Human resources is an essential function in most organizations of any size. Generally, HR is the process of managing and motivating employees. Some roles of HR vary based on the organization, but there are a number of common functions that are constant. If HR is effective, employees across the company produce optimal results.
Developing a strong organizational culture and effective management systems is a core function of HR. This includes providing ample training and orientation to help employees get comfortable in their jobs, offering informal opportunities for employees to get to know each other and implement strong coaching and evaluation programs for managers to use with employees. All of these things help strengthen employee involvement and boost the overall morale of the workplace.
Pay and Benefits
HR specialists typically oversee the company’s compensation and benefits programs. This includes development and oversight of the pay schedule or system used by the company. Managing benefits is a major component of total compensation. Health, dental, life and disability are among common insurances offered by companies. Other benefits may include sick days, vacation days and bereavement leave. Negotiating with benefits providers to get the best rates, helping employees sign up and communicating how benefits work are among the responsibilities in this area.
Human resources actually has a strong legal component. Specialists need continuing education to stay up on employment laws. HR usually writes and reviews the company’s policy manual. HR specialists also establish fair and consistent hiring processes, create documentation procedures for employee discipline and formal evaluations, which help protect against discrimination lawsuits. Training managers on how to avoid legal mishaps and updating them on any new developments in HR requirements are also critical.
HR typically oversees all aspects of recruitment and selection, orientation and training of new employees. Along with legal considerations, HR decides what recruiting tools to use and what types of questions and scoring systems to use in interviews. Specialists often direct and lead orientation programs during which employees learn about company philosophies and policies. They also help coordinate and organize training programs to ensure that each new hire gets the same consistent level of assimilation into their jobs.