As companies expand globally and regulations increase, HR professionals play an ever-evolving and important role to help ensure that both the employees’ and the company’s goals are achieved.
Over the past years, I’ve written a number of articles on the different responsibilities of HR professionals both on the NationaLease blog site as well as on the FleetOwner IdeaXchange. Many of those articles and blogs focus on recruitment and retention initiatives and strategies, but there is so much more. That is why the title of this blog uses parentheses to pluralize the role of HR…because those roles keep increasing as technology changes and globalization begins to affect more than just major multinational corporations.
Just a few weeks ago, I posted an IdeaXChange blog on employment law. That is what made me start thinking about the changing scope of this vital position. HR departments are, of course, still responsible for staffing, company event planning, enforcing company policies, employee benefits and in some cases, payroll. However, even these responsibilities have been transformed over time.
Once employees are hired, today’s HR plays a role as trainer, motivator, counselor, and advocate. When it comes to benefits, HR needs to understand federal and state regulations, negotiate with insurance companies, and review 401K providers. Topics where HR needs to show expertise include: behavioral competencies, global HR, risk management, employee and labor relations, organizational and employee development, diversity and inclusion, compensation, and more. These are the HR topics listed on the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) website. Other areas include corporate social responsibility, change management, and contract management.
When governments change, either federal, state, or local, HR needs to be updated on any new or revised regulations and they are responsible for implementing any necessary changes throughout the organization.Perhaps one of the ways to best illustrate the wide range of issues HR deals with is to list a number of articles that appear on SHRM’s HR News section:
- Toxic Workplace Cultures Are Costing Employers Billions
- Employers Must Review State Overtime Exemption Rules
- Accept the Unexpected: How HR Can Create a Crisis Management Plan
- Practice Makes Proficient: Getting Better at Consultation
The reality is that HR now can and should play a more strategic role in a company of any size and in any industry. How companies treat employees; how they serve their communities; how they address complaints: these are all areas that the public sees and how they are handled can either help or hinder your company when it comes to achieving goals. Your HR department is an invaluable resource that you should utilize in a wide range of issues. Encourage them to challenge policies and procedures that they might view as deficient. Listen to them when it comes to developing benefits packages. Pay attention if they send up a warning sign for any employee behavior or complaint.
What is abundantly clear is that HR’s role will continue to change to answer the changing needs of your company.
Read Jane’s IdeaXchange blogs on HR and more.