Dr. Tina Olson

Republish courtesy of the Columbia Daily Tribune

*Editor’s Note: CC Biz Buzz is a new monthly column series that will feature insightful commentary from a member of the Columbia College School of Business faculty.

Why does a quality Human Resources team matter? Business organizations are becoming more and more complex every day, and human resources management has become just as intricate with rapid changes occurring locally and globally. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) identified eight competencies and 14 functional areas of knowledge for HR professionals for their certification process. HR plays a strategic role in the growth of an organization. This includes everything from talent acquisition and talent management, innovative benefits, competitive compensation and consulting on risk management issues.

I ask those of you running your organization, whether you’re a business owner or a member of the “C” suite, to provide adequate resources for your HR department. We all want our organizations to grow and to be successful. I guarantee HR wants to contribute strategically, yet HR can’t be successful without the right resources. Talent development allows your organization to remain competitive, and I encourage you to learn about the challenges HR faces daily.

There’s a talent “war” occurring not only in Columbia but nationally with record-low unemployment. Is your organization rebranding to attract talent? Do you offer flexible work scheduling when possible? Are you offering innovative benefits to attract and retain talent? Have you considered short, paid sabbaticals after employees have been with the organization for a couple of years? What about contributing an annual “lump” sum of $500-$1,000 directly to student loan debt? These may seem like expensive benefits, but have you calculated the true cost of recruitment and the cost of losing one employee?

Don’t have an HR department? Identify someone in your organization with good relationship building skills and business acumen. Then support their development by providing memberships to the local HR chapter, Human Resources Association of Central Missouri (HRACMO) and SHRM. There’s an amazing community of talented HR professionals in our community ready to mentor those entering the profession.

I transitioned from HR professional to faculty and have the pleasure of teaching courses at Columbia College. I asked about “aha” moments as students finished their HR Management course. The overarching theme my students realized was that, while an HR plays a key role on a macro scale for a business, it must also focus on each employee and their needs on a case-by-case basis.

Invest in your employees now to avoid problems in the future. A key component of that is to make sure your HR team is in a position to succeed and be a quality resource for them. One of my students (they do pay attention!) hit the nail on the head: “HR is about making connections and helping people within the organization grow. They are the glue of the organization.”

Tina R. Olson, Ed.D, M.B.A., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is an instructor of management at Columbia College.