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Why HR is the backbone of high-performing operations and workplace culture

In honour of International HR Day 2023, Thea Watson, Chief International Growth and Marketing Officer at BrightHR discusses her thoughts on why strong HR is what thriving workplaces have in common.

First published on Monday, May 22, 2023

Last updated on Monday, May 15, 2023

4 min read

Over the last decade, we’ve seen a lot of disruption in the world of work.

From the COVID-19 pandemic haffecting flexible working, rising business costs, and talent shortages—it’s clear HR has had to evolve to keep up.

No longer does HR act simply as a basic function, but it has grown to become a long-term consideration for leaders when they’re developing retention, hiring, growth, and business development strategies. As a report from McKinsey says, HR’s future role in work is as relevant to success as R&D, sales, or production.

So, why is HR the key to success?

On top of becoming a more strategic function, HR is still the basic and fundamental backbone of business.

It drives performance and benefits your workforce across multiple areas including central operations, culture, leadership, and staff training.

And these benefits all start with better staff planning. Because without a way of managing staff holidays, absences, and shifts—you won’t have as much time to focus on the things that matter to your business, like growth and performance.

With the right HR and employment relations support and a proper HR structure in place, you’ll likely see a positive impact on your workplace culture. In fact, a recent study found that human-centric working environments (that resolve employee issues quickly) are 3.8x more likely to exhibit high performance.

Staff who have their training requirements and working needs looked after are more likely to be happier and more productive. And with HR-compliant procedures and processes they can follow to raise concerns—you can build the foundation for a good working relationship based on mutual trust.

Plus, according to global industry experts like the European Association for People Management, it’s having this high trust culture that is proven to deliver business results.

However, like anything, when you’re busy or focused on other business areas—sometimes HR gets taken for granted…

High-performing teams don’t neglect their HR—and neither should you!

It’s a common misconception that businesses can survive and grow effectively without HR. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Overlooking HR in your core business culture can ruin your reputation and hurt your chances when hiring.

In fact, most of the questions you’ll get from potential candidates in the interview stage will be around perks, progression, and company culture. These are all key things that are commonly handled by effective HR.

And without HR and proper employment relations advice, your business could: lose its top performers, waste valuable time trying to manage your own processes, and face risky employee issues escalating to costly claims.

Another reason employers and business managers are put off from utilising their HR function, is the outdated belief that HR only operates on Excel spreadsheets or exists in old databases. But again, an outdated understanding of the management of HR could be hurting your performance.

The way HR has adapted to become more strategic and performance-driven in recent years is by leveraging the power of tech.

High-performing businesses and teams often run at a fast pace to match the market and stay competitive. And if you work competitively, the last thing you want to do is waste time on admin and slow people management processes. That’s where HR software comes in.

Cloud-based software, like our award-winning BrightHR, helps employers quickly track staff hours and overtime. And communicate this with employees in real-time instead of holiday and absence request systems that are reliant on email or limited-hour phone lines. These are all key areas where you could be losing valuable working hours.

Additionally, if your HR is sporadic or limited to areas like recruitment and onboarding. You could be missing out on vital coverage of the entire employee lifecycle—meaning you’re only getting half the value of HR.

The role of HR in shaping the future of businesses

As workforces across the globe navigate ongoing disruptions in the world, it’s inevitable that HR will inevitably be the essential backbone of high-performing teams.

Human-centric working environments with a high-trust culture will always lead the way.

And despite being an age-old industry, HR continues to adapt to the changing world of work by disrupting the tech and automation space.

Explore all the ways the end-to-end HR software and support services of BrightHR can help companies add value to their people management in a changing world.

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