How successful is your current HR strategy? The role of the HR department has evolved over the years, transitioning from the traditional “hire and fire” arm of the business to a strategic position. Today, HR departments are not only responsible for recruiting new talent and onboarding employees, but also establishing a positive workplace culture and environment.
Juggling the traditional tasks with those that come with being an HR professional in the modern workplace can be challenging. When trying to meet the needs of the business and its employees, important details can often be overlooked.
Below are five HR pillars every organization should be aware of when developing or refining their HR strategy.
1. Legal Requirements
When onboarding an employee, it’s important that you follow and fulfill all legal requirements to ensure that you protect the business and the employee. For instance, every full-time employee should fill out an IRS W-4 form and I-9 form. Another important legal requirement is workers compensation.
Regardless of the working conditions, workers compensation is required of all businesses:
"If you have any employees—even just one—you are responsible for including workers’ compensation insurance (in most states) in your business insurance policy. This type of coverage exists to protect you, your business, and your employees in case any of them get hurt or sick while working for you." - Experts at USA Business Insurance.
You may also need directors and officers and general liability insurance to protect employees from potential issues with customers.
2. Employee Engagement
Did you know that only 33 percent of employees in the United States are engaged in their jobs, according to Gallup’s “2017 State of the American Workplace” report? In fact, employee engagement as a whole increased only 3 percent from 2012 to 2016, according to the aforementioned report.
Employee engagement is critical to a company’s success. After all, an engaged employee is a productive one. To increase employee engagement, bring the following into your culture and HR processes:
- Gamification: Incorporate gamification into employee activities, such as achievement-tracking and peer competition.
- Incentives: Financial and non-financial incentives, such as rewards and recognition, give employees something to work toward. In addition, they reinforce attitudes and behaviors that will help the organization succeed.You can make the process of tracking these incentives, and the milestones that designate them, with an employee recognition and engagement platform such as Achievers.
- Employee Surveys: Conduct surveys on a regular basis to let employees know that their voice is being heard and valued.
3. Career Advancement Programs
An organization’s biggest and most precious investment is its employees. Yet, many organizations don’t invest enough in the development of their employees. A career advancement program helps sustain employee engagement, as employees are given the opportunity to progress both personally and professionally.
In addition, it helps nurture talent within the organization, reducing the time and costs associated with hiring outside employees.
A successful career advancement program should help employees set achievable goals and offer in-house training sessions. Toastmasters International, for example, is a communication and leadership development program that teaches employees to become more effective communicators.
4. Corporate Image
Maintaining a strong, positive corporate image is important, helping you attract top talent to a growing team. The HR department plays a critical role in upholding an organization’s image:
“Specifically, you [HR professional] should think about how your branding is reflected in your recruitment efforts, workplace and involvement in social media,” - Tiffany Aller, ADP’s Spark blog.
Aller suggests asking yourself the following questions:
- If your branding revolves around innovation, does your company culture reflect that?
- Are your branding campaigns focused on technology—and does your staff have access to the newest and latest equipment?
- How is your company reflected on social media, both formally through company channels and informally through individual employees?”
5. Performance Management System
To make goal-setting successful, you need to have a tracking system in place. Without an advanced performance management system, it’s difficult for employees to gauge their progress and stay motivated in reaching their goals. Not to mention, keeping track manually can get messy and is less reliable.
If you haven’t yet, invest in a performance management system that makes it easy for employees and managers to track and measure progress throughout the year. If you have trouble getting buy-in from decision makers, ask for a free 30-day trial of the product you like most. When your trial is up, you can show higher-ups the benefits, rather than tell.
Be a Modern HR Professional
Today’s human resource departments are responsible for much more than just hiring and firing employees. They play a strategic role in the day-to-day operations of the business, especially when it comes to employee engagement, necessary insurance, corporate brand and much more. When developing or updating your HR strategy or department, don’t forget these five important pillars.
To learn more about how to improve your HR strategy, check out this webinar recording Using Recognition to Drive Engagement – A Best Practice Guide with Scotiabank.
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About the Author
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a professional blogger and freelance writer. She spent the last two years working tirelessly for a small startup, where she learned a lot about running business and being resourceful. She now owns her own business and has been featured on Forbes. She’s also written for StartupNation, Manta, Glassdoor and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 or connect on LinkedIn.