There’s an interesting paradox you see in a lot of businesses. Leadership proclaims that people are the most valuable asset the company has, but then the HR department is treated like a line item rather than an integral part of business success. There’s no denying that people are the most important asset to your business. Without them you’re a one-man shop with little hope of scaling. You can be a lifestyle business, a successful one even, but if you’re committed to both resilience and growth, you need to place due emphasis on the human resources function. Here are some ways HR contributes to business resilience.
Hiring & Firing
Obviously you want to hire the best people, but attracting the best is easier said than done. If you’re really good at sales, you don’t sell low value items on salary; you sell luxury real estate, investments or something else that makes you fat stacks. The same principle applies in every business – people who know their worth make a point to work in the company that gets them the most. The most money, the best work environment, all the things. Your HR strategy has to include building the environment that works for your hiring needs. Attracting the best candidates requires some quality marketing as well, but you need to have something to market in order to get a commitment. As for firing, just remember the old adage that it’s not who you hire that hurts your business, it’s who you don’t fire.
Training & Retention
An HR function that can be quite powerful is defining the roles in each organization, and what training is required to ensure that the people in those roles have the tools they need to be their best. Be aware that many roles change over time, so defining roles is a continuous process. Retaining employees usually starts with making sure that their roles, workdays and compensation are all aligned – and aligned with the employee’s own sense of personal worth. There’s a balancing act in there that can be difficult to master, so don’t take retention lightly.
Work from Home
May as well just say it, business resilience does mean having flexibility in working arrangements. If your employees need to avoid the office for whatever reason, then you need a specific plan to make that transition smooth. What used to be a “nice to have” perk has become a business essential, so take work from home out of your business continuity plan and put it straight into your HR operating plan.
Investing in your talent is key to retention. You need to have people ready to step up in the event of a key departure. That means training, and building, and yes, counting on the fact that a few of them won’t want to improve and a few others will take their skills elsewhere. Turnover is part of business, so the key isn’t to avoid turnover by not investing in your workforce; the key is making sure turnover doesn’t hurt your business. There’s also technology that can help you build resilience against turnover. We’ve heard IT Glue’s documentation software, which helps you turn individual knowledge into company knowledge.
If people are truly the most important thing in your business, and they probably are, then HR functions have to be treated with equivalent importance. There’s a reason the world is shifting from the old school “HR as a line item” mentality to one governed by the principles of strategic HR management.
If you’re curious about how documentation helps you build turnover resilience, we should talk more. Start with our demo video, and we can go from there.