HR PERSPECTIVES: Audit your HR practices to avoid problems in future

HR PERSPECTIVES: Audit your HR practices to avoid problems in future
Hand holding a Human Resources Word Sphere on white background.

Companies need to periodically audit their human resources practices to identify risk areas and to check if they are still receiving real value from their human resources.

A human resources audit is a tool that is used to collect and evaluate information about the state of an organisation’s human resources (HR) practices and policies to determine the overall effectiveness of people management practices in the organisation.
The HR audit demonstrates to what extent the HR function contributes to the organisational effectiveness as a whole, as well as productivity and morale.
It also helps by providing feedback on the value of the contribution of the HR function to the organisation’s strategic business objectives and in assessing the quality of HR practices.
More importantly, the audit can be used in setting guidelines for establishing HR performance standards and identifying areas for change and improvement.
Companies need to periodically audit their human resources practices to identify risk areas and to check if they are still receiving real value from their human resources. The audit can be performance related or a compliance one depending on your business requirements.
A human resources audit can be an effective first step towards building better human resources practices for your organisation.
A number of business organisations, large and small, will benefit immensely from a comprehensive audit of their human resources practices.
The audit helps to eliminate many simple but common errors that employers often make when managing their human resources. It also serves to update HR professionals on the latest trends and best practices in human resources management.
The HR audit can give those responsible for employee relations some reassurance that legal risks have been managed and minimised, thus freeing them to focus on more creative aspects of their jobs that can add value to the employer’s bottom line.
The areas that create the greatest risk are hiring, firing, remuneration, working conditions, employee handbooks, and unfair labour practices. In order to assess the degree of exposure that a business has, you must first be familiar with the legal requirements in each of these areas.
For example, in Zimbabwe HR practitioners would want to know whether their HR practices are in compliance with the Labour Amendment Act 2015, your sector Collective Bargaining Agreements and other important legislation.
The net result of your HR audit should a comprehensive list of action items that need attention.
What you do next is key to whether the audit was done in good faith or not. It does not help to undertake the audit and end there. You need to devise an action plan to address the areas of concern.

Memory Nguwi is the managing consultant of Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or cell number 077 2356 361 or email: mnguwi@ipcconsultants.com or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com

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