For many companies, the highest expense on the books each month is payroll. Unless there’s a lot of automation, employees ARE the main resource of the business, so knowing how to manage them well can mean increased profits, reduced expenses and much less stress for management.
Traditional HR functions
The HR Department – Human Relations – is responsible for managing the ‘employed’ status of the employees: payroll, tax withholding, pension investments, legal requirements, grievances, and even discipline and termination issues. Government agencies require company HR department to be able to report any employees’ activities regarding work hours, taxes, etc., in order to identify potential fraud. And there are human rights available to every employee, oversight and enforcement of which frequently falls on the HR department. A competent HR department is critical to a successful business.
Staff management used to be quite strict, with closely defined hours, a strict dress code, and sternly managed expectations and requirements. The new thinking, however, is recognising that flexibility frequently breeds creativity and higher productivity. Companies today are relaxing some of their old-style thoughts in favour of staff management that creates, well, a better staff. And newly emerging HR software is coming online to assist in the transition to a more effect, more efficient workforce.
Some traditions are worth keeping
Consistency, reliability and excellent quality are traditions every company needs to retain. Frequently, these are based on well-trained staff maintaining well-thought-out processes for provision of products and services. Through these processes, company cultures are transmitted to new employees at all levels, and ensure that the company ‘brand’ is consistent throughout all levels of the enterprise. A well-grounded staff can weather a lot of stormy economic seas.
Maintaining a stable staff also reduces new employee training and the cost of recruiting and interviewing potential candidates, which in turn allows for all staff members, including the HR department, to focus on doing their actual jobs. So, in many respects, a well-managed and supported HR team can be the stable foundation on which to build a truly great business entity.
How HR can contribute to the bottom line
Evolutions in HR thought and practice are replacing unproductive staff management approaches, and creating highly effective workforce teams in their stead. A review of trends in HR systems indicates these changes in attitude:
HR communicates across all departments to keep fears down and productivity high. This is a reversal of old standards where staff were directed to do what they were told, and given no information about possible internal or external changes.
HR communicated important company values and standards to potential customers and employees, increasing the quality and commitment of both.
HR can help existing employees to maintain focus on company cultures and values, offering a safe place to bring concerns, and a safe place to resolve them.
HR can bring forward innovative ideas the spring from the minds of happy, engaged employees, encouraging in-house entrepreneurialism.
HR software can assist on multiple levels
Investing in an HR software system, for any company, is becoming an ever-wiser choice. Evolutions in software have generated products that can respond to any HR requirement. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:
Many options are available for basic HR functions (recruiting, payroll, benefits etc.).
Small companies need different software than larger companies.
Software focused on customer satisfaction can track consumer comments with product performance.
Cloud-based software offers ‘single site’ accessibility for all HR functions, regardless of physical location.
And, as the world turns, HR activities will become more collaborative with other company aspects, like marketing and product development, so look out software that will enhance those functions as well.