Human Resource Management is at the forefront of today’s business concerns. Today’s legal environment, competitive service market and the changing workforce needs have boosted the importance and necessity of a solid HR team and many companies are beginning to recognize the value you a more clearly defined HR department. Here are some reasons why HR has increased in importance over the last decade:
Most organizations prioritize compliance with national and state regulations when it comes to the operation of their businesses. Today’s business environment has seen a heightened sensitivity towards legal issues. Unfortunately, lawsuits have become more prevalent in today’s society and the average employee is extremely aware of employment laws and rights. Lawsuits regarding wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and safety hazards are all concerns of today’s average business. This increased awareness of legal issues has increased the value associated with a human resources department within an organization. The human resources team should be equipped to answer and address any potential issues and can provide relevant training on legal topics. This alone has propelled the field and put it in a position to thrive.
The competitive nature of today’s business environment also plays a role in the increased importance of human resources. Customer service levels have emerged as a relevant and deciding factor in a consumer’s decision to do business with a company. For most organizations, new and returning business is extremely important to their ability to succeed as a company and remain relevant in today’s competitive market. This means that staff at all levels of the organization must be careful in their dealings with the customer.
While customer service is an important part of the business cycle, it doesn’t always come naturally or without effort and training. Recent studies have found that customer service is a reflection of an employee’s satisfaction at work. Research has demonstrated a cause-and-effect relationship between the two theories meaning organizations need to pay careful attention to the treatment, engagement, and happiness of their staff. This trend has forced many organizations to take a hard look at whether or not they are meeting the needs of their employees. Many companies are discovering that this is a full-time job and are opting to strengthen and increase their HR efforts to accommodate this need.
Another reason the human resource management field has been growing in recent decades can be attributed to the emergence of a new generation of workers. The baby boomer generation was known for being hard-working and loyal. Many baby boomers would stick with the same company for their entire career and valued compensation and prestige in the workplace. Their workplace demands were limited and they embraced long work weeks.
Now, the baby boomers are retiring and a new wave of personalities have emerged as the face of today’s workforce. This new Millennial population has a different set of values when it comes to the workplace and are much more likely than their predecessors to move on to a different employer if their needs are not met. The Millennial group values diversity, work-life balance, and meaningful work. This change in attitude creates new challenges for an organization looking to retain employees and reduce turnover. Comapnies will need to be more strategic in their planning and create programs that meet the expectations of the Millennial worker. Companies that fail to meet these expectations may see a hit to their bottom line as the costs for acquiring new employees begins to add up.