The Different Roles Of HR by #NewToHR

The Different Roles Of HR

People operations are one of those disciplines that is all-encompassing. It’s vital to any organization to have a well-oiled working HR machine, but it’s sometimes one of the last departments and disciplines on the agenda. But what is HR exactly, where does it begin and end? It’s usually a question that employees and sometimes even employers struggle with. 

It’s a strange one, with every single thing that isn’t clearly outlined as part of core business or defined scope of work related to the product or service, automatically falling into the lap of HR.

Most people would look at HR and see it’s all the internal processes that are not directly adding value to the product or service the company is offering. 

But here’s where it gets a bit vague and grey, as most companies rely on people to add value for clients, especially when there is no physical product to be made. 

So how do you define the tasks of your people operations department?

Where accounting is clearly defined and will only deal with invoices and bills relating to the core activity of the company, HR seems to have extensive involvement with pretty much every aspect of the company. 

People will be surprised how multi-faceted HR is and what kind of things would be left undone if it wasn’t for HR. Here are some of those roles HR takes care of.

Putting Together the Right People

Firstly, there is, of course, the human aspect of it all. Clearly, there is the administration of personnel and making sure everyone gets their wages on time.

HR usually also sits on the training and upskilling budget that allows employees to go on courses and workshops. As of such, HR can be seen as the treasurer of the human capital, including monetary in vestment in this group. It’s similar to a sports team that has a set budget to put together their dream team. 

Setting the Ground Rules

There will be some (or a lot of) involvement in the hiring of new personnel, or at the very least the guidance of hiring managers in regards to the process.

In an ideal scenario, HR takes control of job specifications and sets guidelines on how salary scales work and what is needed for employees to take a step up.

In today’s world, however, with all its mergers and acquisitions, this sometimes means the deployment of pre-existing guidelines from headquarters.

In a way, as companies are more and more defined by their personnel, it’s HR who has a big say in what the company is about. By setting the job specs, a confident expectation is created of behavior in an organization, and as of such HR is the conductor of people.

Judge, Jury & Executioner

Without HR, there will be utter chaos in hiring people, setting wages, and creating a framework in which employees feel they can grow and thrive. On the other side of the coin, it’s HR that deals with long absence, the process of giving verbal and official warnings, the firing of people, and exit interviews. When things go right, managers are usually happy to stick to business-as-usual.

But when things go wrong, and personalities clash, HR will be called in to mediate. As of such, HR is both the referee as the executioner when things go wrong.

Software Project Managers

Nowadays, a big chunk of HR work in terms of people management lies in the appraisal process. Over the years, most companies have gone through different iterations of the appraisal process, with concepts like 180 degrees feedback, feedforward, SMART goals, check-ins, coaching, self-assessment and much more being thrown around. 

For more giant corporations there will have been significant investment in sleek (and not so sleek) online portals that manage the whole process from self-assessment, requesting feedback, and scoring of performance by managers. This process has put HR professionals in the role of development project managers, overseeing the development and adjustment of significant software packages.

The Company’s Bodyguard

Another aspect of people operations is risk management, in terms of making sure that there are insurances in place, for the business and its people. They are responsible for finding a reliable insurance for your business, that will cover off the usual risks involved with operations. This has to do with property insurance, business continuity, theft, public and product liability, employee, machinery coverage, and injury on-premises, to name a few.

There is a lot involved in running a business, and you need HR to make sure everything is covered as it should be. 

Making sure the policies are in place and updated whenever it’s required. In terms of risk management, and relating to the hiring of people, it’s usually also HR who does background checks before offering someone a contract.

In most cases, HR is also responsible for having first aiders on the premises and that there is a plan in case of calamities. In such a way, HR is the bodyguard of an organization, vetting personal and making sure things will be OK when things go wrong.

The Ultimate Cheerleader

But betting on things to go wrong isn’t the standard model for HR. If anything, the human operations side of the business wants to take care of the people that are part of the organizations.

This means stimulating knowledge sharing, introducing newcomers, celebrating years of service, birthdays even and all manner of things that will help connect and create bonds. In such a way, HR is the perfect human connector for your organization.

HR is more than meets the eye.

  • It’s the sports team manager that put together the right people to form a dream team.
  • It’s the conductor of the orchestra so everything and everyone can play in harmony with each other. HR can sometimes be called in to be the jury, judge, and executioner, especially when there is conflict.

HR can be called upon to design and implement sophisticated software that helps your organization grow and thrive. HR can sometimes be the company’s bodyguard, making sure the wrong people stay out and intervening when things go wrong. But most of all, HR is there to connect people, like some sort of matchmaker to make sure people go to work in an enjoyable environment.

© New To HR

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