HR Basics You Need To Have Covered

by Business Development 21 February 2024

HR Basics

Nobody expects a business’ first hires to be a full HR department. However, there seems to be no rule book for when to hire the company’s first in-house HR professional. 20 people? 50? A business of 150 employees? 

Sadly, this hire often actually occurs when something has already gone wrong. Moreover, the business must respond and be seen to be responding. So this guide will give you an idea of all the things that your HR department (or whoever in the company is fulfilling HR’s duties) should have covered. 

An Introduction To HR Basics

If you feel like your business is dropping the ball on any of these, you might want to start thinking about reaching out for HR support. Remember that there is more than just one route to getting support in this function.

Your business does not have to commit to the full-time salary of an HR manager. You can always look to HR outsourcing, which will cover all these responsibilities and more, without the fixed overhead. Take a read. 

Onboarding New Employees

It’s always been important to get off on the right foot.

When a new employee joins the team, not only do you want to offer them a friendly welcome, but you also want to start setting expectations, extending a welcome suited to their new company, as well as a helpful introduction to their new role. 

You probably remember from the last time you started a new position that the first day can be quite information-heavy, with handbooks and contracts and policies and procedures. It is critical that none of this information is missed and that all necessary documentation has been shared and signed. 

1. Policies & Procedures

However, joining a new company is more than just about reading the policies and procedures of the HR Basics. It’s important to the individual to feel they can ask questions, and get to know the space and the people they will be working with. This is important for positive long-term relationships, productivity in the immediate period after starting a new job, and for creating safety and boundaries within the workspace. 

2. Hassle-Free Onboarding

HR should be able to design an entire onboarding experience tailored to the requirements of your company. Instead of looking at it as a single, overwhelming day, you may choose to spread this out over a week, wherein time is shared between ‘onboarding’ activities as well as some work responsibilities. 

It may be nice for HR to schedule a little one-on-one time between colleagues and not just a direct manager for the new employee. This will help those people to find common ground and kick-start a working relationship.

3. Transparency

HR professionals can also be on hand to answer any questions and generally, just be available during the onboarding process. This is imperative for making that individual feel as if they are valued and their feedback or questions matter to the company.

Others in the company or team are often also occupied by their full plate of responsibilities and tasks, in and out of meetings, away from their desks, out on jobs or duties, whilst HR can give the appearance of someone dedicated to helping.

Read Also: How Can AI Help HR Management In The Financial Services Industry?

Staying abreast of labor laws, regulations in the industry you operate, and compliance requirements is one of the HR Basics that is crucial. Thus, it should always be covered. Failing to keep things like legal regulations in the appropriate order and up to date can lead to very serious ramifications for a company, including litigation.

As it’s a core responsibility for the HR function, it’s very often one of those jobs that is pushed around internally, if there is now in-house HR present. Most commonly, it’s taken up by operations or finance directors, who can sometimes feel out of their depth or de-prioritize this very important work. This is often through no fault of their own but is just very common when juggling multiple job responsibilities in a company that hasn’t decided whether or not to hire their first HR professional or is in a state of growth. 

By keeping on top of industry standards, and legal requirements, ensuring safety laws, and even actively reviewing and maintaining internal policies and procedures, HR will be safeguarding the company. First, by creating boundaries, expectations, and rules to work to, but secondly, by upholding a legal working environment, protecting against fines and risks as well as untold reputational damage if something were to fall through the cracks. 

Employee Relations: Significant HR Basics

A lot of businesses that currently operate without HR believe that in-team managers, direct reports, and so on should be solely responsible for managing the relationships with the employees who sit below them. 

Okay, this can work to an extent.

But where does the employee turn when they have a piece of personal feedback or query? What about when they are not happy with their direct manager, or it is this individual who is causing conflict, or not taking something as seriously as they should? Perhaps they simply don’t have the skill set to manage the situation. 

You, as a leader or business owner, may have an answer in mind, but does every individual know where to turn? Without HR, it’s extremely unlikely. 

Employee relations is about more than just the hard skills of each individual. It is about ensuring that everyone feels safe in the workplace. It is about fostering relationships outside of the immediate person ‘above’ within a hierarchy, it is also about horizontal employee relations that can lead to innovation, retention, and higher productivity. It’s about collaboration and an open opportunity for feedback. In the case of the business, it’s about showing the employees you care about them by constantly listening and looking for improvements. 

Parting Thoughts

To foster quality employee relationships, someone in the business should first be trained to handle tricky situations and conversations. This could be around personal updates, sick leave for example, as well as conflict and allegations of something serious in the workplace.

In addition to this, they should have resources allocated to helping others, fostering communication, and being available to take meetings with others for feedback and discussions. Without HR, you are unlikely to have someone else in the business with the appropriate resources and skills to handle this. 

Without HR basics or someone in the business who is dedicated to fulfilling these employee needs, you are more likely to have disgruntled whispers, gossiping, and disputes that may even escalate, as well as stagnation in the workplace and the offering to employees are to keeping pace with the rest of the market.

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Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.

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