14th January 2021
by Gordan Stokes

The success of your business is inextricably linked to the success of your people. To get the best out of your employees, from the highest echelons to entry-level personnel, each of them must have a roadmap for success. As well as a roadmap for individuals, there must be one for teams, departments and ultimately the organisation. The roadmap’s development will be the responsibility of the organisation and, as with all plans, will evolve and change over the course of a person’s career.

The HR function will play a critical part in this through their broader responsibilities that include:

  • Recruitment and onboarding

  • Learning and development

  • Payroll and benefits

  • Employee retention

  • Ensuring a safe, healthy, and productive environment

  • Communication across the organisation

The HR department’s responsibilities are to strike a balance between the best outcomes for employees against what serves the needs of your organisation. HR through all this must be compliant with state and federal laws and regulations. By having an effective HR function your enterprise will not only maximise the return on your investment in employees but will also provide professional and career opportunities for employees.


The Areas of HR Responsibility

1. Recruitment and Onboarding

It is critical that this is carried out in a considered and thorough manner. The cost of a wrong hire can be expensive in terms of lost productivity and costs to rehire. Companies that focus on cultural fit have experienced greater success in hiring than organisations focused on ticking off criteria and experience. A good hire will get off on the right foot with a well-structured onboarding process.


2. Learning and Development

While many consider training important at the start of an employee’s time with an organisation it is important to remember that learning is an ongoing process. Comprehensive and structured learning opportunities will be of benefit to both your organisation and the employee and will provide a great incentive for good people to stay with you. While driven by an organisation’s needs, learning strategies must be a cooperative process between the organisation and the employee.


3. Payroll and Benefits

This is a critical area that must be operated with absolute accuracy and compliance with all laws. While error-free processing of payroll is an absolute requirement, HR is also responsible for developing and administering a competitive and appropriate benefits package. Similar to Learning and Development, input from employees will play a key part in the success of the benefits component of Payroll.


4. Employee Retention

In a competitive and complex market where your organisation requires employees with sometimes difficult to find skills retention is key. The relationship between organisation and employer has also changed over the last two or so decades; at times it can be highly transactional while at others the relationship is built on shared values and goals. As mentioned earlier, hiring success is less about ticking arbitrary experience and qualification boxes and much more about cultural fit. Retention can boil down to this: a culture where employees take pride in a job well done, want to make their customers happy and know that the organisation supports and values them.


5. A Safe, Healthy, and Productive Environment

As with Payroll there is legislation that must be adhered to and communicated to all employees as a matter of course. OHS requirements are stringent and are policed thoroughly by the authorities and must also be enforced by your HR operation. A productive environment is, as with employee retention, an area driven by culture and organisational values. Whilst building a productive environment is a desired endpoint, it is an ongoing process.


6. Organisational Communication

Honest and open communications from HR is critical. As one of the primary employee to organisation interfaces, it is imperative that a level of appropriate and sustained communication is maintained. The balance between the employee and organisation can be upset very quickly without careful management of communication channels.

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