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4 Ways to Control the Chaos surrounding your HR Department of One

hr best practices hr compliance hr department hr essentials hr for small business Oct 18, 2022

The job of an HR Department of One goes far beyond meeting the administrative needs of the business and employees. Human Resource partners need to be strategic contributors who understand the business and drive the most critical asset (employees) of the business forward. Supporting overall business goals has to be priority #1 for the HR Department of One.

An HR Department of One does all it can to meet the needs of all its customers: internal, external, compliance, and stakeholders. But that’s a tall order for many HR Departments of One that more closely resemble HR Departments of Less Than One. When you also serve as office manager and accountant or work part-time hours, how do you get it all done?

At a variety of SHRM conferences, we look at how to control the chaos and more! Here are the four areas of focus:

1. Strategy

Strategy for your HR function needs to be viewed through both the employee and leadership lens. If you want your HR Department of One to be more than just an administrative department, then it needs to be involved in initiatives that drive results–which means having them addressed at the leadership table.

2. Risk Management

Yes, HR will always have to keep a watchful eye on risk. However, that doesn’t mean you always need to stand as a roadblock for the business. As an HR leader, you need to understand what has to get done and find compliant ways to make it happen. Business leaders need to focus on their areas of success, and you need to find ways to let them do that.

3. Resource Development

There are ways to find help and resources that doesn’t require you to hire additional staff. Outsourcing, vendors, interns, and global partnerships all help to support the needs of an HR Department of One. Technology is also essential as it’s the most effective tool that allows small HR teams to speed up processing as well as ensure a high-quality delivery of work.

4. Communication

A great HR leader must be able to speak to entry-level employees and high-level executives from one moment to the next. The key is to keep the communication inspiring, direct and relevant. This means steering clear of HR lingo. Tell the user what they want to know and how it will impact their world.

The role of the HR Department of One is critical in a small business. Employees are the largest expense in almost every business, so human resources initiatives that drive business value and reduce risk can make all the difference.  With an eye on the goals of the business and acting as a bridge between employees and leaders, you'll have the strategic position you are craving.

 

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