Are you passionate about human resources? Probably not. In all the areas of business, personnel management is considered the least sexy of roles. This attitude often leads to HR becoming the “forgotten zone”, with managers apathetic about its activities, as long as they’re not too expensive.

Yet HR is one of the most important elements in the profitability of a business. The bottom line: companies that constantly improve their personnel strategies do better than those companies that ignore them. The role of human resource department has gone from the traditional ‘hire and fire’ to an in-depth position, focusing on another aspect of the company like looking after employee engagement.

Not every company understands or values their human resource department. Human resources professionals are the lifeblood of the company, because their job is to ensure that the business gets the most out of its employees.

An effective HR will be able to give priority to human capital on the basis of the organisational value, which they produce; it should also provide essential input towards the financial and operational strategy. When a company wants to measure success, what does it do? Most companies will simply look to data. But if all you do is crunch numbers, you’ll miss out some deeper issues. To start making better decisions, you need to look at the issues behind the numbers.

First establish a clear, logic framework – called the “LAMP” – starting with identifying the causes and the consequences of certain problems at your company. According to the LAMP model, there are four major components, which are critical to strategic change. These components include: Logic, Analytics, Measures and Process (Cascio and Boudreau 2008). It is believed that lack of proper logic, and then it will not be possible to predict the future. The logic component of any measurement system gives the “story” behind and the relationship between the numbers and the effects and the results.

From punctuality to turnover, there is a whole range of metrics for human resources. But as a manager, you’ll learn nothing without a good grasp of your problem’s context. Essentially, metrics use data to assess things like efficiency and performance, while analytics harness those measures to help people understand or predict how changes will affect an outcome. For example, analytics that combine information on employee performance levels and retention data may show you that, once workers reach a certain level of proficiency at their jobs, they’re prone to leave. That, in turn, can help you look for ways to address whatever dynamic is nudging those employees toward the door. You may find that your competitors offer better compensation or have better career advancement programs and opportunities.

Put another way, metrics tell you what is going on, while talent analytics get at what to do about it, driven by both good data and good science. Metrics are about getting the numbers right, and analytics are about finding answers in the data.

To put your insights into practice, it’s important to get non-HR managers on board.
After all the hard work in researching HR problems, you need to make sure the company benefits from your new insights. In other words, company managers need to get on board to make your new HR processes a success. Line managers have a very important role to play, not only in the day-to-day management of people and operations, but also in implementing HR policies and in the L&D activities of both their team and organisation. This is particularly so in organisations which devolve these activities towards line management. It’s therefore important that proper consideration is given to the way line managers are selected, developed and managed on an on-going basis to ensure they are able to perform this role.

Eliminate unnecessary expenses through absenteeism by investing in your employees’ health.
Health and wellness has become a priority on the corporate agenda with companies realising the benefits of implementing wellness initiatives. A healthy workforce means healthier employees and in turn less sickness-related absences. Investing in health and wellness initiatives can help to reduce absenteeism by creating a good working environment, promoting a healthy lifestyle with wellness workshops or lifestyle assessments, educating staff about health issues through a health calendar and providing healthy snacks.

Employee happiness and business success are linked.
A well-run company may be hard to define but we can recognise it when we see it. Workers will be well informed about a company’s plans and consulted about the roles they will play. Staff will feel able to raise problems with managers without fearing for their jobs. Bullying and sexual harassment will not be permitted. Employees may work hard, but they will be allowed sufficient time to recuperate, and enjoy time with their families. In short, staff will be treated as people, not as mere accounting units. A contented workforce is a necessity for corporate success.

Work-life programs benefit both employees and employers.
What are work-life employee benefits? Non-traditional benefits, often intangible, that affects an employee’s personal life as well as/instead of their professional life. Work/life employee benefits are often provided as part of an overall package the employer leases from a third-party – either the third-party or the employer then administers the system. Common work/life employee benefits include childcare, emergency childcare, employee assistance programmes (EAP), gym memberships and access to counselling services. Introducing employment policies that encourage a healthier work-life balance for your employees can bring real benefits to your business and your staff. A good work-life balance can enable staff to feel more in control of their working life and lead to:

• increased productivity
• less instances of sickness and absenteeism
• a happier, less stressed workforce
• staff feeling valued and that their personal and/or family life is important
• improvements in employee mental health and well-being
• more engaged staff
• greater employee loyalty, commitment and motivation
• staff less likely to leave

In summary:
It’s time to end the under appreciation of human resources. Evaluate your HR processes step-by-step, using logical frameworks and considered metrics to get the data you want and powerful analytics to discover the solutions you need. By engaging each branch of your company individually, your HR strategy will make a difference to your company’s productivity and profit levels while keeping your employees healthy and happy, too.