The human resources department, or HR, has broad responsibilities for managing the policies and procedures for an organization’s employees. Creating a portfolio of programs and services is important to HR, because it helps establish the company’s wider strategy of recruitment, training and retention.
Work-force Planning and Staffing
Planning for the labor needs of the organization is probably the foremost concern of most HR professionals. Staffing the business with qualified employees who are well trained, productive and eager to contribute to the organization’s goals is the top priority. At the same time, HR must create a diverse work force, not only in terms of race, gender and socioeconomic background, but also in terms of skill set, education level and training. Having employees from many different backgrounds can enable the organization to draw on the strengths of all its employees in accomplishing its goals.
Remuneration and Benefits
Remuneration, or monetary compensation, and benefits are areas of the HR portfolio that are traditionally associated with this department. However, as organizations grow and develop, HR can expand its benefits program to provide employees innovative options, such as paternity leave, extended vacation time for exceptional work performance, stock options or investment opportunities and access to professional development programs. While HR has a responsibility for processing employee paychecks and making sure everyone is allocated a fair amount of sick leave and vacation time, it can also add to its portfolio a strong focus on tailoring remuneration to the organization’s best practices.
HR has an important role to play in organizational development by providing employees with training and professional development. Training programs are normally provided in house and include educating staff on company policies, the implementation of new technology or the processes for requesting time off. Professional development, on the other hand, is more tailored to individual employees. Here, HR provides performance appraisals, access to off-site training and conferences as well as career planning and development services.
Employee Support Services
Employees should see HR as neutral territory between staff and management. If employees have concerns about workplace discrimination, the working relationships with their supervisors, work-life balance problems or other job-specific issues, HR can provide a sounding board for resolving these issues. In this sense, HR has an important function to play in providing support services to employees. The organization’s ultimate goal should be to keep employees happy and productive. Providing support services and connections to other agencies or people who can help employees cope with their problems is essential to HR’s portfolio.