The HR department has evolved in an unprecedented manner in the last decade. What started as a department to undertake the clerical tasks associated with employee management, has transformed into a division that is responsible for maintaining the well-being of the employees. Modern HR is a complex department whose responsibilities include supporting employees, ensuring employee engagement, undertaking clerical tasks and much more.
Due to the increasing importance of the HR department in the company, the CEOs need to support their HR team to undertake their tasks well. Having this direct management over the HR tasks helps the HR team immensely to update policies, makes changes and thereby look after the organization’s growth with minimal interference by other stakeholders. Hence, let us take a look at the importance of HR in modern companies and five things every CEO should do in support of HR.
Importance of HR
Nowadays, the HR department is considered to be the central aspect of the company as all of the employee-centric duties are handled by them. They are the ones who develop the organizational employment policies and ensure that the workforce stays updated with the latest skills and aptitude.
Modern HR is supposed to handle the employees as well as look after their engagement. They are also indirectly responsible for their productivity as they are the ones who need to ensure that the employees remain satisfied with their company.
The HR department is vital for the success of any company as they manage the most valuable asset of the company: their workforce. Hence, let us understand its relevance in a modern organization.
1. Supporting the Employees
The most basic function of the HR department is to support the employees. They are the ones who ensure that the work environments are employee-friendly. Since employees spend most of their awake time in their office, they need to be comfortable both mentally and physically, to perform their tasks efficiently.
The HRs ensure that the employee is actively engaged so that they are satisfied with their organization and continue with them for a longer period. The HR department enables this by strategizing and implementing employee engagement activities, taking their feedback, deploying policies to safeguard the employee and the employer’s interests and making sure that the employees always feel welcome at their workplace.
2. Resolving Conflicts
It is inevitable for a workplace to be devoid of conflicts. Wherever there are individuals who work together, there are bound to be creative and cultural clashes and it falls on HR to resolve these conflicts amicably.
HRs are trained to handle employee conflicts. They are excellent mediators and they listen and understand each party’s side of the argument before putting forth a solution that is agreeable to both parties. Having such kind of personnel in the HR team ensures that there are absolutely no hiccups in the daily working of a company owing to employee conflicts.
HR is vital for the free flow of communication throughout an organization. With the help of effective smooth HR communication, a company can work well as a single unit and hence, increase its efficiency and its output.
To make this happen, HRs are tasked with being the middle man to different departments. They are the ones who are in charge of keeping the communication channels open to every employee. Even if there is any misunderstanding, they are tasked with resolving it at the earliest.
4. Keeping Employees Satisfied
The HR department keeps a track of the employee satisfaction rate of the company. Many factors adversely affect the employee’s job satisfaction and HR is the one who needs to figure out these factors and make sure that the employee never has to face these factors.
Even in cases where HR might not have a solution to guarantee employee satisfaction, they take it up with the upper management to provide a solution for the benefit of the employees. The HR department plays a vital role in improving the employee satisfaction level of the company, which also helps in increasing the retention rate of the organization.
5. Organizational Growth
The HR team also draft various employment policies for the employees of the company. They help in developing the strategies to efficiently manage the workforce. Having a workforce, who are engaged and motivated helps in increasing their overall efficiency. The workforce efficiency directly translates to increased output for the company, thereby ensuring its success.
However, in practice, it is easier said than done. Managing a workforce effectively is a Herculean task and it requires good coordination between different departments of the company. The HR looks after the company finances, the legal compliances, the employee database while ensuring adequate transparency throughout the company.
Now that we have a good idea about the importance of HR in an organization, let us check out the five things every CEO should do to support their HR.
Five Things Every CEO Should Do in Support of HR
1. Remove Bureaucracy in Communication
Modern businesses are required to evolve quickly to stay on top of the competition and customer expectations. The same is applicable in the case of employee expectations too. Workers’ expectations change over time and so do the statutory compliances instituted to safeguard their interests.
To ensure that the company can adapt and change quickly, CEOs should remove the middlemen in HR communication. By the time the HR requests for a policy and the time it is implemented with the help of bureaucrats, newer policies would have already been implemented by the government. Additionally, these middlemen might also lower the impact of the policy as they would not be fully aware of the impact the new policy would have on their employees. Hence, the CEO and HR communication should be direct, without the need for any middlemen.
2. Trust HR to be your Advisor
The CEO should also trust their HR department to be an advisor as they are aware of the pulse of their employees. They would be able to help the CEO implement meaningful changes throughout the company to make it more employee-friendly. Hence, the CEO and HR relationship must remain a mutually respected one.
The CEO and HR relationship should help align their responsibilities with the company’s interests and philosophy. It would also prove useful for the individuals in these positions as the CEO would be able to understand the employee’s perspective straight from the HR and the HR would be able to understand the company’s cultural stand on various issues straight from the CEO.
3. Promote Digitalization of the Company
Digitalization has led to rapid improvement in the progress of humanity as a whole. For a company, digitalization helps in making it efficient and error-free. Hence, the CEO should help HR promote digitalization throughout the company.
Implementing new technologies to optimize and improve the processes would not only help with improving the employee experience but also help in making the overall process efficient and thereby resulting in a reduction of errors. Such technology would also help in scaling the processes easily as per the company’s growth.
4. Know When to Take Charge
As mentioned earlier, CEOs should trust their HRs as their advisors when it comes to employee management and company growth. In fact, HR is also required to take charge whenever required to ensure the common good of the company.
It might happen that a new CEO is not up to mark or the existing CEO might be losing their focus on things. In such cases, it falls on the HR manager to nudge them in the right direction and help them regain their focus by taking charge and implementing the reforms required to get the company back on the path of progress.
5. Adapt And Change
With the ever-changing landscape of employee management, HRs might be overwhelmed with the new changes in some cases. During such a period, it falls on the CEO to motivate their HR and help them realize that the company is with them and is supportive of their efforts to manage their employees.
The CEO should be able to adapt and change with the changing employment landscape to help HR with the cultural initiatives. The CEO should also understand that the reforms put forward by the HR department would also be for the betterment of the employees and the company.
The five things mentioned here are not the only things a CEO can do to support their HR. However, these five would be a good start in case you are wondering how can you help your HR better. On the other hand, if you are an HR, understand that your CEO is also trying to support you in any manner they can and they are restricted by various factors. The future is bright for the CEO and HR relationship and hence, this relationship must be maintained amicably for a bright future for the company and its employees.
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