It's hard to imagine modern business without HR, but what HR does isn't always clear-cut. Depending on the size and type of your company, your HR department could handle anything from payroll to hiring. Whatever the specifics of what they do, they're an essential part of your business.
You may be noticing some shortcomings in your HR, or maybe you're establishing one for the first time. No matter what your situation is, you can probably stand to improve this department. It's a tricky thing to get right, so here are some tips to help you.
1. Implement Technology
Just like any other department in your company, HR could benefit from embracing new tech. You probably already use software tools to handle payroll, but what about HR's other responsibilities? HR involves a lot of paperwork, which, without technology, can take a lot of time.
Your HR professionals have a lot on their hands, and going digital can help mitigate that. You can find tools to streamline all manner of processes, from managing employee records to filing legal documents. Talk to your HR department to see where you can best help them with new software.
2. Establish Clear Company Goals and Policies
Your HR department can help improve your company best when they understand what the company's all about. If employees don't have a clear sense of direction or purpose, they can lose enthusiasm. According to one poll, only 60% of employees can confidently say that they know what their boss expects of them.
If you establish specific and actionable goals and policies, HR can help you improve your workplace atmosphere. With more precise expectations, they can make better hires, conduct better onboarding and provide better help to current employees. In a crowded market like Chicago, being specific will also help you stand out.
3. Consolidate Everything
As mentioned earlier, your HR department likely has a lot on their hands. You can alleviate some of the stress of dealing with all of that by consolidating their processes. Look for software solutions that they can use for most, if not all, their work.
If everything your HR department needs to access is in different programs and places, it can slow them down. On the flip side, if you consolidate everything, they can work much faster.
4. Consult Experts for Legal Help
One of the many tasks HR departments often handle is complying with legal issues regarding employment. You can't expect your employees to all be law experts, but you can work with HR to establish company policies to enforce the law. Given how tricky legal matters can be, it's best to turn to professionals for this.
Attorneys can help you develop policies and guide your HR department in complying with local laws. Turning to law experts will ensure that you can navigate both federal regulations and things unique to Chicago. When it comes to the law, it's better to be safe than sorry, so consulting attorneys is a smart idea.
5. Set Up a Performance Review System
Your HR department may not be involved in performance reviews, but they should be. Regular feedback can reduce employee turnover by 14.9%, and who better to offer feedback than the department with access to employee files? That's not to say you should let HR conduct all performance reviews, but turn to them for help.
When it comes time to provide employee feedback, ask HR about each worker. Your HR professionals' expertise will enable them to offer more useful reviews than you could create by yourself. If you're not using HR in feedback, you're underutilizing that department.
Get the Most Out of Your HR Department
Your HR department is one of the most critical parts of your company. If you don't optimize it, you could be hindering your business's chances of success. On the other side, an excellent HR department will help you become a similarly excellent company.
Chicago can be a competitive place to start a business. Creating and maintaining a well-functioning HR department can help you stay ahead.
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