The human resources department is an incredibly vital part of any organization, no matter how big or how small that organization is. Tasked with looking after recruitment, payroll, employment policies, any employee issues and more, it’s crucial that this department performs well so that employees’ work lives progress safely and happily.
Good human resource management reflects well on an organization and speaks volumes to prospective candidates, prospective investors, and even competition.
The importance of a great human resource department
The human resources department is responsible for managing the whole of an employee’s work lifecycle, so its success can show how much a company really cares for its employees and how it handles any issues that come up.
Employees’ wellbeing is at the heart of a high-quality HR department.
Good human resource management in an organization will mean that employees feel that they have a group of people who always have their best interests at heart, but poor human resource management will have them feeling nervous, not wanting to talk about their problems, and having to suffer in silence.
Beyond employees, a good HR department reflects well on a company. This means that:
- Prospective investors can be impressed by how well employees are treated, making them more interested in investing in the company
- Customers may learn about how the company treats their employees and it may influence whether they choose to support the company or not
- Rival companies may look worse in comparison and therefore influence customers and investors to move their support elsewhere.
Ways to measure the success of a human resources department
A good HR department is accessible. This means that employees know exactly who to contact and where to contact them when they need something.
A HR department can’t take care of employees if employees don’t know where to get help from. Therefore, when employees don’t know where their HR manager is, their name, how to contact them, etc., then that is the clearest sign that the HR department doesn’t really care about employee welfare.
Aside from this, the HR department should also respond to any contact in a timely manner. If they take ages to reply, then this is another massive red flag which shows that they are ineffective.
2. Employee morale
Employee morale doesn’t hinge entirely on HR, but if a workplace is a miserable place to work at then it’s highly likely that the workplace in question doesn’t care about their employees. If a workplace doesn’t care about their workers, there’s no chance that they will invest in a good HR department.
A workplace with low employee morale is also unlikely to have a HR department that will advocate for employees, otherwise the morale wouldn’t be so low!
3. Fair pay
A tenet of a workplace that values employees is fair pay, but beyond this fair pay also means that a company will put money into what matters – employees, including those that work in HR. A well-funded and well-compensated HR team will be more motivated to do their job and to do it well.
4. Response to emergency time off requests
How a HR department responds to time-off requests due to emergencies is very telling. If an employee contacts their HR department asking for emergency time off because their mother passed away, their response will show whether they really care about the employee or not.
A HR department that cares would offer their condolences and do whatever they could to facilitate their time off and a replacement for any work that needed to be done. A great HR department would send flowers too.
A HR department that didn’t care would insist on a mountain of paperwork and proof that the death really happened before time off for bereavement was granted.
5. Response to poor employee behavior
A good HR department will investigate poor employee behavior, whether this is bullying, struggling to meet deadlines, or an inability to perform.
Bullying should be taken care of swiftly and decisively, whereas other issues like an employee struggling to perform their tasks, should be handled with care. This is because in cases like that, there may be underlying reasons that HR can help the employee solve.
KPIs are an excellent quantitative way to measure how effective the human resource management in an organization is. Some great KPIs that show a HR department is doing well are:
- High talent retention
- Low employee turnover
- Employee position duration
- Low dismissal rate
- Low absenteeism rate
- Low average recruitment time
- Continuous education and training
- High cost per hire
- High employee productivity
- High employee satisfaction
- Low number of workplace accidents
A department for the benefit of employees
A good human resources department is the heart of an organization that cares about its employees. Spurring on an organization’s growth and development by focusing on employees allows the organization to ensure future success because employees make up a company – their success is the company’s success.