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Surprising Perceptions of Human Resources

By Mitchell Tillwick:

Human Resources. It always seems like they’re viewed poorly. Financials and accounting need to be completed for business projections. Software development needs to be done to have something to provide to customers. Sales and business development are needed for the business to survive.

But when it comes to HR, it hasn’t always been seen as necessary. They aren’t directly linked to revenue and aren’t seen as quantifiable. However, the value of HR performance is impactful and can shape how effectively an organization runs.

Although employees’ perceptions of #HR practices can vary from person to person, companies that ignore those perceptions risk hurting their bottom line. Find out more: Click To Tweet

Current Views of HR

Surprisingly, there are some interesting statistics that show what employees think of HR and how effective HR is.

  1. Out of all positions, executives view HR the most positively.
  2. Older employees have less positive views of HR than younger employees.
  3. There is a positive correlation between high HR capabilities and other positive company outcomes.

It’s not surprising that older generations have less confidence in Human Resources. However, executives appear to value HR more than other employees. This is interesting because it might shift the focus on where HR is needed the most. Whether they’re needed by executives for their employees to perform well or for executives to handle their own issues isn’t stated. Nonetheless, they play an important role in executives’ perceptions.

We also have positive correlations between higher HR capabilities and various company outcomes (job engagement, organizational performance and support, etc.). While it isn’t certain if a strong HR causes these outcomes, it can still be seen as a good sign of higher performance.

What Employees Want

Each employee has their own combination of motivations, goals and stimulators. So, there’s no “be all, cure all” answer here. Looking at the second statistic above – older employees have less positive attitudes about HR than younger employees – it shows. Regardless, we can make axioms which can apply to the majority of employees.

Employees like to be valued more than just their net worth to the company. Having employees recognize and feel this can help better organizational goals. This is done by including them in the status of the company, asking for their opinion and providing feedback on their opinion whether you implement it or not.

While there are different ways to learn what employees want, millennials typically seem to have a couple of similarities. Millennials like to be empowered and have autonomy. They like feedback. They like to be creative and they like to be engaged where they can feel like they make a difference. This can be a great opportunity for HR departments – allowing them to establish good credibility with other departments.

Want to see what employees actually think of #HR? Find out here: Click To Tweet

How to Make Changes

Compared to traditional ways HR has handled employees, there has been a more empathetic and consultative approach which has been emerging. Instead of executives making orders of change and employees following without question, HR has become a mediator to make sure employees understand the reasoning for executive decisions and are satisfied with the changes made.

They can make sure employees feel valued while following executive decisions and meeting the overall goals of the company. Listening to employees can help HR learn in better detail if executive decisions will work or not. If executives make decisions which will negatively disrupt functional workers overall, then HR can better identify problems before they happen.

Just like departments tied directly with the bottom line, it’s necessary to utilize the potential of your HR department by creating efficient processes for them. This includes automating tasks which take up a lot of their time (e.g. payroll, reporting, hiring, etc.), asking for their feedback on efficiencies and making them part of the decision-making process rather than telling them what you decided. Their performance affects the other departments’ successes, so it’s important not to undermine them.

How do Employees View Your HR?

If you don’t know where your HR stands with employees, it’s time to find out how they feel. They will have a harder job if employees don’t view them positively. While they are there for your employees to understand your decisions, your decisions will affect how well HR is received by the other departments. Set your Human Resources up for success, and don’t just let them figure things out for themselves.

Banboo HR infographic