For many businesses, human resources (HR) is an afterthought, but in reality, it is the fuel that powers successful businesses.
SMEs are our nation’s beating heart. Powered by passion, dedication, and vision, small business owners bring out the best in all of us. However, the devil is in the detail and that’s often what many small business owners tend to forget. Who is looking after your people while you focus on building your business?
International HR Day is on 20th May and I want to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of HR and how it should be at the heart of any successful business.
How can HR help you?
We are at a very interesting and complicated stage in our culture. On one hand, bigger companies are seeing mass redundancies and restructuring, while other companies are on a hiring spree. The economic headlines are filled with despair yet, for many, it’s a candidate-centric market with ever-growing salaries. Many books, blogs, and podcasts provide information on leadership and management. But one concept that I feel is not stressed enough is that to lead a successful team, to build a business, you need to really understand what your people need, how they function best, and what empowers them. This is where HR works its magic.
The traditional definition of HR would limit it to human resources. The basics of hiring, staffing, and firing fit within the gamut of HR. But it is so much more than that. HR is also no longer restricted to big companies or multinational organizations and is no longer simply an administrative resource. When utilised effectively, HR is the key to any successful business.
So how can HR work for your business?
Build workplace culture!
I have worked with people from across the world and though we are all different people, we all want one thing. A good workplace culture. A good workplace is not a myth nor is it a utopia without any struggles, challenges, or tough days. In fact, good and bad workplaces exist in the same universe and within the same conditions. But good workplaces, those with positive cultures and mindsets, always find ways to overcome any obstacles they face. HR helps you achieve that. When employees feel appreciated, heard, and motivated, they work better and harder. They communicate genuinely and directly with the business and its values.
Avoid a one-size fits all approach
It can be easy to blindly follow a one size fits all approach to your team. Many leaders and business owners motivate employees and communicate in ways that make sense to them, assuming that if they are motivated by rewards or words, then their employees will be too. Once again, this is where HR can help, driving motivation, reward, and recognition. With HR, you can begin to understand the psyche of your employees, what language of appreciation they prefer, and how best to connect with them.
Trends will fade
It’s very easy to get carried away with the latest fads and trends. Quiet quitting, quiet firing, bare minimum Mondays, rage applying, we have heard and seen it all. If you know what you’re doing, and if you have put HR at the heart of your business, then you will be able to weather any storm. HR helps you identify what is merely a passing trend and what is a deeper reality within the workforce, helping you prioritise your focus.
As workplaces start to become more future-thinking and agile, HR will continue to expand. The magnitude of what lies ahead is phenomenal. I can’t wait to see all the ways in which HR will continue to drive forward businesses, helping them grow and succeed.