In its traditional role, a company’s human resources department is the guardian of policies and procedures relating to the employment relationship. However, in Today’s world, our HR department is requested to take a greater role and promote “caring”. Here are a few details on this silent transformation of the human resources department.
Then to Now: the Human Resources Department
Traditionally, the Human Resources Department managed activities related to staffing vacant positions, payroll, benefits, labour relations and legal compliance. Human Resources Departments were setting up procedures and processes pertaining to the employment relationship. These processes maintained the various activities involved in an employee’s life at work. You had a question… here’s the form, in application to the current policy. Very often in smaller companies the staff assigned to HR tasks often reported to the finance department. As the finance department is in charge of confidential data overseeing payroll and the maintenance of employee files.
A human resources department in transformation
The last 10 years or so, we have seen an important change occurring in the role of the Human Resources department. These changes were triggered by a number of external factors such as new technologies, accelerated communications that are shaping the younger generation, a connected and impatient generation. Then there’s the workforce shortage. This shortage, anticipated years ago by demographers was enhanced by an unexpected pandemic. A pandemic that weakened our collective health. All these factors are changing the day-to-day relationship and the employees’ expectations towards their employer. The Human Resources personnel is in the whirlpool of these social changes.
While being the guardian of processes and policies compliance, it’s also the promoter values and wellbeing.
In just a few years, the Human Resources department became the promoter of wellbeing and best values. An HR department that listens to employees, guide and find solutions. The HR Department adapts its approach and actions according to individual goals or personal challenges experienced by employees outside work. In addition to being the guardian of legal compliance, the HR Department is now the reference for happiness in the workplace. Flexibility becomes an asset within the HR expertise, whether we talk about staffing, compensation, training and employee relations. An HR Department promoting the employee’s well-being contributes directly to the company’s performance, whatever its size.
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By Chantal Tremblay, Adm.A- Collaborator to the blog