October 26th, 2021

How Can HR Support Businesses Better?

What comes to mind when you think of human resources? If it’s Toby from The Office, you’re not the only one. Sadly, HR gets a bad reputation for being the party poopers of an organization. But without HR support, businesses would struggle to grow. 

Businesses Need HR Support

HR isn’t all that glamorous, but it’s responsible for a lot. Human resources are the foundation of every organization. Because at its core, HR is all about employees. Until you have more than a couple of people working in your company, you might not recognize the need for HR support. But once you grow, human resources are meant to coordinate your people, processes, and policies. 

More specifically, HR manages the lifecycle of employees from hiring to onboarding to training to when it’s time for them to go. Outside of direct employee management, HR is also responsible for the structure of your organization (i.e. culture) and crafting and communicating policies and procedures that maintain business operations and legal compliance. 

Listing out everything your human resources is meant to accomplish would take up this entire page.  But sometimes, HR can do more. Signs of an ineffective HR program are high employee turnover, low employee morale, compliance issues, or management having to handle everything. To avoid poor HR practices, here is one vitally important way HR can support businesses better. 

To Better Support Businesses, HR Must Be Strategic 

For HR to successfully support your business, it must be a strategic function of your business. Too often, companies treat human resources as a tactical necessity. And while HR is essential, it can be a strategic advantage too. 

For example, Google uses HR so strategically, they’re one of the top employers in the world — some would consider them the top employer. Their HR uses employee data, or people analytics, to identify failures, prevent problems, and translate successes in HR practices. While most organizations don’t have the means to provide their employees with everything that Google does, they can take the same approach to improve their HR.

What Google essentially uses is a proactive HR strategy rather than a reactive HR strategy.

A proactive HR approach studies the business and its goals to identify potential problems and create practices to prevent or address problems before they occur. Often data and workforce planning are used to create a successful proactive HR strategy. However, many organizations still use a reactive HR approach, where HR or business leaders only make HR decisions as they’re needed or based on prior experience. To make your HR strategy more proactive, start with a strategic planning process

How to Make HR Strategic

An HR strategy aligns HR’s long-term practices with business goals. Any good business strategy usually starts with an assessment of your organization’s current situation. When it comes to your employees, observe what is happening and why. Conduct a SWOT analysis of your HR efforts to understand where gaps exist. 

Think about what the future should look like in your organization and how HR will help you get there. Map your business goals back to the practices and activities HR needs to complete to support them. Then, determine how you’ll evaluate your performance (e.g. employee turnover, employee satisfaction, etc.) 

But more than anything, for HR to be strategic, you have to give up administrative tasks. 

According to research by Deloitte, 41% of HR’s time is spent on tactical responsibilities, which equates to two full days a week. Think of what your organization could accomplish with two extra days a week!

hr support statistics

In other words, when time is spent on administrative tasks, HR doesn’t have the means to engage in proactive HR strategy and practices. When more time is spent on tactical HR tasks, other important HR activities can be overlooked. Recruiting and retaining top talent, providing competitive benefits, training employees, and fostering your company culture are all areas that, if neglected, lead to increased turnover and potentially costly compliance issues.

Download Our eGuide: 7 HR Activities to Let Go of

Learn 7 HR activities to let go of to reclaim time while ensuring your business runs smoothly.

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Get More HR Support

How do you let go of administrative HR tasks? Look to an HR Partner. Obsidian HR can function as your HR team — or an extension of your existing HR staff — freeing them up to focus on HR strategy. We’re here to relieve the administrative burden of HR so you have more time to focus on achieving your business goals. And we do it for a third of the cost of a fully staffed HR team. 

An HR partner can take care of your tactical HR needs such as securing and offering employee benefits, handling payroll and compliance, and managing HR operations. With better HR support, you’ll be able to focus on HR strategy and ultimately grow your business.