The role of human resources has changed rapidly in the last decade. What was once a field that focused on hiring, training and managing employees is now a field that focuses on enabling employees to be their best selves in hybrid workplace arrangements.
Today, employees are expected to have the mindset, capabilities, and skills to work at any time from anywhere.
On the other hand, businesses need to be able to tap into the potential of their employees and not just their desks or cubicles. They need to be able to manage, evaluate and nurture their employees’ performance.
This means that the role of human resources in small businesses is changing to become more of a business partner and less of a manager. Bigger organizations have already embraced this change and are reaping benefits.
The Real Role of Human Resources
The role of human resources has evolved over the years as the needs of the business and employees have changed.
Most HR professionals have aligned themselves with traditional human resources management activities such as leave management, performance management, recruitment, training and development and forgot about the relevance of other significant HR functions. Let’s take a look at the major roles and responsibilities of HR in the post-pandemic era.
HR and Health & Safety
HR is that division of an organization that focuses on managing “human” resources, and it should ensure a safe and healthy working environment for the employees.
Below are some of the Occupational Health and Safety roles that the HR department should play at their workplaces;
- Prepare Health & Safety Policies
- Provide training on policies
- Risk assessment
- Evaluate compliance
- Assist in developing OHS plan
HR and Compliance
HR departments aren’t just responsible for recruiting and benefits — they should align workplace policies and procedures with federal and provincial legislation, to ensure that the company and its employees understand and follow these laws.
They are also responsible for thoroughly understanding compliance laws, as well as monitoring the compliance landscape for any regulatory changes. An HR should also provide adequate communication to employers and employees about such laws. Providing legislative training to employees and enforcing policies and procedures in the workplace also is an HR responsibility.
What is HR Compliance and why is it important? Read our expert blog.
HR and Company Culture
HRs are responsible for monitoring and promoting a culture of ethics in the company that reflects the company’s mission and values. They must ensure that the workplace embraces the idea of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Ensuring unbiased hiring practices, offering equal pay for equal work, and creating equal growth opportunities would all contribute to creating this.
HR and Human Capital
An organization is said to be only as good as its people, so human capital is so important to an organization. Human Capital is defined as the economic value of a worker’s experience and skills.
HR typically manages Human Capital through recruiting, planning and strategy, employee training, and performance management.
Employers can improve the quality of Human Capital by investing in employees and thereby increasing productivity and profit.
HR as a Business Partner
As human resources professionals become more of a business partner, the focus will be on helping an organization achieve its goals. It’s important for HR leaders to remember that their job isn’t to manage people, but people management.
In this new era of HR, it’s important for leaders to remember that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to people and management. Every organization is unique and has different needs.
HR leaders will need to partner with business leaders to understand what their needs are so that they can build a partnership around meeting those needs.
Recruiting A-players and Retention
The great resignation hit businesses all over the world and while things are looking better now, recruiting A-players and employee retention are still a challenge most employers are struggling with.
The reasons were quite obvious during the pandemic but why do employees resign even after the pandemic? Why are employers finding it hard to recruit A-players?
A talented HR who knows Human Resources Management would be able to evaluate the situation and act accordingly. They would know how and where to find A-players for the company and how to retain them.
An inclusive culture, better benefits and compensation, a safe working environment, an effective employee lifecycle plan etc. could be few of the techniques an efficient HR professional would adapt in order to retain employees.
The Future of HR
The future of HR is human-centered. It means that HR will continue to focus on people.
However, it will also place an increasing emphasis on technology and how to best leverage it to support people and organizations. The best outcomes can be achieved when people and technology work together as partners. To take advantage of the opportunities that this partnership presents, HR will need to be equipped with the right skills and the right tools.
HR will play an important role in determining how best to use new technology to help people and organizations achieve their goals.
But, can technology replace the essential Human Touch in Human Resources?
Well, using technology can save up a lot of time in areas like performance management, internal communications, attendance tracking etc. However technology cannot help in those areas where human intellect is required, like finalising an A-player or custom-writing HR documents.
When it comes to small businesses, technology for HR management is not really advisable. Small businesses work with fewer employees and having an inhouse HR personnel or outsourcing are the best options.
Human Resources has become a powerful force in small businesses and nonprofits. It’s no longer just about managing the staff. Today, HR plays a crucial role in driving an organization’s success by becoming its protection and profit center. Employers that have embraced this change and strengthened their HR practices see better results and achieve their organizational goals faster.