A human resources (HR) departmenthas a lot on its plate at any given moment. From managing employee relations to keeping those steps and health programs running, from answering email inquiries about insurance and open enrollment to overseeing recruitment — on some days it might feel like things are all over the place! But the heart of it all is one thing: Taking care of people.
That’s right. HR is all about the people. When they’re hiring, HR is about recruiting the people to do the best job. When they’re thinking up a benefits plan, it’s about helping the people on the job feel appreciated and supported. When they make a health program, it’s about keeping the people at the company healthy and happy.
That said, while it’s all about the people, it’s still a lot of different responsibilities! HR processes are critical to keeping it all on track so everyone’s needs are addressed. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what HR processes are, why they matter, and how they work.
What Is an HR Process?
A human resource process is essentially how the department does what it does. A process can be any strategy or component that comes together to support staffers and to give them a positive employment experience. Each HR process involves its own unique set of procedures and parameters, which interact with each other.
Why Are HR Processes Important?
Take a moment to imagine your company is a body. Leadership might be the head and those delivering products are its hands. The HR department, in this instance, is the arteries carrying the lifeblood to every department. Its processes impact how effectively it nurtures the rest of the organization.
Efficient HR processes make everything run more smoothly, and there are many benefits to your organization running like a well-oiled machine. A few of the major payoffs include:
- Higher employee morale.Good employee morale isn’t just about everyone feeling warm and fuzzy — it actually keeps employees happy and healthy, as employees with higher morale take fewer sick days. Sick leave can cost US employers over $2 billion annually. So many HR processes sway employee morale, from compensation to onboarding, so a well-run HR department can have a major impact on a company’s efficiency.
- Strengthens employee recruitment and retention. Keeping your employees around literally saves you money — employee turnover can cost you up to twicean employee’s salary when they leave. Effective HR processes — like Standardizingthe recruitment process — can help boost your retention rate, preserving productivity and saving the company money.
HR Processes from Start to Finish
So what are the many HR processes that are so pivotal to your company? Let’s address them from start to finish!
Recruitment is the process of attracting qualified candidates for open positions and bringing them into your organization. It’s a foundational part of any company’s talent acquisitionstrategy.
The HR process of recruitment includes:
- Job posting
- Career fairs
- Application review
- Giving offers
- Providing great benefitsto attract talent
Given the U.S.’ low unemployment rate, hiring is a competitive field right now. That makes it important to have a strong recruitment process in place so you can effectively court the best talent.
Onboardingis the process of fully integrating new employees into the work environment. It’s what helps employees move from confusion and questions to being a contributing member of the company. Onboarding is a critical aspect of the employee experience: Workers with an exceptional onboarding experience are more than twice as likelyto be extremely satisfied with their jobs. They’re also three timesmore likely to say they have the best job possible.
This process can be so much more than the standard first-day orientation. It should also include introducing employees to the resources they have, explaining the full benefits and perks packages, coaching, mentoring, on-the-job training, and more.
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation is how much an employee is paid in their wage or salary while benefits are additional perks provided to employees by the company to encourage them to work for the company. The HR business process for compensation and benefits is how you determine the right compensation and employee benefitsfor your company to offer. Some benefits, like health insurance, may be required by law. Others are fringe benefits, or those employers choose to offer to make their benefits package more attractive. These include: Benefits you may consider during this process include:
- Retirement plans
- Wellbeing and fitness programs
- Stock options
- Transportation subsidies
We mentioned earlier that HR processes are interdependent. This is a great example, as optimizing the compensation and benefits process can then help your recruitment process. Since these processes are interdependent, it’s helpful for your HR department to build them with that relationship in mind.
Training and Development
Providing training and development within the company can then help with retention. (Twenty-nine percentof employees would consider quitting their jobs if they didn’t have opportunities for development.) And HR is where that magic happens. HR departments can provide development opportunities for employees along the way, and they can create ways to find future leaders and provide leadership development.
Performance managementis the process of evaluating how well employees are doing their jobs and then finding ways to help them improve. This process starts with evaluating employee performance (hello 360 reviews) and then working on developing and implementing career development strategies.
The employee relationsprocess is a group of all HR activities geared towards employee engagement and employee retention. This includes the relationships between the employee and employer, a manager and their team, and between co-workers. These systems are geared toward promoting positive relationships between everyone , and for employees to have an open communication channel with HR to discuss anything that’s amiss.
Human Resource Planning
Yes, there’s a process behind the processes! Human Resource planning is thinking strategically about your organization’s HR needs and creating plans to address all of them. Some of these might include:
- Anticipating hiring needs
- Managing HR supply
- Forecasting strategy
- Implementing other processes
The goal is to make sure you’re an HR team with a plan at all times.
There comes a time when every employee will leave your company. Sometimes they might quit, sometimes they retire. Whatever the reason, the HR department can use the offboarding process to minimize disruption, maintain a positive employee experience, and protect the company’s reputation. Offboarding can help leave the employee with a positive impressionof the company, which can support your company’s reputation as an employer, so don’t neglect this final opportunity to connect with your employees.
How to Manage HR Practices Effectively
As you can probably imagine, keeping track of all of these processes takes effort. Here are few ways you can stay on top of it all to keep everything running smoothly:
- Regularly review objectives.Step number one for managing HR processes is to regularly review the objectives for each process. This helps you remember what they are, stay on top of the processes, identify what’s actually working and see what can still be optimized.
- Maintain flexibility within the framework.Flexibility is the name of the game — HR departments have to be agile to thrive. But flexibility isn’t chaos. You also want to make sure you’re nimble within the existing structure and framework you’ve set out. That way you’re sticking to your goals but are free to experiment to find what actually works.
- Utilize automation. Automation seems to be the next “big thing” and the “answer” to everything these days, and there’s a reason for it. Automation makes menial tasks simple and fast, reduces human errorand makes things more accurate. Consider automating the HR processes you can as your budget allows.
- Listen to your employees.LIke we’ve said: HR is all about the people, and managing people requires listening to them. Whether it’s work environment surveys, interviews, or anything else, listening to your employees is where it’s at.
The Bottom Line
HR processes are the arteries that keep everything running. They’re the magic behind hiring, the magic behind integration, and the magic behind growing and developing. Process is power.
The next bit of good news is you don’t have to handle every process yourself. Just like automation can help you manage processes effectively, so can having a partner that helps set up and oversee your systems.. Here at Gympass, we’ll help you set up and run employee wellness programs that give your team access to thousands of wellness activities and apps. Talk to a wellbeing specialisttoday to get started!
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The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.