May, 2015

4 Ways your HR Department Could Be Failing You

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4 Ways your HR Department Could Be Failing You

Failure: it’s something no one wants to admit could be happening or has already happened. Everyone sees failure as the lowest of low, as a sign of the end of things. In truth, admitting failure only means the end when fixing it for the future is no longer an option. If you’re going to succeed in business, you’re going to have to master the art of taking advantage of missed opportunities and turning them into new attempts at success. In small business, the Human Resources department can be the catalyst in a series of changes for the better. But before that can happen, HR needs to get real with how they commonly fall short of the goal line.


1. Communication

As in any relationship, communication is the key to a healthy development in both your business and/or personal life. Not only is it designed to be the driving force of productive practices, your Human Resources Department is designed to be the mediator between you and your coworkers. Dear Employees, If you are finding that communication is lacking in a certain department, you should always look to your HR Manager for guidance. A good HR manager will always provide you with unbiased, objective advice- and will hold necessary parties accountable depending on the situation. “In difficult economic times, when there are high levels of organizational change, communication is bound to begin lacking” in both personal and professional environments. Unfortunately, this can become divisive among a dynamic team of talented individuals, and turn into a merry-go-round of misunderstanding.

There is a greater need for interpersonal communication than ever before, starting with the individual. Self-awareness in the office serves as the base for successful, professional communication. If you are open and honest, HR managers will be able to establish an honest feedback loop to better serve you in the future. Other types of needed feedback can also be obtained by routine performance reviews and evaluations. Employees should always feel that they can communicate openly in a secure environment with their supervisors. The moment you compromise the trust of your employees is the moment that the culture will ultimately sour.

Office Politics

2. Office Politics

Some HR practitioners might consider office politics to be a subject best avoided, fearing they might get caught up in the games being played themselves. This is the wrong way to go- and, frankly, it hurts, rather than helps, everyone in the professional environment. Dynamics in the office happen, segregation of certain groups happens, it all happens. An HR manager’s role should be passive in whatever game they are finding themselves involved. However, they are also in an ideal position in order to help others understand how the organization truly works.

HR managers are able to demonstrate how decisions are made, and are encouraged to advise others how to move beyond the “dark side” of office politics in order to harness the power of more positive ways of thinking. HR is the predestined guardian of your company’s culture, and they’re willing to fight for you if you’re just willing to communicate with them.

Resisting Change

3. Resisting Change

It seems that companies are changing faster than department policies are able to keep up. With this, it seems that organizational processes are, instead, hindering a business’s workforce. Perhaps businesses are looking at the problem all wrong- instead of working on catching up to societal changes in business, HR directors should be positioning their teams for exponential growth- to exceed “Given the primary role HR plays in an organization’s core processes (e.g., performance review, change management, compensation), HR has the chance to be a true catalyst for positive change.” Create a dynamic corporate climate to which your employees can adapt. HR needs to look at technology as a means to automate processes that will streamline their company.

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4. Financial Organization

A business’s payroll department is crucial for keeping the business running smoothly, but inefficiencies like lack of communication, troubled time and attendance policies, missed punches, too many spreadsheets, and inaccurate data entries can cause major malfunctions. If this describes your business, the best way to correct it, depending on the size of your company, is to possibly outsource your payroll services. For example, how many Human Resources departments are privy to ACA Compliance changes that have thrown so many Americans for a loop within the past year? Exactly. If data is entered incorrectly, you and your entire company run the risk of paying fines that you had no idea existed. In fact, a company’s payroll function can determine their entire reputation. Payroll companies that take care of these steps can put a company ahead of the competition and limit the time that HR is devoting to details on which they otherwise wouldn’t need to waste their time.

Is your Small Business’ Human Resources Department Failing You

Given HR’s primary purpose, there should be no reason that your company can’t take failures and turn them into strengths. The first step is to identify the issues. In her article Is Your Small Business’ Human Resources Department Failing You Margaret Jacoby states that, “You cannot improve your human resources department without finding out where it is failing you. This requires you to do an in-house audit of your HR operations and procedures.” It’s the duty of every employer to inspire and nurture the culture of a business, and doing that correctly is much more easy than having to salvage it later on.

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