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International HR Day – A Guide for Small Businesses

Published May 8, 2023 (last updated on May 19, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer


Human Resources professionals are often the unsung heroes of successful businesses. Tasked with recruiting the best talent and keeping a whole company connected, HR plays an integral role in ensuring a business runs smoothly and reaches its goals. With International HR Day upon us, it’s time to acknowledge hardworking HR teams the world over.

To mark the occasion, let’s explore the meaning of International HR Day, why it’s important, and what your company can do to celebrate its human resources heroes. 

What is International Human Resources Day? 

International HR Day is all about giving recognition to the important work human resource professionals perform while looking after a business’s most prized asset – its people.  

More specifically, International HR Day is also about championing the contribution human resources professionals make promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in the workspace.  

When is International Human Resources Day? 

International HR Day falls every year on the 20th of May and this year’s theme has a tagline of “Shaping the New Future”. As this theme implies, diversity-focused HR policies have the potential to build a sustainable future of work that draws on the deepest talent pool.    

Why is International Human Resources Day important? 

International HR Day is important for several reasons. Firstly, the efforts of HR departments improve working lives for billions of other employees. This positively affects employee performance, meaning businesses can perform at the highest possible level. 

Diversity is a buzzword in the HR industry these days, and HR professionals promote a wider social good by helping organisations embrace people from all cultural backgrounds.  

As well as being ethical, adopting an inclusionary mindset comes with enormous business benefits. The more diverse a business is, the more diverse its thinking becomes. If you want a workplace where the brightest ideas flourish, it’s wise to promote cultural diversity throughout your organisation, starting with your HR department. 

How your HR team can promote diversity  

By this stage, you might be wondering what practical steps your HR team can take to ensure it promotes diversity. 

True diversity goes way beyond keeping up appearances and meeting hiring quotas. Instead, it involves the more difficult work of creating a company-wide ethos that treats cultural differences as a source of strength. 

Here’s a shortlist of simple people management processes your HR team can follow to create an environment that all your workers will thrive in:  

✔ Recruitment and Onboarding: Implement inclusive hiring practices to attract diverse candidates and ensure that onboarding processes are culturally inclusive. 

✔ Employee Training and Development: Offer training that promotes cultural understanding, awareness, and sensitivity. 

✔ Performance Management: Ensure performance evaluations are conducted fairly and without bias, making considerations for cultural differences in communication and work styles. 

✔ Compensation and Benefits: Offer compensation and care packages that are fair and equitable for all employees, regardless of their cultural background. 

✔ Employee Relations and Conflict Resolution: Develop policies and procedures for handling cultural conflicts, ensuring that all employees involved feel supported. 

✔ Legal Compliance and Risk Management: Follow HR policies and practices that comply with local and national laws regarding diversity, equality and inclusion. 

✔ HR Analytics and Metrics: Track metrics related to diversity, equality, and inclusion, and use data to make informed people management decisions. 

✔ Workplace Safety and Health: Ensure your workplace is safe and healthy for all employees, regardless of cultural background. 

✔ Employee Engagement and Retention: Build a comprehensive workplace experience that is welcoming and inclusive. This will promote employee engagement and encourage the retention of employees from all cultural backgrounds. 

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The best ways to celebrate International HR Day 

In the spirit of celebrating International HR Day, here are a few ways that you and your company can spotlight your HR team’s success: 

1) Acknowledge and reward your HR team: It’s the perfect opportunity to acknowledge all the hard work that goes into HR. You might send a company-wide email giving recognition to your HR leaders, the team’s most effective initiatives, or even a high-performing employee. 

2) Show a little HR love on socials: Much of what HR teams achieve goes on in the background. International Human Resources Day is a perfect opportunity to position their efforts front and centre. If you decide to pay tribute to the department’s work, do so on social media and inspire the larger HR community. 

3) Promote your diversity statistics: If you’ve got diversity statistics that you’re especially proud of, be sure to share them via an internal bulletin. This is a great way to reinforce your company’s commitment to a culture of inclusivity. You might even post these statistics on social media, helping to raise diversity awareness and set a good example for other businesses.  

4) Take practical action: Make the day more than symbolic and implement practical HR improvements. Speak to your HR team and find out what changes could remove pain points from their job roles. After gaining insight, put together a plan and execute any viable improvements. 

Does your business need help with HR headaches? 

Employsure helps thousands of businesses maintain happy, healthy and harmonious environments where people can perform their best work. If you need trustworthy employee relations or health and safety advice, our 24/7 advice line is free of cost for all Australian business owners. Call 1300 651 415 today to get all your questions answered. 

Please note this article contains general information that is subject to change. Please consult an employment relations professional before making any changes. 

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