HR as an invisible flow contributing to the company’s success
What function does the HR department in a company have today? What is its position in the organization and how do the employees see it? Very different. The department employs colleagues who ask us whether we feel better after we have submitted a medical certificate and kindly warn us that we should have brought it before the end of the month.
We often turn to this department when there is something wrong with a payroll, and salesmen visit that department when their performance has been inadequately calculated. The managers tug at their sleeves when the management finally consents to employ an additional co-worker, or with a desire to find out who has been promoted and how many times, as well as how much his/her salary has changed. The management of the company most often requires from the HR department to provide reports on fluctuation, the number of employees in each department in relation to the previous year… The HR personnel is responsible for legal compliance in their field – the regulation of the appropriate employee contracts and the calculation of wages, the implementation of safety at work, the submission of legal reports and care for personal folders of employees. On the list of their tasks is also the search for new quality employees. And last but not least, the HR department is also the address for our occasional complaints.
All of the above are most commonly set of tasks, which are covered by the co-workers from the Human Resources Department. However, their tasks do not end there. In many companies, they are tasked with having an overview of internal knowledge, they measure employee satisfaction, monitor competencies and training, and often have an overview of the goals that an employee has achieved.
Both areas – the administrative-legal and developmental – usually merge into one department or are implemented by the same personnel. Therefore, it can often be heard that Human Resources Department never has enough time for the employees and their development. And it is true. Administrative tasks and compliance of legal requirements always have to be dealt first due to immediate consequences. On the other hand, the truth is that it is not always about lack of time, but often also about the focus in the department – monitoring and developing staff requires more thinking, more time, and more patience.
Solutions for overburdening of the human resources department can be hiring additional personnel or having an information support in place for personnel processes. Such support simplifies and supports this administrative work, gives managers an overview of employees in the department, and provides management with access to daily reports. If the information solution also supports the development and management of personnel, the focus on monitoring and maintaining the employees’ stamina will be much easier. This is already an important victory for many companies. The management thus gets an overview of the company’s intellectual capital. If they connect training with the employee’s competencies and his/her achievement of the set goals, they can also monitor the period of the return of investment in trainings.
Still, is this enough? Are reviewing and monitoring (competencies, training, goals, etc.) the ultimate goal of the human resources departments? I do not think so. This is just the beginning. The HR department can and must direct processes in a way that creates the desired intellectual capital of the company. This is defined by the agreed goals and strategy of the company. The next step in the field of HR is to direct its power to the planning processes and contents that link the development of employees to what the company wants to achieve in the future.
How to achieve this? It is not enough to monitor whether individual employees reach the level of competence required for their job; we need to determine which competencies they will need in order to achieve the future goals of the company. That is why we need to monitor employees today and help them develop the competencies they will need tomorrow. We also need to recruit staff with the competences that the company will need in the future.
The HR department must therefore be actively involved in an overview of what a company wants to achieve and co-create a strategy on how to support this strategy with employees. In this, HR personnel can use the analytics of existing data (on employees and their skills, competencies, achievement of objectives…), which enables them to recognize the differences between the existing and desired situation and take appropriate measures to fill this gap. In practice, the HR department must proactively engage in achieving the company’s strategic goals. Only in this way it can provide key support for the implementation of the company’s strategy.