Human Resources functions should be developed in a way that support the agency’s mission and strategies and contribute to a well-prepared, competent workforce. Human Resources functions operate at three levels: 1) tactical, 2) performance management and 3) strategy and leadership. Before Human Resources can move to the strategic leadership level, it must demonstrate efficiency and effectiveness at the other two.
At the tactical level, Human Resources must master the basic customer services function that includes vital administrative and personnel tasks that get staff hired with benefit packages and compensation (pay checks) in place and includes internal reactive functions such as workplace safety procedures and other ergonomics. These functions should be au omated as much as possible
to promote the efficient use of time to enable Human Resources staff to focus on other assignments.
To build a top-flight workforce, Human Resources must 1) have knowledge and a basic understanding of the agency’s core work in order to bring the best available job candidates on board, 2) be facile in data analysis to implement best practices in recruitment, staff development, retention and training and other staffing activities, and 3) work closely with managers, staff development personnel, front-line supervisors and direct service field staff in recruitment, hiring and performance management so that these processes continually support the agency’s mission.
Each layer of the organization brings their unique perspective. Working together these teams increase the likelihood that the right people are recruited and hired and then trained and treated in a manner so that they stay.
Examples of teams may include the formation of task forces or focus groups to assess and improve human resources, or the establishment and maintenance of a regular “personnel committee” consisting of field workers and
management so that job descriptions are consistent with job expectations.
In this capacity Human Resources engages in broader workforce strategy and planning. There is close collaboration with executive leadership, administration, management, and staff development partners so that a comprehensive workforce strategy is in place and each partner understands its role and responsibility in carrying out the workforce plan. In addition, Human Resources plays a strong supporting role in how agency policies and procedures, compliance with local, state and federal laws and the structure and implementation of the agency’s performance management system impacts on the workforce.
Example: Human Resources is in a pivotal position to evaluate the assignment (or reassignment) of staff to implement and track compliance with new legislation.
To gain credibility and achieve this position of influence with leaders, Human Resources must first become highly efficient and innovative in providing tactical services and administering performance management systems.