The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

6 Steps to Evaluating Your HR Function

Here are 6 Steps to make sure your HR function is aligned with leadership.The field of Human Resources is evolving and being embraced in even the smallest of organizations today. With the onslaught of legal issues facing the employment relationship, all enterprises need to be sure they have an understanding of human resources. The new overtime ruling (link to blog post) is only the beginning of the changes we see on the landscape of employee management.

Business executives must understand what their entity needs, what compliance is necessary, and how that can be best embraced within their operation. Through presentations and HR speaking with a variety of business leaders, I have developed six steps to evaluate your HR function and move forward with a human resource function that supports the overall operation.

Step One:  Evaluate what does HR look like today? HR started as an administrative function that grew out of the studies of management in the 1950’s. We know that employees are more productive when their manager is paying attention to them. Today HR should exist to impact and grow your business with a focus on positive employee interactions.

Step Two: Gather data. Who in your organization is responsible for budget items that impact employees. Ask for feedback from vendors that interact with your team such as your payroll provider, benefits consultant etc. Talk to employees, who is their go-to person for information?

Step Three:  Separate the basics of HR from your strategic needs. A vast majority of the HR function is administrative. These are actions that are easily outsourced, or conducted through enhanced technology. Be sure that your HR function is embracing technology, and spending their valuable time on initiatives that will drive the business results you are looking for. Setting goals for human resources operations will help determine the fit in your organization.

Step Four Consider the team. Selecting or evaluating the person responsible for HR should be very strategic. In smaller organizations, we see HR reporting to finance or operations. In others, HR is handled by an office manager or other administrative person. Human Resources is best served when it reports directly to the CEO, only then can the focus be solely on the overall operation.

Step Five Set an expectation for Human Resources to be a business partner that will impact corporate goals. Invite HR to critical meetings so they can understand the equipment required for future production, new markets you are entering etc. It is only with the business knowledge that HR can create programs that will add to the attainment of corporate goals.

Step Six:  Make Changes. If HR is not adding to the business success, take a hard look at the people in the HR function. If you just can’t see the value, consider outsourcing the function. There are options, but one of them should not be complacency with a department that is draining resources and not adding value. Great human resource team members will make a direct impact to your bottom line – get one today!

There must be proper alignment between CEO, HR leader and the rest of your organization. Ultimately, you need an HR function that is going to be a trusted member of your team. The CEO and HR leadership should agree on what is needed from the HR function. We do not suggest you make these decisions in a vacuum, rather have the conversation with HR and determine if you are both headed to the same goal.

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The presentation was top-notch. I heard many positive comments after the session and the evaluations were all excellent. One group said that our speaker caliber was several steps above what they were accustomed to!
CT - Education committee - Chicago SHRM

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