What is the purpose of the human resources department

HR department

Personnel department, HR department. 1. Term: The HR department is the responsible organizational unit of a company that performs HR tasks for different target groups. For example, it supports managers in operational management work (performance management). It also ensures various service functions for the employees, such as registration certificates to the social security agencies. In her role as employer representative, she coordinates cross-company tasks, such as planning total personnel costs or vocational training in accordance with the requirements of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG). It also monitors compliance with employee rights, for example in the event of illness or misconduct among colleagues, and punishes employee violations, e.g. unexcused absence from the workplace by issuing a warning. Furthermore, the HR department ensures that personal guidelines (e.g. travel expense guidelines) that have been developed and introduced in coordination with the company management are observed. In addition to these internal company regulations, the HR department must ensure that employees observe laws, e.g. that they refrain from bribery, but also that voluntary corporate commitments and agreements are implemented, such as compliance with minimum social standards and the introduction of basic environmental protection measures. These monitoring and regulatory activities characterize the compliance and governance function of the HR department. On behalf of the management, she is ultimately the point of contact for employee representatives, including the works council or trade union. For example, in this function she negotiates and agrees on reliable and generally accepted regulations for employees, for example on their behavior and on questions of operational order (works agreement). After all, the HR department increasingly fulfills strategic tasks, e.g. strategic personnel and competence development planning, within the framework of change processes (strategic workforce planing). 

2. Design forms:
(1) Basic functions: Based on the basic functions of personnel management, the personnel department influences the strategic areas of personnel management. In this context, she is generally responsible for all tasks associated with recruiting, employment, support, development and, if necessary, the release of employees (life cycle-oriented personnel work);
(2) Value creation orientation: Dave Ulrich (1997/2013), for example, in his book “Human Resource Champions: The Next Agenda for Adding Value and Delivering Results”, demands that the human resources department (HR) should make a clear contribution to the creation of value in companies. He himself suggests four roles for fulfilling the contribution. (a) Administrative expert: The HR department should become an expert in how to organize and carry out HR work, as well as contribute to administrative efficiency to ensure that costs are reduced while quality does not suffer. The HR department thus contributes to increasing the efficiency of the organization. For this purpose, the HR processes are standardized, whereby these are continuously optimized in terms of efficiency, service orientation and quality. HR supports managers and employees at their workplaces through cost-effective administration systems and service processes. “Employee Self Services” (ESS) and “Manager Self Services” (MSS) should be mentioned here. (b) Employee Champion: The personnel department (HR) is to become a lawyer for the employees who vigorously represents their concerns vis-à-vis the company management. At the same time, it strives to increase the contribution of the employees, i.e. to increase their commitment to the company and their ability to deliver results. It ensures a high level of identification, wins, binds and motivates the employees and ensures that the company policy integrates the interests of the employees. By taking regular feedback into account, e.g. through employee surveys and target group-specific support systems, such as measures to reconcile family and work, HR ensures employee satisfaction. (c) Change agent: The personnel department (HR) is to become an agent for continuous change. Business processes and corporate culture should be designed in such a way that together they improve the adaptability of companies. HR sets the course for a cultural change in the company that includes constant renewal and transformation and prepares employees for future topics by developing tools and platforms for promoting desirable behaviors. (d) Strategic partner: The personnel department (HR) should become a partner in strategy implementation for the managers in the company management and the line. As a strategic partner, the "HR Business Partner (HR-BP)" supports the organization in achieving its business goals. HR participates in the development of the business strategy, derives its personnel strategy from it and ensures its efficient implementation in the company. This is expressed, among other things, in the fact that the HR business partner is a member of management bodies and strategic committees. He deals with future business planning, strategic questions of personnel policy, as well as the harmonization of strategic guidelines and HR processes.

3. Integration into the company organization: This depends, among other things, on the importance given to the personnel function in an organization, also on the distribution of tasks between the personnel department and the specialist department, on the actual influence of the personnel manager and the qualifications of the line managers in solving personnel management problems. In addition to classic structural forms such as functional and object-related structures, project structures, shared service and outsourcing concepts as well as various forms of the so-called three-pillar model can be found in practice.