The Human Resource department has always been an integral part of any well-run organization, however, its detrimental value often went unnoticed for many…until now. NOW, there is a NEW spotlight post-pandemic on the importance of Human Resources in an organization. The current situation has given HR a unique opportunity to co-lead their ever-changing organizations through the COVID-19 crisis. HR has led the charge to help organizations to become more resilient. As organizations struggle to overcome the health, economic and cultural ramifications of the pandemic, HR has been the navigator. HR Leaders proved to us they are the key in holding it all together as they adapted to a new work era and lifestyle. Today, they are continuing to prove their critical importance by maintaining optimal company success. Which is no easy task! Businesses are depending on HR now more than ever to take the lead and navigate them out of the pandemic chaos and reimagine the way the future will work. HR as a result needs to develop new capabilities to effectively address these changes and maintain their strategic foothold of a seat at the table.
So what are the Predictions for the Future of Human Resources?
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
HR professionals mitigate risk on the front lines. Therefore, they need to have a full understanding of employment law and the regulatory requirements of a business and the risk of employee actions and lawsuits is an enormous area that should not be underestimated. Recently, HR has had to work with CDC guidelines, state and local guidelines as well as company policy guidelines more than ever. Both pre and post-pandemic, HR departments are continuing to protect their employee’s health and privacy both outside and inside an office. During the pandemic, there was a rise in wrongful death lawsuits where companies had to reevaluate their employee requirements in being on-site, taking appropriate measures and enforcing sick days specifically for COVID Symptoms and Diagnosis. Consistently complying with HIPAA laws and protecting your employees Health has been a game of tug of war while also doing the best to keep the business afloat.
Adding to the complications, remote employees present a new level of engagement and legal concerns. Employers should include remote employees in their new hire reporting or registration requirements in any state where they employ remote workers. Details about new hire reporting obligations in each state can be found at the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Child Support Enforcement website (among other resources).
Maintaining and enforcing guidelines on relationships in the workplace
Human Resources help create a company culture and ensure that your organization is a fun but professional and successful environment. All employees need to be held accountable for any and all actions that have the potential to affect the company and its employees in a negative way. Guidelines on personal relationships should be clearly identified and outlined as well as reminded periodically through training. An ideal HR team is open, honest, and trusting so that employees feel safe to confide their issues with them and they are also there to handle conflict between managers/executives and employees to ensure a healthy work environment for everyone. They are also there to ensure favoritism and bias behavior is avoided to ensure a fair and direct approach to any and all issues within the organization.
Did you know that only 13% of employees are engaged at work? Shocking right? This statistic tells us that almost all organizations are struggling with their employee communications strategies. HR optimizes the performance of your employees by keeping your employees engaged is no easy task. Providing a challenging and rewarding work atmosphere requires a collaborative effort between HR, mid-level Managers and supported by the Executive team. HR can use tools like an Employee engagement calendar to help monitor and ensure success.
Hiring and Recruiting Efforts
As companies grow, HR has to not only ensure they are able to afford to bring on new talent but also review what skills are needed for various teams and managers to make sure productivity is at its highest. They need to maintain smart hiring protocol to ensure fair hiring practices and ward off hiring any bad apples from joining the company. They spend a lot of time editing and creating job descriptions, sifting through resumes and interviewing potential talent which is no easy task and can be extremely time-consuming. In order to provide the best turnkey solutions, some companies will partner with staffing agencies to assist with recruiting efforts which helps save time, money and energy in the long run. Read our article on how using a staffing agency can help companies (https://www.agency8recruiting.com/2021/03/16/why-use-a-staffing-agency-why-would-i-use-a-staffing-agency/). HR leaders also have to be aware of what the market value looks like in terms of rates based on position titles and locations as well as understanding when it is a candidate-driven market, which is what motivates individuals to join a company. Understanding what the competition is doing can also be a big help in maintaining a competitive advantage. We suggest using Interview scorecards and offer Manager interview training to ensure hiring success and consistency.
HR clearly defines onboarding and offboarding steps
The daily requirements of any HR team are to correctly assess staffing practices while also observing skill requirements and keeping training up-to-date for employees, including ethics training, which reinforces corporate values. They assist in managing performance and keeping employees motivated and ensure they are producing. When it comes to onboarding new employees, the job expectations, requirements, salary, benefits, and things such as time off and bonus structures need to be clearly stated and written out when extending an offer. Once employees are ready to start working, they have to go through orientation to meet the team, learn the office layout and learn what a normal day-to-day life looks like. On the other hand, when it comes to letting an employee go, the process has to be extremely precise and professional by understanding how to legally and ethically terminate an employee with compassion (psssst…and great documentation). This will help to not only preserve a relationship and reputation but ensures the company does not get cited for unfair hiring and employment practices.
Employer image is based on the actions of HR
Company decisions are often influenced by HR due to introducing new guidelines, enforcing new and current guidelines and ensuring your image is kept in mind for prospective employees as well as customers. With the rise of employment reviews on sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Google, your reputation can ultimately impact your success. This also goes for current employees and customers. HR drives culture and how an organization is viewed from the outside by what comes from within. HR needs to manage these sites by monitoring and responding to posted complaints. The way you communicate with your employees has an enormous impact on employee engagement and retention levels.
HR also drives hiring initiatives and can assist in diversifying your hiring pool to help you reach potential company goals. Inclusivity and diversity are an integral part of an organization and strategies are implemented by HR to be reflected by ensuring recruitment effort and processes, performance management, leadership assessment, and continuous training.
The HR team at any company is vital to the survival and success of the organization. The employees may sell your product or service, but HR creates camaraderie and ensures that employees are well equipped to do their jobs. A good HR team can turn around a company that no one wants to work at, to a well-rounded and thriving organization or continue to grow a small business into a huge enterprise by working as a team with the company’s mission and vision as a priority at all times.