its strategic goals.

Forecasting your company’s future HR requirements also determines the following:

  • New jobs and roles required to secure the future of the company.
  • Skills required by current employees to undertake the responsibilities of new jobs and roles.
  • Whether your employees’ expertise are being sufficiently utilized.
  • Whether current HR personnel and practices can accommodate the company’s growth.

5. Determine the tools required for employees to complete the job

HR personnel need to liaise with the appropriate departments to find out how the tools used by employees impact on their ability to perform their roles. For example, an audit of hardware and software can be undertaken jointly with the I.T department to identify gaps in tools that will facilitate a more organized workforce. For example, where a company employs hourly staff, it’s crucial to utilize workforce management software. This software manages important HR functions such as schedulingholiday entitlement, and sick leave.

7 Steps to Strategic HR Mgmt

Deputy provides the functionality to effortlessly manage your employees’ hours and time. This enables your employees to focus on the tasks identified in the strategic HR plan that have a direct impact on growing your company. Sign up for a free trial and see how Deputy can support your strategic human resources management.

6. Implement the human resource management strategy

After the analysis and forecast of your company’s HR requirements have been completed, it’s time to start the process of expanding your workforce and developing current workers to equip your company for future growth. You can achieve the implementation of your human resource management strategy by doing the following:

  • Start with the recruitment stage – At this point, HR professionals begin searching for candidates who possess skills that have been identified during the HR strategic planning process.
  • Organize a selection process – Interviews and other selection criteria take place at this time. Interview questions such as “what are your salary requirements?” and relevant tests will be used to assess whether the candidate is suitable to carry out the role.
  • Begin hiring applicants – Your company will make the candidate a job offer after all appropriate checks have been carried out.
  • Design onboarding and training – Onboarding is a key determining factor as to whether an employee remains with a company. A comprehensive onboarding and training package must be put in place to increase employee retention. Once you have onboard your employees well, another important step to retaining them is to keep them engaged! Easier said than done, but our guide on employee engagement will help! You can download it here.

 [Download] The Employee Engagement eGuide 

7. Evaluation and corrective action

HR personnel should decide on a timeline to carry out a strategic HR management review. This review will track the progress made and also identify areas for improvement. The review should be measured against whether changes are helping your company to achieve their goals. Corrective action must be taken if strategic human resource management is failing to meet its objectives.

Strategic human resource management articles

Several articles have been written about strategic human resource management to help companies to implement this process.

  • Science Direct has published an article exploring the relationship between strategic human resource management and the performance of a company. This article also explores the link between entrepreneur orientation and strategic management and performance.
  • Another strategic human resource management article, published by Sage Journals, looks at whether there’s a relationship between strategic human resource management and organizational commitment.
  • Emerald Insight published an article about whether strategic human resource management practices have an effect on performance. The paper is based on research, which found that training, development, and pay are the strategic human resource management practices that had the greatest impact on employee performance.

Human resource strategies examples

With more than two million employees, Walmart is the world’s largest employer. This retail giant places a premium on the role of HR to drive and grow its business. The emphasis on the value of employees has been evident from the start when Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton, named the HR department the ‘people division.’

HR Magazine uses Walmart as an example of how strategic human resource management can be used to establish a profitable company. The article provides details about how Walmart aligns its seven overriding strategies (price, operations, culture, key item/products, expenses, talent, and service) with human resource strategic management, for example:

  • Operational success is achieved because Walmart invests in continuous training and learning for its employees. Walmart also seeks to empower its employees to take ownership of their work for more successful teamwork.

[Download] 10 Tips for Creating a Healthy Culture for a Multi-Gen Workforce

  • Connecting people to products is where everyone at Walmart, irrespective of their position, has to focus on how to provide a better customer experience. Part of Walmart’s HR strategy is to train managers to make decisions in relation to customers in their store as quickly as possible.

In addition to Walmart, Human Resources MBA compiled a list of 30 of the world’s most innovative HR departments. This list contains examples of companies that use human resources strategically to grow and strengthen their market position. These companies include:

  • FedEx has a ‘People-Service-Profit’ philosophy that demonstrates its belief that. if employees are taken care of, they’ll take care of customers in return. As part of fulfilling this slogan, FedEx undertakes a yearly survey and feedback program where employees provide their opinions on different aspects of the organization. The results are analyzed and, where possible, action is taken to improve employee conditions.
  • Nissan uses a philosophy called kaizen to help its employees to always keep striving to make improvements to how they work. This approach starts during the recruitment stage and new hires are encouraged to keep improving so that they can stand out. Other strategic human resource management practices at Nissan include leaders being given the independence to hire and build their team.
  • Alliance Boots GmbH is founded on the philosophy that Boots employees are part of a family. Boots encourages a stress-free work environment and assists managers in being supportive of their teams. Boots values vocational education and was one of the first companies to provide formal accreditation for its employees.

