It’s not difficult to see how an engaged and approachable HR (human resources) function/team contributes to the success of your organization. Take a look around at the impact HR has on your morale and culture, and then go one step further and ask your employees what they believe HR does for the company and for them. If you have a valued and meaningful HR team, you will get responses that match some of my points below.

You might be amazed to find that, more than just ensuring that people get paid on time and correctly, your employees see HR as the ones who exhibit and support the culture of your organization. They communicate the history, culture, philosophy and guest service expectations to each and every new hire—they set the stage and establish the expectations for success at your company. They outline the ways and means for success by clearly communicating the policies, procedures, rules, standards and guidelines that are to be followed. They reinforce the importance of safety and instruct on what the company expects and how safety is an important requirement there. And, they emphasize the essential and unwavering expectation, that RESPECT is a key component of the company’s culture and philosophy—without respect for one another, no organization will thrive or survive!

A sound and engaged HR function and HR team can be felt and measured in the following ways…

• Employees come to HR to be “heard” in a way that may not occur at the job site.

• HR represents to them what the culture and philosophy for employee treatment is at the company.

• HR exhibits the behaviors of respect, courtesy and fair, non-discriminatory treatment.

• HR communicates the benefits and rewards of working at the company.

• HR lays the foundation for success with a positive image and picture of the company and leadership team so that employees can focus on their jobs and add value to the organization.

• HR conveys the value and idea that opportunity and growth is possible for everyone to the extent that they are willing to work hard and to apply themselves.

One of the toughest hurdles for HR to overcome is the occasional disconnect between the message that is conveyed at time of new hire orientation to the behaviors and actions exhibited by the management team. These same beliefs and philosophies—especially the importance of RESPECT—must be embraced and displayed at all times with each and every employee by the management staff. You can undo a positive image with just a random act of discrimination, harassment or retaliation perpetrated by a single member of your management team.

The best way to engage your HR team in your success is to first view them as your business partner, include them in your plans for growth and expansion and provide them with opportunities to engage and interact with your most important asset—your customer service representatives. Have your HR team work closely with your management team to ensure that business strategies match the culture and philosophy of the organization, and don’t send a wrong message to your employees when business levels fall or transition into the slow season.

I have always supported and believe in the importance of the Golden Rule. You will hear this time and again in my articles. But my belief is that the success of any business is founded in this simple but time honored rule of respect. That as in any endeavor that you may undertake in your life—“Treating others in the way that you would want to be Treated”—you can never go wrong. Keep up the good work if you have a strong HR team, and if you don’t, see this as an opportunity, and embrace it, and don’t turn back! Best wishes!