Business A to Z: Human Resources
The Kind People That Brought you on Board
Every business has some type of Human Resources (HR) department. Many people see HR as a “those people that write you up for dumb stuff.” Maybe, and sorry to hear that if they do.
Your HR department should be there to assist you with any complaints, guide you through onboarding, help you advance in the organization, and getting paid of course. Unfortunately, not all employees have a positive experience with their HR department and feel they side with the company more than the employee.
I have had both experiences. Working in retail, the HR experience can vary. At Staples, there was no direct HR person to contact, while at Target, there was an HR team for the store. To contact an HR professional within Staples, I would need to call someone. They were helpful, but I prefer to speak to someone in person. At Target I could easily speak to someone directly by walking up to their desk or finding them on the radio.
I personally have not had to submit a complaint to either the HR team at Staples or Target. At Staples, I felt confident that if an issue were to arise, it would be simple to contact HR, just not in person. Target is a larger company so having an HR team in store makes it much easier to resolve conflicts.
Your HR team is also there to help with onboarding like hiring and training. This has changed dramatically, even in the few years I have been in the workforce. Every organization accomplishes training differently, but the typical method to train new hires is a blend of hands-on job training (hard skills) and watching training videos (soft skills).
When hired at Target my onboarding experience went very well overall. We were provided with a few snacks while we watched videos about the company, its values, OSHA regulations, and so on. Then we took a tour of the store and each department was pointed out to us as we walked through. We completed paperwork after that and left until our first shift began in two weeks.
The first six-hour shift consisted of register training and ringing out a week’s worth of groceries for guests. Every shift after that I spent in electronics, my assigned department. The two-week training process was very informative. I also received help from my registered trainers who were team members with at least a year of Target experience under their belt.
I use the Target example because within the first two weeks you can find a sense of the organization’s values and how it sees its employees and stakeholders. This allows you to decide If you want to continue employment there or find another workplace with values that align more with your own.
Once at your organization for some time, you might begin to receive offers of climbing the ladder. This is a joint task between your supervisors and HR department. Your supervisor or HR may recommend you for the job, while HR will handle the final part of your promotion. Congratulations! Suddenly you have more control in the organization, but your paycheck is a bit larger as well.
This brings me to the final point, money. Your HR not only cares about you but also cares that you are getting paid. During the onboarding process, they make sure that you fill out the necessary tax and bank info. It’s important to fill out all taxes properly and accurately so that you don’t owe any government money in April. Your HR should be able to answer any tax-related questions.
Many organizations offer direct deposit payments as well, especially since the pandemic. I love direct deposit because it removes the hassle of depositing the check yourself or forgetting to deposit it. Direct deposit is offered at no extra charge and is easier for both you and the organization as they don’t have to print a check and you just need to check your bank account.
The Human Resources department mainly deals with the hiring, firing, and payroll of an organization, but their jobs can include many more duties. Larger organizations will split their HR into several different departments such as recruitment or payroll. Always remember, your HR team is there for you and making sure the organization stays ethically right, legally compliant, and fully supportive of your growth.