Strategic HR services

Strategic human resource management is important for every company. Your company doesn’t need to employ a specific number of employees before you start to consider implementing strategic human resource management principles. In fact, if you have a plan to grow your business, you should be thinking about linking this growth to strategic human resource management. Some companies outsource this part of their business because they don’t have an in-house HR function. Strategic human resource services provide full-service HR functions including developing a human resource management strategy. Strategic HR services help to take away the burden of both operational and strategic management to facilitate the growth of your business.

To facilitate your company’s future growth, you should use tools that free up your time. Sign up for a free trial of Deputy to see how we can help you with the time-consuming aspect of employee scheduling, so you have more time to work on the strategic aspect of your business.

Important Notice
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy’s interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

 Merhawi works as a Content Writer and helps to create content that strengthens Deputy’s brand awareness and positions them as the experts of their industry. In his spare time, he loves to discover new hiking spots, going to music festivals, and working on becoming the next Stephen King. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Seven Major Categories of HR Management Activities

by Lorna Hordos; Updated April 23, 2018


Without human resources, a business owner or management team might spend a ridiculous amount of time on head hunting, staff discipline and in serving its employees. Basically, when it comes to employee matters, human resource generalists handle a variety of issues, from hiring to training, to paperwork, just for starters, whereas human resource specialists might focus solely on recruitment. Not all human resource professionals work independently or with human resources service centers. In many instances, large organizations have their own in-house human resource department.


1. Identify Employer Needs

Before a human-resource generalist or specialist can narrow down the ideal candidates for a job posting, he needs to understand the employer’s needs. For instance, the company culture plays a big role, so the employee personality factors into the hiring equation. And, of course, employers’ needs vary by industry. A technical-services company will have vastly different employee requirements from those of a military department, for example.

2. Interview and Selection

Recruitment and placement of employees are serious issues; If human resource gets these tasks wrong too many times, a company is in trouble. To find the right applicants, human resource professionals may need to travel extensively, such as to visit colleges and attend job fairs, for example. In the interview and selection processes, the human-resource worker delves into applicants’ skills, education, experience and personality to determine the best fit for a particular position. With a sharp eye, human resources can spot someone who may be ideal for the job in question or another area.

When an HR worker narrows down a suitable candidate for a position, she may contact his last employer or other job references to ensure that the candidate is being honest. This is also her chance to confirm the applicant’s reason for leaving his prior position and to ask how well he got along with management and coworkers, for starters.

3. Inform Applicants

If satisfied with the candidate’s interview and references, or as part of the interview process, human resources will explain the specifics of the job, including working conditions, duties and benefits, and will also ask if the candidate has any questions. Usually, the candidate determines if the job is the right fit for her by negotiating the start date and pay rate, and also by asking questions, such as how the position became available, what her immediate priorities would be and how will her success be measured.

5. Hire or Refer

A candidate who qualifies for a position and who accepts the company’s terms may be hired by HR, on the spot. In other instances, the potential employee is referred to the employer or the company’s management team to make the final decision, to determine if the employee actually is the best fit for the job, by reviewing her credentials and by speaking with her.

6. Conduct an Orientation

It’s important to make a new employee comfortable by giving him some time to adjust to his new job. Even if he has worked in a similar position before, he needs to meet the team, be given clear instructions and a chance to adjust to changes — even subtle changes such as the environment, and working with unfamiliar computer programs. Human resources often handles these onboarding procedures, including checking with the new employee from time to time to offer appropriate assistance and to answer any questions he may have throughout the probation period.

6. Identify Needs

Whether dealing with a new employee, or a relatively new or longtime employee, HR identifies any needs or challenges that come up in employee relations. The human resources worker meets with a business owner or manager to discuss any concerns. Together, they’ll work out a plan to address issues appropriately and strategically. The HR professional may also meet with employees individually, or as a group, to keep abreast of disturbances in the company culture or to spot any concerns before trouble becomes a bigger problem.

7. Paperwork, Policies and Record Keeping

A human-resources team’s duties do not end after an employee transitions into his position. The team’s ongoing tasks can include the administration of benefits, HR policies and training. The HR department might also process payroll, keep employment records and update training modules, all the while staying in line with governmental regulations on various levels.


About the Author

Lorna Hordos is a home-flipping business owner and freelance writer. She has written hundreds of conversational business articles for, Bizfluent, AZ Central and Global Post. Check out her latest home-flipping project and several of her business and home-improvement articles on her blog, Born to Reno at

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Ten Reasons Why the Human Resources Department Is Important


by Ruth Mayhew; Updated January 31, 2019

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.

References (3)

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in “The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry,” and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.



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