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HR department: the office heroes

HR departments can sometimes be seen as hit and miss

Some people believe they are one of the most important functions within a company, while others believe they are a waste of time and do not achieve anything. With the right attitude from both managers and employees, HR departments have a lot to offer and can help to shape careers and achieve the goals strived for if staff invest the necessary time in them.

Although HR departments may not always tell you what you want to hear, they will always tell the truth – a real benefit during serious work issues when nobody can see each other’s side. This ability to remain non-biased and truthful is a powerful business tool, as it means strategies can be formed on the best needs of the business rather than on the needs of an individual.

They also give employees a forum to discuss any negative feedback they may have received in performance reviews without having to discuss the issues with their line manager, where tempers may flare. This truthfulness and open forum for discussion also provides employees with time to talk about their future aspirations and career path and gain valuable advice on how this can be achieved.

Sometimes a manager or director needs a little cold hard truth about their people skills or the unrealistic targets they set their staff. Some employees struggle to confront their line manager; therefore, being able to discuss concerns with a neutral party in HR, which can then relay the information on their behalf, is an invaluable resource.

HR often dictates the working environment and company culture; after all, this is the department that does all the hiring and firing. It goes to great lengths to create strategies for the type of people needed to keep the business operating at peak performance and also to keep existing employees happy with the right team fit.

HR meticulously searches through CVs, conducts interview after interview and chases references – all skills that are often taken for granted by the existing workforce. Taking notice of this work and having input means individuals will be listened to and will be able to help shape the future of their organisation.

It is not just employee relations that the HR department is responsible for – there are many administration tasks that people forget yet benefit from hugely. HR ensures that employees are paid on time, bonuses are correctly allocated, holidays are logged and updated, and fights on the employees’ behalf for benefits. Take a moment in the working week to thank HR for all it does, as this department has the power to help employees go far when used correctly.

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