Labour is undeniably one of the most fundamental resources a company can possess and utilize. Thus, proper management of such a resource is a necessity if the company desires peak effectiveness and efficiency. This management is usually in the form of a department whose purpose is not only to control the salaries and recruit but to also handle all employee-related activities and even develop a long-term labour related strategy for the company. This department is what we call as ‘Human Resources’ or ‘HR’ and is one of the fundamental cornerstones that support a company.
Perhaps the most potential need of a Human Resources Department within your organisation is that it creates the possibility of intertwining the strategies and procedures found at the employee level with the broader, long-term goals of the company. They are often the interface that bridges the gap between senior management and entry-level employees. The presence of such a form of management where the focus is on labour promotes a potential to maximise the efficiency of employees by creating policies and procedures that provide the highest productivity advantage for the company and a rewarding experience for employees. The human resources are the very department that is responsible for reworking policies that negatively impact the employees, potentially creating a dynamic of teamwork throughout the company that would not be present without them. PwC has highlighted the issue that mental health issues are costing the economy $11 billion per year lost in productivity. Additionally, when it comes to issues such as cultural and sexual diversity, creating safe, conducive and productive team environments, the role of HR’s cannot be ignored.
Another reason why HR is regarded as important in the workplace is that they provide the necessary support and infrastructure to allow the organisation to maximise their business performance. A good HR department is critical to ensure employees are motivated, high performing and productive. The HR manages the culture, they see and filter the applicants that they believe would be a good fit for the company. They would collaborate with different business streams and identify candidates that match not only the skills criteria but also not to damage the corporate culture. For example, a common hiring tool – the video interview allows the HR team to assess candidates and gauge whether the prospective employee would be a good fit within the organisation. Most importantly to preserve the corporate culture, HR organised workplace activities, events, celebrations and other team building opportunities. This heralds and re-asserts the fact that if the most rudimentary step of recruiting the right individuals is not performed accurately, the entire organization and industry gets affected. Events like these are becoming ever important in the contemporary workplace as well because candidates look for a culture that differentiates firm X to firm Y. HR also acts as a mediator between employees and establishes strategies to ensure there are effective working relationships that contribute to firm output and productivity.
People are at the heart of any business and employers must recognise this and adopt a people-centric approach. An effective and strong management team for HR is key to peak employee performance, foster employee motivation, stimulate collaboration and building a culture. In our current era, employees are not settling with just “a job” at firms. They seek work-life integration and fulfilling careers that can help them grow in their professional and personal life. It is essential that employers and HR management realise the importance of human capital and develop them as individuals and as a team. This is reflected in Steve Wynn’s words (Wynn Las Vegas); “Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.”
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Deeksha is currently pursuing a Master of Management (Human Resources) at the University of Melbourne. She has a keen interest human resource management, economics and public policies.
Thomas is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Management Major). He is interested in the world of finance and technology.
Shirley is a Bachelor of Commerce student at The University of Melbourne
Dennis is in his second year of a Bachelor of Commerce at Melbourne University. He is majoring in Finance and Economics and has a passion for both disciplines.