7 Keys to Build a Successful HR Team

building a successful hr team
Building a successful HR team is vital to developing a resilient workforce. As business owners, here's how to build your HR dream team.
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If there’s one department that you should focus on when starting a company, it’s the HR department. Some business owners, especially SMEs, think that they can just hire anyone to do HR duties. But, you need several people with different skills to build a successful HR team.

Remember, the success of your HR department will determine the growth of your company. Your HR team is responsible for hiring and retaining talents, which is crucial for your business. 

Besides hiring, the basic duties of HR include: 

  • Managing payroll
  • Creating company handbooks 
  • Taking care of working visas
  • Conducting training and workshops

On top of that, HR is also responsible for: 

  • Developing a healthy and positive working culture
  • Improving employee engagement and productivity
  • Identifying and predicting employment trends

Therefore, just having an HR department in your company isn’t enough — you need to make it great. Here are seven keys to building a successful HR team:

1. Create a company culture

company culture determines a successful hr department

Creating an HR department starts with your company culture. You don’t need to think so hard about your working ambience. Just look at the behaviour of your founding members. Are they laid back (fun environment) or formal (corporate environment)?

However, that’s just one example. You’ll need to consider the product/service your company offers as well. Then, discuss what kind of company culture aligns with your business vision.

Company culture serves as a guide to employees on how they should act, think and feel. With a transparent company culture, it’s easier for your HR team to decide whether a candidate makes a good fit. 

2. Don’t rely on one person, hire according to the skillset

Building a successful HR team takes more than just a single workforce. 

According to Gina Trimarco, the Master Sales Trainer at SalesGravy, business owners should have clear expectations of their HR Department. An HR team should not consist of just one person but has a division that handles what they do best. 

For example, an HR team member can focus on administration while others focus on recruiting and retention. Therefore, having one employee handle various tasks isn’t a wise decision. Most HR tasks require different skill sets and not all HR practitioners have them all. 

3. Conduct surveys to improve programmes and retention

Employee feedback is a strong foundation for a successful HR department. That being said, conduct a survey first before you announce a new company benefit. It’s best to get some insights from your employees to make it effective. 

For example, your company plans to provide a daily food delivery allowance. From the survey, 50% of the employees prefer to cook their own meal. 

Hence, your company decided to use the budget for food delivery and grocery shopping. With this, everyone is happy when the new benefit is announced.

Moreover, HR can also use surveys for retaining talents. For instance, exit surveys help to clarify why employees decided to leave the company. The data could help your HR team to focus on certain issues, take necessary actions and create a new retention strategy.

4. Prepare a readily available information

successful hr team keep employee manuals in a software

Successful HR departments have all information (manuals) ready,  accessible and easily understood. These manuals may include details on maternity leave, dress code, company benefits, hybrid work model and more. 

Great companies with hundreds of employees use digital software to store all the manuals. Thus, employees can access them whenever they want to get quick information, without contacting HR personnel.

Invest in software to store the company manuals. It will help save the time and energy of the HR team, helping them to focus on other tasks.

5. Keep up to date on technology

Creating an HR department isn’t equivalent to a stack of papers and files.  Technology keeps things simple, fast and efficient. Don’t let your HR team struggle to fill documents manually and keep them in locked file cabinets. 

Nowadays, there are many software options for communication (e.g. SlackWorkplace) and accessibility (e.g. Confluence). Technology is an excellent help for your HR team to find talents as they’ll have access to the latest databases.

Plus, you can encourage candidates to send their applications online via LinkedIn or Glassdoor.

6. Be fair

A successful HR department is fair. The team takes no sides, not even C-levels or the business founder. Nobody is exempted from disciplinary actions, especially to serious misconduct such as misusing confidential information, sexual harassment and destruction of property.

When it comes to disputes between employees, HR should understand the whole situation before making any judgment. Of course, not all employees will be satisfied with the negotiations. But, unbiased HR practitioners can at least ensure the final decision will be fair. 

Other examples of how HR can exhibit fairness in the workplace are:

  • Modifying the rules for disabled employees so they can work from home instead of from the office
  • Be transparent on promotion procedures and bonus
  • Conduct regular anonymous feedback sessions for employees to express their opinion without fear

7. Be consistent

build a successful hr team with consistency

Another key to building a successful HR team is to be consistent in implementing policies and procedures. Consistency ensures fairness to all workers and prevents employers from getting sued.

When the employees see that the rules are applicable for everyone, they’re more likely to follow them. Fairness makes employees feel valued and happier. In addition, the HR team should apply the company mission, vision and values in policies, job descriptions and benefits. 

On a final note

These are seven keys to building a successful HR team. Remember to encourage your HR team to keep learning and developing their skills. 

According to the leaders of HR and People, the four most essential skills that every HR member should have are communications, people analytics, creativity and technological abilities.

If you own a startup, these tips can serve as a guide to creating an HR department. In other cases, you can use this article as a checklist to see any improvements needed in your HR team. 

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