During the industrial revolution in 18th century Europe, Robert Owen and Charles Babbage concluded and built upon a simple idea that would appear startlingly obvious to the majority of us in the here and now: namely that people were critical to the success of an organization. Look after your people and they will look after you; increased productivity, stable industrial relations and so much more.
Capturing of loyalty from individuals in an organization so that they direct their energies towards its goals is most definitely not an easy ask. The goals of the organisation are typically longer range and more general in nature – growth and profit. Employees usually focus on short-term horizons, the meeting of their needs in pay, working conditions, promotion opportunities and of course fair treatment. In addition, particularly when working within the framework of a global organization, there are a multitude of different cultural elements to contend with. Pulling all these strands together is not easy. This is where the Human Resources (HR) department comes in. What is HR management all about?
HR personnel are logically primarily concerned with the management of people within organizations, focusing on policies and systems. The departments are responsible for overseeing employee-benefits design, employee recruitment, training and development, organizational change, performance appraisal, and reward management, such as managing pay and benefit systems.
On the more “human” level, achieving genuine cooperation, commitment and energy from large numbers of employees can be difficult to say the least, but SMS can really help here in a number of ways:
- The art of communication: HR departments can often come across as a being a bit too ‘corporate’ and ‘official.’ Anything that can be done to soften this and provide an air of approachability is of real benefit. SMS is a channel people associate heavily with personal chat type applications so can help put people at ease–content coming across as less formal.
- Timeliness is next to godliness: organizations regularly use SMS to great effect in the appointment booking process with external clients. There is absolutely no reason why a channel which results in 98% of content sent using it being read should not be used for such purposes internally within an organization. With an increase in remote working, not all meetings will be in person, so an additional reminder can prove to be both useful and welcome.
- Today is so yesterday: to many employees, internal surveys sent by their employers can automatically elicit a level of concern, even worry. Can they respond candidly without fearing a cloud of negativity would descend upon them from up on high should they provide genuine feedback which might make painful reading for an organization’s management? SMS is the perfect vehicle for sending out personalized content which includes an embedded link to the survey. Employers need to know how their staff really feel in order help plan for the future. Surveys are only as good as the responses received and SMS can drive genuine engagement with a lot of people.
- Money talks: payroll can often be difficult to manage so sending our quick reminders to employees to submit timesheets and expenses returns on time can really help align things easier. Misaligned payment requests can create budget problems. One would think that employees would always want to make such submissions bang on time to ensure prompt payment/reimbursement but it is surprising how often this is not the case
Human Resources sometimes gets a bad rap for not being very…human. Departments are often overworked and understaffed. As we have seen, there is a lot on their plate. HR teams rightfully need to have a keen eye on recruitment and hiring but finding ways to better engage employees is critical.
Build your people and your people will build your business.