Many companies struggle on without the aid of an HR Manager or any form of HR support at all despite the constant increase in employment law. However, HR can support a business owner with invaluable support in so many areas of people management, building a high-performance company culture and improve business outcomes. Here I have compiled a list of ten reasons why companies may need HR support.

1. Improving Business Performance & Staff Productivity
HR can help manage and drive performance in several ways. Business performance can be improved by implementing an integrated performance management system i.e. company-wide appraisal system that supports career development and job satisfaction. With a top-down approach with buy-in from senior managers, all employees work towards the common goal to improve long term business performance through the fulfilling of their own personal objectives.

Performance management can also be about acknowledging and managing poor performance through a capability process where poor performers are either supported to improve or are performance managed out of the business with capability being a fair reason for dismissal. HR can work with management to ensure that either of these processes are correctly implemented.

2. Cost Savings
HR can contribute to cost savings. One example is to implement an HR strategy that can support business goals making a business more efficient through the planned use of human resources. Another example can be to introduce sickness absence management controls, the cost of sickness can be reduced which can be a huge expense to a business if allowed to get out of hand.

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3. Employee Engagement & Motivation
Employee engagement is a workplace approach that builds the right conditions for employees to do their best work, unlocking their discretionary effort and going the extra mile.
Disengaged employees are less likely to work hard, feel motivated, or meet expectations, causing more errors in their work which will ultimately affect customers and business performance. In fact, disengaged employees are on the lookout for new jobs, driving employee turnover.

A starting point can be an employee engagement survey coordinated by HR but owned by all leaders. Once the results are known, a strategic HR plan can be developed which addresses the areas of the business that need improvement.

4. Employee well-being & Job Satisfaction. Help With Reward
Rewarding staff fairly is highly important to employee retention, get it wrong and staff will leave in their droves. Although the financial reward is important for many people, it is not the be all and end of all of going to work.

The non-financial rewards are just as important e.g. job satisfaction, challenge, etc. and HR can work with managers to help them recognise this important element of employee reward. Along with pay, there are further employee benefits which make up the total reward approach eg holidays, bonus, company car

5. Staff Training & Development
The development of skills is important for any company’s success and growth. HR can help support training and development initiatives by assisting with a company-wide skills analysis that documents existing skills within the business and compares them against current and future needs.

This skills analysis will inform the development of a training plan to address gaps and support the business in retaining employees. HR can support the delivery of this plan through delivering workshops or bringing in external training consultants where appropriate. HR can work with management to ensure that training and development is both cost and time effective and help them recognise the value that training brings.

6. Employment Legislation Guidance & Compliance
Employment legislation is changing constantly and it is hard to keep up with the ever-shifting sands that the government dictates. However, it is the role of HR to stay up to date so that they can provide credible, practical advice to those they support. HR should ensure that internal HR policies and employee handbooks are kept up to date, they are well communicated to the workforce and training is provided to managers in their operation.

7. Understanding the Rules of Employment Tribunals
HR is the guardian angel of companies and helps to keep them out of the employment tribunal through sound employment law advice. HR procedures should always be followed and processes documented. If a situation is getting out of hand HR can be there to help soothe the situation or can act as a mediator. If they don’t have mediation skills they often have specialist contacts in this area.

8. Managing Change
Change is an everyday part of life and companies need to change from time to time as the business world moves on. HR can support change management processes in various ways. With a company re-structure to improve efficiency, HR can work with senior management to develop a new reporting structure and new job descriptions to provide strategic support. HR can take part in operational consultations with employees affected by the re-structure. HR can advise on redundancy and TUPE implications where appropriate.

HR can also assist with minor changes in the workplace such as a change to terms and conditions which require consultation and agreement from employees. Working with managers they can ensure the correct legal procedure is undertaken. HR can provide the paperwork to support the process.

9. Attracting & Recruiting New Employees
A company is nothing without good quality staff and HR can provide support with recruitment processes whilst ensuring that equal opportunities employment legislation is adhered to. This process can begin with gathering critical information from your departing employees in the form of exit interviews.

HR can work with managers to draft adverts, identify an appropriate advertising medium, develop job descriptions, undertake short-listing, develop interview processes and questions, organise assessment days and ability tests and take part in interviews. HR can also provide all the essential supporting paperwork.

10. Treating Staff Fairly
Sometimes when the job just needs to be done, it can be hard for managers to recognise the need to treat their people fairly. With HR guidance, their obligation in this respect can be recognised. A good manager will get the best out of their staff and ensure high engagement.

HR can provide much-needed support when a manager is struggling with a particular employee problem. Company HR procedures provide much-needed guidance and HR can help with their interpretation to avoid the risks of costly unfair dismissal or discrimination claims.