This article first appeared on Globe myBusiness. Visit their page or Subscribe to their newsletter for more business and leadership resources.
Essentially, the HR department of a company works to ensure that the employees are treated legally, ethically, and morally while they work to ensure the well-being and success of the company. This, of course, is no joking matter since there are many considerations and factors involved in the employment of human resource such as salaries, professional development, and career growth, all while taking into account the mission, vision and values of the company. However, many companies have already seen HR as an investment as they keep hiring costs minimal and maximize overall employee productivity.
These points thus beg the question. How much should a company or a small to medium enterprise invest on HR?
HR and the welfare of the organization
The gains that come from having an effective and running HR is not as apparent as any other department like accounting, marketing or sales who are at the frontline of a company. Thus, the return of investment or ROI for HR requires more foresight.
Emma Cristobal, HR Head for De La Salle Santiago Zobel School, speaks of how important HR is in maintaining the welfare of a school. According to her, when an HR department for a school is effective, it is able to send employees or teachers to relevant seminars and trainings. HR is then able to “train the trainer” or train the teacher so that he or she becomes more effective in the classroom. This effective teacher in turn benefits the company or school since there will be no unnecessary spending on replacing teachers and that teacher is able to train his colleagues as well. Furthermore, the school gets vicarious promotion from good feedbacks from satisfied parents or clientele, thereby resulting to company growth and a more foreseeable return of investment.
HR and securing the benefits of the employees
Additionally, there are other aspects of company and employee satisfaction and welfare that HR handles. For instance, in finding the most beneficial deal for an HMO or a healthcare provider, HR takes the lead in dealing with proposals from HMO providers. HR will have to balance company spending and the actual health requirements of employees as a company procures a healthcare plan for its constituents. It will have to seek, bargain, and work to cut a deal with HMO providers that will optimize company spending and subsidy while considering the health requirements of employees. Overall, HR becomes an important auxiliary department that works to secure the benefits and interest of the company and its employees.
HR and a company’s growth
An HR department has become synonymous to company growth. Cristobal recalls the time in the past when De La Salle Santiago Zobel School was planting the roots of its current HR system. Before 2001-2003, the school’s HR department was simply called administrative office whose primary function was to file records, particularly 201 files of teachers and employees in the school. However, as the school grew, the administrative office had to grow into a functioning HR department who overlooked teacher and employee records, welfare, and professional development. They eventually took care of filing teacher licenses, securing social security, bargaining for housing, ensuring work-life balance, and calendaring out-of-school activities such as outings and retreats. Basically, an effective HR department became a prerequisite for this growing company.
Still, human resource does not exist in a vacuum since a company’s HR department has to benchmark with practices of other HR departments. This is to find out best practices that can be tested, applied, and implemented. Presently, De La Salle Philippines has its own consortium of HR departments under the De La Salle system under the name of ONE HR Commission. The goal of the commission is to ensure that the individual HR departments for the different schools share and observe best practices, systems, and programs. Furthermore, Cristobal points out that De La Salle Santiago Zobel School is also part of HR consortiums outside of the La Salle system to ensure that the school or company is at par with other schools and companies as well.
Now that the country has seen growth in business due to local and foreign investments, corporations should consider investing on an efficient HR department. They should take the lead in ensuring that the interests of corporations would merge with the welfare and interests of its employees.
Globe myBusiness is a community for leaders and entrepreneurs of micro, small to medium businesses. They provide customizable innovative solutions designed to fit a business’ needs and help them grow. Visit their page or Subscribe to their newsletter for more business and leadership resources.