6 Ways Leaders Can Support Their HR Department

March 6, 2019

Because they are often a small group, HR departments can easily be forgotten. However, their role and contribution is essential to the smooth operation of any small business. Here are six simple ways that leaders can support their HR department.

1. Seek Input

Before anyone can support their HR department, it’s important that employers know what their human resources professionals truly want and need.

A common mistake made by employers in all fields is assuming they already know what is needed for improvement. While every employer would love to be deeply involved with every aspect of their business, the reality is that many leaders are somewhat removed from the daily operations of a business as they focus on managerial duties. While this objectivity is more efficient for the delegation of everyday tasks, it could mean that leaders are not as aware of the needs of their HR department as they may think they are.

Before you try to implement a new human resources development program or adopt HR software, be sure that it is an addition that will actually be beneficial to your human resources department.

Something as simple as an anonymous survey or holding an open-floor meeting with your HR department could be the key to discovering exactly what your human resources team needs from you.

2. Acknowledge Needs

Collecting data is one thing – using it is another. One of the primary reasons many employees may ignore a suggestion box or email survey is because they doubt that it will be seriously considered by their supervisory team. Taking time to acknowledge your awareness of your HR department’s needs shows them that they are truly heard and may make them more forthcoming with their honest thoughts on how operations are conducted.

Establishing open lines of communication may also help ease some of the tension that may arise from collecting data on your HR department’s needs.

When offered a platform to discuss wants and needs, some employees may seize the opportunity to air grievances. While this information is sometimes helpful for discovering trouble spots, it may also be a fruitless complaint.

It is important for leaders to ensure their HR staff that their voices have been heard. Clearly articulate what concerns can and cannot be addressed. Whether it is due to understaffing, cost, or unrealistic expectations, it may be the case that some of your staff’s requests cannot be fulfilled. Be sure that you address this and offer an explanation to maintain open lines of communication between leaders and HR staff.

3. Develop Implementation Plans

Once you have a grasp of exactly what your staff needs to support HR strategies, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.

Develop a clear plan for how you intend to incorporate their suggestions and address their needs. Make sure that this plan is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) so that your commitment to supporting your HR department is apparent.  

These less tangible methods of supporting your HR department are important, vital factors in supporting the morale of employees. Nevertheless, these methods may fall short without a few of the following tangible means of support.

4. More Training

Legislation is constantly changing and it can be overwhelming to discern the differences between new and old laws or figure out which regulations are to former regulations or completely replace them. The list could go on.

Your HR staff can only perform in light of their knowledge base. Whether the information is related to the latest change in legislation, communication techniques, or implementation of new HR software and technology, be sure that you support your staff by properly training them. Even the brightest team of HR professionals can benefit from guidance.

5. More Resources

Ensuring that your HR staff has proper resources is vital to their support. While this could be in the form of monetary support or by making sure that there are enough staff members to complete all necessary duties, providing your HR professionals with more resources does not always have to be costly.

In some situations, this may mean providing your team with more time to complete a task, or delegating duties to ensure that no employee is overworked.  

In other situations, it may mean incorporating time-saving technology in the form of HR software. Whatever meets the needs of your staff, be sure that they have the appropriate tools to efficiently accomplish their daily goals.

6. More Celebration

Even the most basic level of psychology knowledge will tell you that rewarding a positive behavior will result in more occurences of that behavior. When your HR staff is performing well, celebrate!

A staff that knows their hard work is recognized and honored is much more likely to strive toward excellence. For a group that is often silently supporting the rest of the business, it is important to acknowledge the important work they do and encourage them to continue.
From boosts in morale to support through technology, it is vital that small business leaders do everything in their power to encourage their HR department’s flourishing. If you need help taking the first steps, contact the experts at Commonwealth Payroll & HR. Call us today at (978) 599-1500

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