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7 ways an effective HR function should enhance your business

In today’s competitive business landscape, savvy businesses understand that an effective Human Resources function is key to achieving success. The expectation that HR operates simply as an administrative component of business is out-dated and ultimately detrimental to performance. Unfortunately, there is often confusion surrounding what HR should be delivering to add value, so here is a list of key functions that you must expect from Human Resources:

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1. Talent Attraction

Recruitment should not be a reactive process. The HR function should have a long-term view of the organisation’s resourcing requirements, to fill vacancies with the right candidates in a timeframe that will not impact business performance. This involves proactively sourcing and engaging with key talent, on an ongoing basis and building a talent pool.

2. On boarding

An employee’s experience when first joining the company can have a profound impact on their ability to feel a sense of belonging, as well as their commitment to stay long term. An effective HR function should facilitate a structured on boarding process that begins from the time an offer is accepted, up to the employee’s 6-month anniversary. A successful on-boarding program should aim to help the new team member assimilate and contribute to their new organisation as easily as possible.

3. Engagement

The word ‘engagement’ is used frequently, but often misunderstood. An effective HR function understands that employee engagement is about ensuring that individual needs are being met in each role. This is achieved by creating a culture of consistent feedback between employees and leaders, and empowering leaders with the flexibility and tools to respond to employee feedback. It is also about regularly connecting with employees at an organisational level and implementing company wide initiatives to create an engaging workplace culture.

4. Leadership

An effective HR function drives and shapes the organisation’s leadership team. They ensure that leaders have the necessary skills and behaviours to perform their role. A successful HR function works alongside leaders through the provision of ongoing coaching and expert advice.

5. Integrating Technology to Streamline Administration

Effective HR functions understand that there is great value in reducing the amount of unnecessary administration. As such they integrate knowledge-sharing portals, web-based recruitment tools and online on-boarding instruments that streamline processes and let stakeholders find what they need, when they need it.

6. Effective Risk Management

An effective HR function will have in place the necessary HR policies and processes, as well as knowledge of the industrial landscape to manage risk associated with engaging staff (e.g. employee grievances, WHS, workers compensation etc).

7. Culture

HR leads the way in working with the leadership team to set the expected behaviours that form the organisational culture. HR works with employees and the leadership team to identify these behaviours, but also ensures that they are embedded in everything the organisation does. These behaviours become the accepted norm and practice (culture) of the organisation. HR also works in ensuring that behaviours that are not aligned with the company culture are addressed.

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