Type this into Google, and you get 3,880, 000,000 results. Seems like HR does a lot. Let me break it down for you.
- HR “keeps the lights on”- we process payroll, administer benefits enrollment, process direct deposits, answer 401k questions, reset your ADP password, interpret company policies for managers, walk employees through leaves of absence, fix employee PTO balances and gather acknowledgement forms.
- HR tries to create an environment where employees feel safe and secure. We make sure there are band aids, that staff is trained in first-aid, we take first reports of injury, we create policies around front-desk security, deliver discrimination and harassment prevention training and monitor the work environment for bullying or violations of standards of conduct.
- HR plans social activities, but we don’t like to. In companies, the job of potlucks, holiday parties, birthday celebrations, baby showers, pumpkin carving contests and all-hands meetings usually lands in the lap of HR. Not only does it suck but it totally erodes the value of what a good HR department can do for a company.
- HR creates brand strategies. We figure out the value of the organization and what it can provide, package that message and use it when attracting talent to the company.
- HR does not terminate employees. Managers do. When managers are not satisfied with an employee, they come to HR. HR asks a series of questions to investigate the issue, determine the cause and make recommendations. If one of those solutions is termination, HR further investigates to make sure the termination is not wrongful. HR may be in the room to witness the discussion, but we do not pull that trigger and we do not deliver that message.
- HR partners with management to determine talent needs and develops strategies to find that talent. This is an ongoing and continuously challenging responsibility.
- HR covers the companies’ ass. HR practitioners must stay on top of Federal and State Laws, and County and City Ordinances, interpret the repercussions of those laws on the company and work environment and advise leadership accordingly.
- HR helps company leadership develop compensation philosophy. HR takes into account the companies’ financials, the organization’s mission, vision and values and makes recommendations on the company’s direct and indirect compensation and benefits package.
- HR mediates disputes in the workplace, disputes between employees, disputes between managers and employees, disputes between leadership and employees.
- HR does not deliver disciplinary warnings or performance discussions to employees. Again, these are a manager’s jobs. HR gets involved to help document issues, serve as a witness to the discussion or we get involved when the manager botches it.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but is just a sampling, if you will, of what HR does. For those who don’t know.