3 people at conference table with laptopWhen most organizations think about human resources, they think of workplace mechanics like compensation, performance, safety, wellness, benefits, and training.

When I think about human resources, I think about people. Without a human resource department, there is no dedicated team for attracting, training, and retaining talented people. And without people, there is no business.

People should be top of mind for every executive, director, human resources professional, and CEO. Here are five people-focused HR tips that will improve your bottom line:

1) Quality of Life

For better or worse, the HR department has responsibility for employee satisfaction - satisfaction with superiors and colleagues, and satisfaction with the daily duties of the job.

So, how does a company measure satisfaction? Surveys? Exit interviews? Focus groups? I’m frequently asked what tools are best. There isn’t one answer. Test out some options and learn what generates the most insightful, specific feedback for your organization.

Whatever tools you choose, the most important thing is that asking employees about their satisfaction is a frequent and consistent part of your business operation. Your employees spend more time at work than they do with their families, friends, and loved ones, and their dissatisfaction is costing you. One report found that every employee exit costs a company 33 percent of the exiting employee’s annual salary. So solicit feedback regularly and make employee satisfaction your priority. Your bottom line will thank you.

2) Kindness

Brene Brown wisely said: “To be clear is to be kind.”

In today’s workforce, kindness goes a long way. Given the diversity of work styles, personalities, professional experience, and employee backgrounds, it’s a given that arguments and disagreements will happen from time to time. A smart HR manager should invest his or her time identifying ways to mitigate arguments and encourage positive and healthy working relationships between employees. Anyone who has watched a millennial email with a baby boomer in the office knows that what is clear to one person is not always clear to another. To minimize disagreements over expectations, provide resources such as trainings, templates, and workplace standards that encourage clear, open, and transparent communication, as well as healthy, professional ways to address conflict resolution.

3) Be An Example

As a leader, all eyes are on you. HR is looked to as the “example” for the rest of the organization. A dysfunctional and frustrated HR team translates to a dysfunctional and frustrated office. Set the example as a professional by being accessible, shutting down office gossip, setting clear expectations, communicating clearly and effectively, and putting forward a positive attitude.

4) Laughter

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” — Mary Poppins

Many may disagree with this point of view, but I truly believe that laughter should be part of the DNA of any organization. Leaders who can laugh at themselves are seen as more human and trustworthy, and laughter also goes a long way in reducing stress. It makes people feel comfortable, provides perspective, and sets a positive tone of openness in the company. One thing to be mindful of: use a tone that’s appropriate and be sure to never make another employee a target.

5) Build Your Employees Up

Want to know what your employees need to meet the demands of their job? Ask them. 50 percent of employees say they would quit their job if training was not offered. So invest time and resources into continually developing your employees — whether it’s internal training or external. Work with each employee to define a training and retention strategy to reduce turnover. Many organizations find the use of formalized programs like “360 feedback” or peer review that are often done anonymously. In my experience, I've found that just having more frequent, focused, and personal dialogue with my team members to be the most impactful. Our discussions often center around their ideas of what's working and what can be improved. The inherent value adds of 1:1’s and asking for their ideas is extremely effective in building a strong culture of openness, trust, and collaboration.


This article was originally published on HR.com: https://www.hr.com/en/magazines/hr_strategy/august_2019_hr_strategy_planning/improve-your-bottom-line_jzp95ubz.html