How to Set Up Your HR Team for Success
Some of you might still think of HR as the Principal’s office; somewhere you go if you’re in trouble or have a question on benefits. However, today’s top HR leaders are bringing a lot more to the table.
Today and throughout Covid, you’re likely leaning heavily on your HR team to determine best practices for Covid cases, being successful while remote, protocols while in the office, and keeping your team engaged through a 2-year pandemic. Throw in trends like the Great Resignation, and the role of HR teams becomes even more critical.
If an HR leader reports to you, we challenge you to ask them, “what are the best ideas you have that you don’t think I’ll go for?” Chances are, there are amazing ideas that aren’t being voiced and you have the opportunity to flex outside of your comfort zone to do something innovative in a challenging time.
HR to Boost Retention
When I speak with HR leaders who are considering new roles, it’s often because leadership isn’t hearing them, isn’t valuing employees the same way, or being open to change. One of the worst things you can do to an HR leader is to show them how they can positively impact employees, and then don’t let them do it. For example, if you’re experiencing turnover and your HR person is handling the exit interviews, then listen to what they’re noting for trends and solutions. If everyone from your manufacturing floor is going down the road for $1 more per hour, then maybe their suggestion of re-evaluating compensation and total rewards is well-warranted. What you could save in turnover, reduced output, and hiring costs might equal out or potentially even outweigh the cost of a pay increase for those employees. I know you always paid X before, but 2021 changed all that. Personally, we’re having a hard time finding a company or industry not impacted by the Great Resignation so be sure you’re adapting your people strategy to the market just like you would adapt your business or sales strategy. Great HR leaders also have an amazing business sense, so let them show you an employee-focused model that benefits the businesses’ goals.
Trust Your Staff to Make the Right Call
Recruiting is difficult right now. Every recruiter I talk to is swamped and stressed. It’s hard to find great talent, engage them through a process and ensure they accept the offer, start, and stay. Hiring managers must give your HR and Recruiting teams some understanding and flexibility. If you can hire someone a little left of center for what you wanted, that might get you a quicker placement. Or, if there’s a candidate you really like, then move quickly to offer and don’t wait to see 3 comparison candidates, “just because.” Your recruiter wants you to have a successful hire that lasts and now more than ever is the time to get creative and flexible so you can continue the growth of your company.
Expand Your Department
If your HR person is so swamped with day-to-day items of benefits administration, recruiting, general employee relations, and system work that they don’t have time to be strategic – consider hiring some additional resources, whether temporary or permanent. When you give HR leaders time to be strategic, they can get ahead of problems versus always being reactive. This means ideas like employer branding, finding better benefits options, talent development, and overall improving your company culture. And from a business standpoint this can reduce turnover and hiring costs, and increase staff productivity. All of this will make you more attractive to clients, too. We’ve all seen the difference when you interact with someone who doesn’t like their current company versus an employee who is genuinely happy and wants to do their best. Clients can feel that, too, and they want to work with great companies who have happy employees.
Taking Time Off
Last but not least, tell your HR person to book time off. We know, we just spent this whole blog saying how critical your HR person is. Well, they are. But they’re going to break if you don’t give them a break. HR people want to help, but it’s hard for them to be effective if they don’t have an adequate work life balance. So be sure your HR person has time to rest, refresh, and be the role model of balance, energy, and engagement that you want for your staff.
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