Gabriela Ceballos
CEO & Co-Founder
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Startup Contributor

HR as a Game Changer for Company Success

By Gabriela Ceballos | Wed, 06/29/2022 - 11:00

Even today, HR leaders are still not used to having a chair at the table. Fortunately, we are seeing companies starting to recognize how important it is to invest resources in HR just as they do in other areas.

Much of the work done by the HR department has been taken for granted. When things were not working out, it was never a consideration to supply the resources needed to develop a successful team. Yet, when companies include strategic HR within their operations, turnover falls nearly 40 percent, employee engagement increases up to 38 percent and revenue per employee can even double, according to a HR Factbook study. Take the example of Uber. The company hired its first HR professional when it already had more than 500 employees because it was seen as a “halt” (obstacle) in a “grow at all costs environment.” This was costly in terms of legal compliance, diversity and ethics.

Human resources is the foundation for a successful team within an organization. It represents how the culture of the organization is shaped and what its future looks like, yet it seems like the cobwebs continue to expand. Why is it that we treat HR departments as something companies need to find employees, rather than understanding that without a HR department, the company won’t succeed?

The complaints that the HR department tends to receive are not always completely unreasonable: untrained personnel, dishonesty, biases, lack of objectivity, and most importantly, a focus on business development instead of employees. Various studies have shown that turnover can be reduced by 57 percent just by making employees feel involved in the company. This is done by having a great HR department that manages the process to make it a reality.

HR must also be a priority when it comes to team building, from the moment someone starts working with your team until the last minute they leave the office. You need to make sure that the people who manage your team training, development, strategies, and recruitment are capable, suitable, and attuned to the goals you want to achieve.

If all of this is key to team building, then why don’t companies and startups do it?

Although it should be common knowledge that having someone who shapes and controls how a team functions is key to success, some people just seem unaware. Eighty percent of employees don't feel fully engaged at work, which suggests that most companies have a pretty weak corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. Employees want to feel empowered with the work they do and make a difference. Having a focus on your CSR also gives you the opportunity to improve recruitment, as this can attract more talent searching for volunteer opportunities. Hiring, efficient on-boarding, training, development, handling legal compliance, tracking key indicators, managing schedules, benefits and vacations — these are just a few of the things a HR department can help you handle and improve.

Employees are now seen as the most important stakeholders to long-term success, and companies’ ability to grow lies with the talent they possess; having a team that can assure you attract new customers, thus increasing your value, is more important than gaining investors. In a survey by Boston Consulting Group, 85 percent of respondents said that focusing on employee needs and satisfaction is a big factor in success against the competition.

If you are not yet convinced that you should invest in your HR teams, let’s take a look at the consequences of this and how it would impact your business:

● Toxic work environment: Even if your team makes it through the weekdays of stress, this doesn’t mean that things should be kept as they are. Red flags can be seen everywhere and if you notice that your team needs help, then make the necessary change.

● No commitment: You want your team to feel close to the company so that you can count on their help in rougher times.

● Bad hiring: No company can afford bad hires, and if you’re only sticking paper flyers on walls with “searching for the best employee” written on them, chances are, you’re not going to get close to finding them.

● Poor benefits: When there’s no one to control what your employees deserve, how can they be sure they are safe working with you? They require more than just a few days off; an HR team helps you be compliant with what you actually offer.

● Turnover rates: Chances of turnover are high when you don't find the right candidate, and this starts when you begin the search. The right talent is not only about having the skills needed for the position, but about soft and cognitive skills, personality and team culture.

The experience of working with a team should be gratifying for everyone. Putting the effort in to make this happen is not a hassle, it is going to help you look at different areas with polished eyes and make your team grateful for the work you’re putting into making everyone feel comfortable in their own spaces. Investing in your HR department is never a waste of resources; there are plenty of tools available to make its chances of success way higher, creating a better team and a better company in the process.

Photo by:   Gabriela Ceballos