Your HR department is probably under-appreciated and overworked, making the effort to help them do a very difficult job will earn you some new friends. By simply being aware of certain things (and using common sense) you’ll free HR’s time up to be proactively making your office a nicer place to work.
Read policies (no one likes them but they’re there for a reason)
You may think that internal policies are just there to make everyone’s life more complicated, but they’re not. They’re there to protect you and the business and to ensure that all employees are aware of how things work.
Many accreditations that are key to the success of your brand rely on policies being present, understood and adhered to. Ensuring that you’re up to date with and understand your companies rules, regulations and processes will save you time as well as HRs.
If your employer has invested in an employee self-service solution such as CIPHR Net then policy documents can easily be published to all employees through the portal. This enables HR to easily update and distribute such documents ensuring that compliance is maintained. It also means that reading such documents becomes less time-consuming for employees as there’s no need to ask for them from an HR representative or print them off.
Make sure your details are up to date and save HR the bother
The details your employer holds for you is for your benefit as well as theirs. Address, bank details, absence, etc. should all be up to date and correct in order for many of the internal HR and payroll processes to function correctly. If you’ve not updated or informed HR to update your bank details, for instance, then how do you expect to be paid? If you’ve taken time off for an illness that your employer should be aware of, inform them or log it in your company intranet.
Your Human Resources department shouldn’t need to chase any employees for their updated details – they have better things to be doing (on your behalf).
Be a brand advocate without having to be asked
One of the HR duties that’s seen a lot of press recently is promoting and optimising the employer brand. This involves many factors and responsibilities that take up a lot of HR’s time, assisting them with this will be appreciated and a great help.
One way you can help is to become a brand advocate and promote your employer as a great place to work. By becoming a brand advocate you’ll not only complement the hard work HR are already doing to gain visibility and influence in your industry, but you’ll also help to attract new talent to positions within the business.
Promote engagement from your colleagues
Promoting employee engagement for your colleagues is a great way to help improve your company culture and make your office a great place to work.
Creating and promoting your own colleague’s initiatives will help to increase interactivity, collaboration and productivity within your brand, all of which contribute to a better and more successful business.
Engagement can be promoted and encouraged in a number of different ways, including:
- Wellbeing initiatives such as sports clubs, competitions and sponsorships
- After work events such as ‘Come dine with me’ style events, shared hobby outings or even Xbox/Playstation evenings
- Internal competitions such as cook-offs
- Regular departmental and company meetings to promote open and honest discussions
- Mentoring and onboarding programs to help integrate new employees effectively
Employee engagement is an ongoing strategy that has no beginning or end. For more information, please read any of the following previous blog articles:
- 5 Employee Engagement Tactics That Won’t Cost A Bean
- Lessons On Employee Engagement from Michael Scott
- 5 Activities To Build Employee Engagement
- 9 Tips For Social Interaction With Your Employees
Let HR contribute and listen to what they have to say
Allowing HR to contribute to the strategy and direction of the business in management meetings will raise awareness of the good work that they do and allow the people who look after employees to have a voice.
HR deal with your people all day every day. They know what works and what doesn’t, what’s causing problems within the business and what will be the most likely source of a solution. Not giving HR a seat at your management meetings is restricting the voice of your most important department when it comes to your employees and how to utilise them efficiently.
As well as letting HR have a say in the running of your brand, you also need to be sincere in your intentions to listen, take note and potentially act on their recommendations. Allowing HR to put forward their recommendations only for them to be ignored is worse than not including them in discussions in the first place.
Understand, respect and appreciate what HR do
The business needs to be made aware of not just what HR does as a department, but why the rest of the organisation should support them and what benefits their efforts bring to both individual employees and the brand as a whole.
Below are just some of the roles that HR representatives are responsible for within an organisation, without them the business would grind to a halt:
- Working closely with various departments, increasingly in a consultancy role, assisting line managers to understand and implement policies and procedures
- Promoting equality and diversity as part of the culture of the organisation
- Liaising with a wide range of people involved in policy areas, such as staff performance and health and safety
- Recruiting staff – this includes developing job descriptions and person specifications, preparing job adverts, checking application forms, shortlisting, interviewing and selecting candidates
- Developing and implementing policies on issues like working conditions, performance management, equal opportunities, disciplinary procedures and absence management
- Preparing staff handbooks
- Advising on pay and other remuneration issues, including promotion and benefits
- Undertaking regular salary reviews
- Negotiating with staff and their representatives (for example, trade union officials) on issues relating to pay and conditions
- Administering payroll and maintaining employee records
- Interpreting and advising on employment law
- Dealing with grievances and implementing disciplinary procedures
- Developing HR planning strategies with line managers that consider immediate and long-term staff requirements
- Planning, and sometimes delivering, training – including inductions for new staff
- Analysing training needs in conjunction with departmental managers
That’s quite a workload for anyone to keep on top of as well as trying to be proactive and drive the business forward!
Provide HR with the tools they need to give 100%
Every department, and indeed individual, within that department depends on the tools they’re provided to do their job to the best of their ability. Not supplying the right solutions to HR is as detrimental to their efforts as it would be to IT or your service desk.
HR, eRecruitment and payroll solutions will allow Human Resources to analyse and optimise the many processes and strategies in place within your business, as well as create new and improved ones to drive efficiency and engagement.
Other tools include:
- SaaS delivered tools
- Employee self-service
- Reporting solutions that don’t require a PHD to use
- Automated eRecruitment solutions which reduce administration but improve the candidate experience
- Integrated payroll
- Collaboration tools (not restricted to HR)
Refer talent for vacancies
Similar to brand advocacy, employee referrals are an effective source of future talent.
Don’t wait to be asked to refer friends and family for roles within the organisation, proactively recommend these positions if appropriate and help HR with recruitment.
Other benefits of employee referrals include:
- Increased speed of hire
- Increased average length of employment
- Reduced turnover
- Reduced cost per hire
- Improved ratio of applicants to hire
- Improved cultural fit
- Reduced impact on management or mentor time to integrate new hire
All of the above contribute to HR efforts and will if you’re seen to positively impact these then you’ll be a popular person!
Try to resolve internal issues quickly and amicably
One of the tasks that HR often have to deal with is internal disputes between employees. If possible, make the effort to deal with these issues yourself if you’re involved and save HR the time and administration of stepping in.
Staying calm and talking things through can often be enough to resolve a conflict however sometimes just swallowing your pride can avoid paperwork, resources and time to mediate.