Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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What Role Do You Want to Play?

by Julie Tuggle-Nguyen

Here is a little quiz to get started:
1. Our human resources department is considered:
A.Overhead cost
2. Leadership considers Human
Resources to be:
B.Strategic Partners

As a Human Resources professional, if you answered B to both these questions, you are clearly on the right track and are demonstrating the important role you play in your organization. If you answered A, you might need to evaluate your role in helping the organization meet its strategic, financial and operational goals.

As we have talked about in earlier columns, we are asked to wear many different hats —everything from recruitment and talent development to compensation and benefits to compliance and workplace safety. HR is a challenging and vital role in every organization, and how you choose to focus your efforts will define you and your team as a strategic business partner and ally in driving towards organizational goals instead of a necessary overhead expense.

The greatest value that HR can bring to a company is centered in the space of engagement, development and retention of your employees. Most small businesses have a small HR staff, so optimizing that talent to do the things that move your organization forward is imperative. Today, there are administrative service organizations that can provide HR administration, payroll support, regulatory compliance, affirmative-action planning, and benefits administration. There also are firms that can handle your hiring and provide applicant tracking systems and policy manuals. These out-sourced services come at a cost but may be able to meet your needs for less than one full-time employee.

By outsourcing purely administrative tasks, you can unleash your internal team to do the exciting work that moves the needle. Free up your HR staff to engage your talent with real human connection; to partner with your leadership in the optimization of their work and development of their teams; and to understand the data and analyze the various metrics that exist about your workforce. Center your team in the business of optimization, employee and leader development, and overall understanding of the workforce and its needs. When possible, manage a vendor to manage the paper.

For example, a central focus of the MBC HR team is employee development and engagement. We focus on building relationships in our teams and creating meaningful learning opportunities for team members at every level of their careers. We do so through internal and external programs that are designed to grow our talent to be the best they can be. Engagement drives innovation, creativity and productivity. Engagement is so much more than happy people. It’s what those happy people do when they are feeling engaged and part of an organization driven by a greater purpose.

We’ve adopted quantifiable goals and metrics that are measured and aligned to the objectives of the broader organization. These act as a road map for the individual employee’s focus throughout the year and, from an organizational standpoint, can provide both leading and lagging indicators of our success.

Another helpful tool is our commitment to an annual engagement survey to understand issues and make improvements that will be meaningful to our people. We attend department meetings to ensure we are staying plugged in, tracking what we are hearing, and understanding the real-world, day-to-day experiences of our employees. We have on-going touch-bases with team members at every level of the organization. We also track retention numbers and employee referrals — i.e., how many people are telling their friends and family this is great place to come and work. We also look at participation in employee events and various activities. Each of these can provide insight into your company’s employee engagement.

At the end of the day, our efforts as HR professionals are about creating environments that foster highly engaged and highly productive people and businesses. Relationships are key to that success. There are only 8ish hours in a workday. Make sure how you spend those hours is driving the success of your people and organization.

Julie Tuggle-Nguyen is EVP of Human Resources, Midwest BankCentre.

Submitted 191 days ago
Categories: categoryHR By The Numbers
Views: 333