Whether you’re new to the HR department of your business, or you’ve been there for years, at some point you might stop and wonder just how effective your HR function is, and whether or not you’re actually compliant with UK laws and regulations. But how do you know? Answer: a HR Health Check.
So what is a HR Health Check? A HR Health Check helps you to understand how your HR function is performing, and its capabilities, whether it is compliant with UK laws and regulations, and helps to determine employee satisfaction with the HR function.
Read on to learn more about HR Health Checks, and how they can positively impact your business.
What is a HR Health Check?
A HR Health Check determines the overall effectiveness of the HR function of a business. It checks performance, compliance, overall capabilities, and employee satisfaction of the HR function.
The HR Check breaks this down into specific topics:
- Pay and Benefits
- Employee Relations, Satisfaction, and Perceptions
- Health and Safety
- Employee Rights and Discrimination
- Policies and Procedures
Bear in mind that these are just a few of a number of topics that are useful to consider when determining the performance of your HR function. When choosing which topics to check your HR function against, consider what is most relevant to your company, structure, and industry.
Why is a HR Health Check Useful?
Regularly checking the health of your HR function is imperative for understanding how the department is actually performing, where standards may be falling, and how you can improve. Without it, you may never pick up on particular shortcomings that affect how the business performs, or employee perceptions.
Check that Standards Aren’t Slipping
A HR Health Check is the perfect way to ensure that standards within the HR department aren’t slipping, and that performance isn’t dropping. This covers things that may not be noticed on a day-to-day basis, when you’re incredibly busy and your observation may not be on point, but ensure that they don’t become a long-term problem.
Check Where Improvements Could Be Made
If you identify that standards have slipped, or specific issues within the HR function, you can then begin to plan how to improve in specific areas that will have a large impact on the business.
Check Employee Satisfaction and Perceptions
HR Health Checks can also check employee satisfaction levels and their perception of the HR function. Again, this allows you to check your performance, but this time at a personal level. Sometimes, we follow the theory, but forget how it can impact the daily lives of employees. A HR Health Check keeps you, the HR function, in check with your employees.
HR Health Checks are also useful for the following reasons:
- Business growth
- Staff engagement and communication
- Company merger and acquisition
- Overall people strategy and alignment with business strategy
Who Should Be Involved in a HR Health Check?
As standard, the HR manager, or department head, should lead the HR health check, but other key members of the HR team and business leadership team may also want to be involved. This could include:
- HR Manager / Head of Department
- Other key HR team members
- The CEO / MD
- The CFO
- Other Directors and Senior Leadership that may impact daily operations
- Team / Department Leaders
- An external HR Consultant
How Do You Conduct a HR Health Check?
The first step in conducting a HR Health Check is to realise it to drop the assumption or the facade that everything is running smoothly, and realise both the importance and the benefits of conducting a HR Health check.
You may also benefit from the external advice of a HR Consultant, especially the first time you conduct a HR Health Check. A HR Consultant will help you to determine the areas and topics that should be checked for your specific business, as well as walking you through the process, and help you to both interpret your findings and create a plan for improvement.
Now, let’s revisit that list of potential topics we outlined earlier.
When determining whether your strategy is effective, consider the following questions:
- AR HR goals in line with organisational goals?
- Do your employees know and understand organisational goals?
- Are your employees’ objectives aligned with organisational goals?
When determining the effectiveness of management within your organisation, ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a management performance system in place?
- Is pay linked to performance?
- Do managers understand the purpose and reach of the HR function?
- Do managers know and understand organisational goals, as well as individual team goals?
To determine the effectiveness of your recruitment and selection process, consider this:
- Do you check that candidates are legally eligible to work in the UK before making an offer?
- Do you issue written employment contracts, terms and conditions of employment, and a company policy within 8 weeks of an employee’s start date?
- Are job descriptions accurate and up-to-date?
- Are new employees appropriately trained and inducted?
- Do you monitor turnover rates and reasons for leaving?
Pay and Benefits
To check that your organisation’s pay and benefits system is appropriate, consider the following:
- Are compensation levels regularly monitored and reviewed in line with performance?
- Do you have a formal pay structure?
- Are your “benefits” actually benefits, or are they things that you are legally obligated to provide, but make you look good when advertised?
Employee Relations, Satisfaction, and Perceptions
You need to ensure that employee relations, satisfaction levels, and their perceptions of the HR function are monitored:
- Are grievance and disciplinary procedures up-to-date?
- Do managers know what they are, and how to use them appropriately?
- Do you have an employee satisfaction survey, or a way for employees to provide feedback?
Health and Safety
Health and safety is incredibly important, consider the following when conducting a HR Health Check:
- Do you have up-to-date Health and Safety procedures, and are employees aware of them?
- Are safety hazards reported to the appropriate person, and acted upon?
- Are employees encouraged to report Health and Safety issues?
- Are regular safety drills, such as fire drills, conducted?
Employee Rights and Discrimination
When looking into discrimination and employee rights, consider the following:
- Do you ensure that your organisation does not indirectly discriminate through the recruitment process, pay, and promotion?
- Does your organisation comply with disability, maternity, paternity and parental rights legislation?
- Do your employees receive the appropriate breaks in line with Working Time regulations?
- Are managers trained in anti-discriminatory practices?
- Are employment practices in line with the various anti-discrimination laws?
Policies and Procedures
We won’t list them all here, but does your organisation have all of the relevant policies and procedures required? Key policies include:
- Diversity and Equal Opportunities
- Bullying and Harassment
- Maternity, Paternity, and Parental Leave
- Bereavement Leave
- Pensions and Benefits
- Appearance and Attire
- Company Property and Assets
- Social Media
- Absence and Sickness
- Annual Leave
- Grievance and Discipline
Note that these lists are not exhaustive, and you may identify more appropriate areas to check within your organisation. This is intended as a baseline HR Health Check, and should be edited as appropriate.
What Happens After a HR Health Check?
After you have conducted your HR Health Check, you will need to assemble the appropriate members of your organisation to discuss your findings, and identify areas for improvement.
From here, you can create an appropriate plan of action, making sure to determine who is responsible for which action, and when it should be completed by, as well as determining how performance and outcomes of such actions will be reviewed.
HR Outsourcing and HR Consultancy UK
Centric HR offers HR Outsourcing and HR Consultancy across the UK. Our dedicated team is here to support your HR function, and is available to help you conduct a Free HR Health Check on your department.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services, and how we can help.