10 Reasons Why Companies May Need HR Support
So many companies struggle without the aid of an HR Manager or any form of HR support despite the constant increase in employment law. However HR can provide invaluable support with so many areas of people management. Here are ten reasons why companies like yours may need HR support.
HR can contribute to cost savings. One example is to implement an HR strategy that can support business goals making a business more efficient through the planned use of human resources. Another example can be to introduce sickness absence management controls: the cost of sickness can be reduced, which can be a huge expense to a business if allowed to get out of hand.
HR can help manage performance in several ways. Business performance can be improved by the implementation of an integrated performance management system, ie company-wide appraisal system. With a top down approach from senior managers, all employees work towards the common goal to improve business performance through the fulfilling of their own personal objectives. Performance management can also be about managing poor performance through a capability process where poor performers are either supported to improve or are performance managed out of the business, with capability being a fair reason for dismissal. HR can work with management to ensure that either of these processes are correctly implemented.
Provide guidance with employment legislation
Employment legislation is changing constantly and it is hard to keep up with the shifting nature of employment law. However, it is the role of HR to stay up to date so that they can provide credible, practical advice to those they support. HR should ensure that internal HR policies and employee handbooks are kept up to date, they are well communicated to the workforce and training is provided to managers in their operation.
Help companies manage their staff fairly
Sometimes when the job just needs to be done, it can be hard for managers to recognise the need to treat their people fairly. With HR guidance their obligation in this respect can be recognised. A good manager will get the best out of their staff and that should be the norm to which all managers should work. HR can provide much needed support when a manager is struggling with a particular employee problem. Company HR procedures provide much needed guidance and HR can help with their interpretation.
Help avoid employment tribunals
HR is the guardian angel of companies and helps to keep them out of the employment tribunal through sound employment law advice. HR procedures should always be followed and processes documented. If a situation is getting out of hand HR can be there to help soothe the situation or can act as a mediator.
Training & development
The development of skills is important for any company's success and growth. HR can help support training and development initiatives by assisting with a company-wide skills analysis, developing and coordinating a training plan, identifying training and development initiatives, delivering appropriate workshops or bringing in external training consultants where appropriate. HR can work with management to ensure that training and development is both costs and time effective, particularly in areas of strategy.
A company is nothing without good quality staff and HR can provide support with recruitment processes whilst ensuring that equal opportunities employment legislation is adhered to. HR can work with managers to draft adverts, identify an appropriate advertising medium, develop job descriptions, undertake short-listing, develop interview processes and questions, organise assessment days and ability tests and take part in interviews. HR can also provide all the essential supporting paperwork.
Employee engagement is the modern buzz word. In effect it is the wish of employers to have employees who do their best work and go the extra mile. To do that employees’ need to be fully engaged with business goals and be motivated to do their best. Employee engagement contributes to business profits so companies are highly interested in this concept. A starting point can be an employee attitude survey coordinated by HR. Once the results are known it will identify areas of the business that may need some improvement eg induction, reward, management style.
Help with change
Change is an everyday part of life and companies need to change from time to time as the business world moves on. HR can support change management processes in various ways. With a company re-structure to improve efficiency, HR can work with senior management to develop a new reporting structure and new job descriptions to provide strategic support. HR can take part in operational consultations with employees affected by the re-structure. HR can advise on redundancy and TUPE implications where appropriate. HR can also assist with minor changes in the workplace such as a change to terms and conditions which require consultation and agreement from employees. Working with managers they can ensure the correct legal procedure is undertaken. HR can provide the paperwork to support the process.
Help with reward
Rewarding staff fairly is highly important for employee retention, get it wrong and staff will leave in their droves. Non-financial reward can be just as important (eg job satisfaction, challenge, etc.) and HR can work with managers to help them recognise this important element of employee reward. Along with pay there are employee benefits which can make up total reward (eg holidays; bonus, company car and they can be just as important). Sometimes it might be beneficial to recruit a compensation and benefits expert to help support HR in what can be a specialist area.
Knowing when to outsource
Have you been wondering how to approach human resources? Outsourcing can give you access to skills, knowledge and support, and save you costs in the long run.
Most small to medium sized business owners know the frustration of spending more time than they want on non-revenue generating activities. From payroll and human resource management to benefits and compensation, managers and directors can spend a significant proportion of their day engaged in these necessary but time consuming tasks.
The answer for many businesses may be to outsource part or all of their HR functions to third party providers so that they can focus on their core business.
Generally speaking, the top three reasons cited for outsourcing HR are:
* Access to skills and knowledge;
* Gaining better quality support than the business is able to offer in-house; and
* The cost saving.
This saving comes from the company either not requiring an HR person in-house, or enabling the person who had taken on the HR function to focus on revenue generating work. We found the most commonly outsourced HR activities are legal services, payroll and pensions.
In assessing whether you should outsource or not, there are several questions to consider before you make a decision.
How big is your company?
In our experience, businesses with fewer than 50 employees rarely have an HR team. Instead some companies have a manager or finance director who dabbles in HR because they have some relevant experience. Such a position may seemingly appear fit for purpose but fraught with litigation irrespective of their best intentions. As a rule of thumb, organisations with more than 50 employees will often find it easier to have an in-house HR department and therefore, though they may still require outsourced HR support, the nature of that service may differ greatly from that utilised by the smaller businesses.
What services do you need?
The nature of the work undertaken by our outsourced HR consultant varies hugely dependent on the nature of the business and the talents of the employees within the organisation. With regard to our practice, we work for:
* We address and support the relevant people/business within the business who are dealing with – any employee relations issues;
How much does an outsourced service cost?
It is important to establish up front the way in which the outsourced service is billed. Our cost for services varies depending on the level of outsourcing that is required.
We may be asked to assist on a specific well-defined project in which case we will estimate the cost involved, or at least offer a range of costs within which it will fall.
Alternatively, we may work alongside the business dealing with day-to-day issues on a retained basis, or, we may be called in to address an “emergency” for which we charge an hourly rate.
What type of provider do you want?
Do you want a “face” who gets to know your business, staff and culture, who can be flexible in the service you offer and who, by virtue of being a phone call away, can operate as if you have your very own HR department?
Alternatively, you may sign up to a HR support line – a less personal service but one that may suit the nature of your business and complement the expertise you already have within your organisation. The type of service offer falls into the former example but it is “horses for courses” and the latter may be suitable where there is an experienced HR team who just need reassurance from time to time.
We would say that as a general rule, when administrative processes begin slowing down the productivity of the firm is the time to consider outsourcing the management of your human resources. Good employee relations are not simply “nice to have” but important to get right as they can directly affect the future revenues of your business.
Prioritising employee engagement you will ensure you are not burdened by high employee turnover, low morale or ineffective teamwork. Instead you will have employees who are productive, enthusiastic and effective, enabling you to maintain an edge in a highly competitive environment.
The attraction and retention of talent is now such a business critical operation that for many businesses outsourcing their HR function is the best way to ensure that what is arguably their most valuable asset is well managed, freeing them up to concentrate on their core business.