Putting the Human in Human Resources: The Importance of Giving your HR Department the Attention it Deserves

A common way of measuring the success of certain aspects of your company is through ROI (Return on Investment). For example, you monitor your ROI with your salespeople through the numbers they generate, and you monitor the efficiency of your customer service/success team through customer retention and the number of product renewals/subscriptions they oversee – and so on and so forth. By doing this, a business owner or manager can determine how financially viable each team is through the clear numbers they produce or retain.

But when it comes to departments whose effectiveness is not so easily measured with such figures (or not at all), it’s easy to believe these departments bring little to the table for your company. This misconception is why, in the modern workforce, human resources is still often neglected. And the repercussions of this, though not always clear-cut or immediately noticeable, can be devastating.

The Importance of HR

The importance of HR in the modern workforce comes down to HR being just what it is; resources for humans. The responsibilities of HR personnel include hiring, interviewing, onboarding, payroll, employee relations, administration, and generally ensuring a working environment is professional, comfortable, fair, and follows all necessary workplace laws, including health and safety and anti-discrimination regulations. Without this, a company can face real problems on a daily basis – problems which can often only get worse without being handled properly. And, while some employers still wrongly believe that HR departments cost more than they’re worth, the difference between workplaces with HR professionals and without them is undeniable.

Notice the Difference

A common reason for not having an HR department (or at least not giving one the same attention as other departments), in simple terms, is that they don’t clearly provide your company with a profit. Yet a neglected HR department, or the absence of one, can prove far costlier than one would expect for a variety of reasons, including;

  • Staff turnover
  • Lack of morale/underperformance
  • Additional tasks being assigned to other employees
  • Extra time spent on hiring, enrolling, payroll, etc.

The list could go on, and without someone to oversee the welfare of a company and its employees, who knows what issues you may run into? It’s not unknown for business owners or managers to even try and assume the role and responsibilities of an HR department themselves, usually without realizing there is much more to it than they anticipated, and… well, without proper HR knowledge or the right temperament, this can prove risky, to say the least. Fortunately, however, we are seeing an increase in awareness of the importance of HR in spite of this, even if we still have a way to go.

A Better World

The workplace used to simply be about going in and getting the job done, regardless of the cost. Now, with a greater understanding of what makes both businesses and people run to the best of their abilities, we can see that ensuring a happy and healthy work environment extinguishes (or at least effectively controls) the growing flames of discontent and employee dissatisfaction. And focusing on HR is one of the best ways to do that – arguably the best.

It’s time to do away with the notion that money is all that matters in any given company’s performance. Yes, profit is necessary for sustainability, but that profit is far less achievable with high turnover, unhappy and unmotivated staff, additional tasks and responsibilities needing to be delegating to already busy employees, and even possible lawsuits or legal troubles as a result of negligence. HR is more vital now than ever in the workplace, and all of us embracing that fact together is long overdue.