How Newbury businesses can benefit by putting the ‘Human’ back into Human Resources


HR is increasingly dominated by the annual appraisal and other formal processes.

Technology is taking over. It helps, but can it replace the human touch?

How harnessing the small, everyday touchpoints can have a positive impact on businesses.

We live in an age of technology, order and process. Advances in computing including big data, cloud software, mobile and even virtual reality (yes, it’s coming) are transforming how modern workforces are managed. And let’s not forget the practice of big set-piece HR events like the annual appraisal.

But the ‘H’ in HR stands for human. So are business owners and managers missing a trick by losing the human touch with their employee relations?

There are some low-key, but highly effective, ways that local businesses can manage a winning team. Most businesses nowadays will rely on an annual appraisal for managing performance in the workplace. That, coupled with some robust policies covering everything from disciplinary procedure right through to social media usage are the professional way to operate an are all good practice. Along with documenting incidents and issues, they are essential in dealing with people problems if they escalate. Throw in good HR software like our own HR Toolkit for example, and you’re all set.

And how about using adding in some good old-fashioned softer approaches alongside the modern ones? The impact of small, everyday touchpoints can be immensely powerful. Little things like going out for lunch occasionally with staff and having informal catch-ups can make all the difference culturally in a workplace. Not only does it show the human side, but it also gives more opportunity to nip certain problems in the bud before they become more formal issues. Regular, informal conversation gives the opportunity to get a much better sense of an employee’s mood, and also the opportunity for them to signpost issues in their life that could impact their well-being and performance – allowing you to act.

The modern approaches are important. But they are even better when you keep the ‘human’ in human resources.

If you would like specific advice and guidance on this or any other aspects of people management please get in touch.

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