A board meeting with vital HR input

Infusing HR Into Your Corporate Culture

Make HR More Than a Monthly Expense

(HRD) - There are two ways of using your HR department in your business. You can isolate them in an out-of-the-way office and simply use them for processing personnel paperwork; hirings, layoffs, retirements, firings, etc. The other method is to use your HR staff to positively affect every facet of your company that has human involvement. If you want to maximize the power of your labour-force, the latter option is an absolute imperative. Not only does it use proven best practices to optimize productivity, it could ultimately save your company money, even if it increases the HR budget line.

Save Money By Expanding HR? Wait, What?

It may sound like a glaring contradiction, but having a dedicated team of HR specialists involved in all elements of your business can actually save your company time, money and your all-important public relations cachet. By making HR an integral part of your management team, you can bring staffing perspectives to bear on company issues and initiatives that other sales, marketing and management people cannot be expected to be knowledgeable about.

An Example to Sample

When you bake HR's insights into your global corporate culture, you illuminate areas other corporate specialists would not consider. Let's say, for instance, that your marketing group has produced a sales plan that could double the orders your business processes in a given time frame. The marketing minions will be discussing elements of advertising, public relations, customer communications and other similar facets that are specific to their mindset. In the excitement of the big sale, there are, however, many unintended consequences that may result from the marketing thrust that only HR people are equipped to bring to the table.

What Do Inside Staff Have To Do With Marketing?

With HR in the loop, consideration will be given to increasing customer service and warehousing resources and having them trained for when they're needed, not a month after the sale is over. Making sure your company has all the right people in all the right positions before they are needed will protect your bottom line by;

  • saving money on processing backorders,
  • incurring expensive freight charges,
  • efficiently turning goods around from the receiving dock to the shipping department in the most cost-effective, timely manner possible, and
  • avoiding morale issues that happen when change occurs in the workplace.
HR Has a Global Perspective No Other Working Group Holds

HR specialists are equipped to provide estimates of manpower usage and their accompanying costs. These figures will most certainly affect the margins on the sales if not factored in at the outset. Increasing support staff to handle the sudden rush may actually net a loss in profit if your prices don't reflect the increase in overhead. Marketing people sometimes fail to factor in such elements and can become blinded by excitement over new opportunities.

Because You Don't Want Surprises

Having HR specialists aware of the implementation of new ideas and procedures will help to guard against unintended consequences. They can outline much more clearly how making a small change, such as altering the hours of operation, will impact morale, overtime costs, and staff availability.

Every Move You Make, Staff Is Watching You

No matter what points are being brought forward at board meetings, very few will have no impact on your employees in some way. If the company is doing well, staff expectations regarding wage increases must be carefully managed. If the company is facing challenges, retention and morale issues will be impacted. HR folk must be front and centre in every aspect of a company's life.

Loyalty is a Two-Way Street

Having your HR department be seen by your workforce as acting as their ombudsman with the highest levels of management is essential to good employee morale. This is critical for minimizing absenteeism  and wasteful "presenteeism", while maximizing retention and productivity. All of these are contributing factors to your bottom line and HR personnel are the ones with the global perspective to advise your leadership team on the best way to manage change from your staff's point of view.

When HR is part of your decision-making process, better outcomes will result. It is one of the keys to working "smarter, not harder".  Your bottom line will love you for it.

Categories: Human Resources

Author: Chris McKerracher

Chris McKerracher is a Social Media Marketer and Professional Writer for Industrial NetMedia. Chris has worked as a journalist, editorialist and humourist for a number of Alberta newspapers since 1995. He has also written eight theatrical plays which have been produced with the ninth to be staged in May of 2016.


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