Corporate HR: A Dedicated Employee Advocate
|Roles and Responsibilities||Policies that Support the Advocate Role||Challenges of the Advocate Role|
|HR acts as an employee advocate handling functions such as recruitment, talent acquisition, employee benefits and labor law regulations compliance.||Creation and enforcement of anti-discrimination and harassment policies.||Maintaining the delicate balance of being an employee advocate while remaining impartial can be a challenge.|
|HR ensures employees are treated with respect and that their safety, well-being, and fair compensation are crucially concerned.||Guarantee of fair wages, benefits provision and upholding labor law compliance.||Maintaining employee trust while handling their concerns, grievances, and suggestions effectively.|
|Covers the overall performance of employees through benefits and wellness program interventions.||Inclusion and implementation of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) principles and diversity training.||Balancing the need to cater for the employees with respecting and upholding the organization's needs and decisions.|
|HR creates a supportive working environment where the best interests of employees are prioritized.||Development of policies that uphold legal rights of employees and prevention of violations of these policies.||Upholding a culture of trust and openness with all levels of management while ensuring employees' sentiments and rights are considered.|
|Encouragement of work/life balance initiatives for employees.||Promotion of diversity, equality and respect within the workplace.||Cultivating an environment where employees feel safe and comfortable to share, while also maintaining professional boundaries.|
|HR takes part in employee relation activities focusing on creating a thriving, motivated and supportive environment.||Advocacy for policies upholding fairness, value for diversity, and inclusion.||Mitigating any form of bias while advocating for fairness and equity among the employees.|
|Educating employees on the laws and regulations regarding their employment and workplace behaviors.||Proactive implementation of policies supporting a safe, respectful, and inclusive work environment.||Reconciling the sometimes competing interests between employees and the organization at large.|
|Influencing upper management decisions to maintain a high level of fairness and consideration for employees.||Promoting policies that protect against violation of employees' rights.||Maintaining impartiality when dealing with both employees and upper management.|
|Ensuring the workforce receives appropriate care, attention, and compensation.||Establishing policies that foster job satisfaction, health, and productivity.||Driving changes while respecting the needs of the organization.|
|Ensuring that the organization maintains a high level of fairness and consideration for its employees.||Ensuring the implementation of policies that encourage diversity and inclusion in the workforce.||Balancing the need to advocate for employees' interests with maintaining the organization's goals.|
HR's Role as an Employee Advocate
HR Policies That Support the Advocate Role
Challenges of the Advocate Role
As companies grow in size and complexity, the human resources (HR) function and its corresponding staff often serve as the central point for managing the vast array and direction of workforce activities and development.
Corporate HR is a vast field with varied responsibilities for guiding and serving the needs of an organization's employees. An increasingly important role for HR is acting as a dedicated employee advocate, ensuring the rights and interests of employees are protected while still meeting the organization's goals.
As an advocate of the workforce, corporate HR is responsible for various core functions such as recruitment, talent acquisition and development, employee benefits, and compliance with labor law regulations. These functions are the backbone of the department's role, providing the organization with the necessary infrastructure to support a productive and healthy workplace. But beyond the core functions of the HR department, employee advocates have a responsibility to ensure the workforce is treated with respect, their safety and well-being are taken into account, and they are amply compensated with fair and equitable wages.
For many HR departments, employee relation is a critical area of responsibility. Effective employee relations allow HR to create a workplace environment where employees can not only thrive but also feel motivated and supported and that their best interests are considered. This includes providing employees with a safe working environment, educating them on laws and regulations they must abide by, and advocating upper management the need to maintain a high level of fairness and consideration for employees.
In helping to develop and execute benefits and wellness programs that promote long-term health, productivity, and job satisfaction for all employees. For example, on-site health and wellness services like fitness facilities and work/life balance initiatives like flexible scheduling are essential to keep employees active, healthy, and motivated. Alongside benefits packages that cover medical, dental, and other expenses, a successful HR employee advocate can ensure the organization's workforce receives the level of care, attention, and compensation it needs.
In addition to employee relations activities, HR professionals must also help develop policies that support fair and equitable employment practices. Developing and enforcing HR policies that protect against discrimination and harassment, ensuring employees receive fair wages and benefits, and ensuring proper labor law compliance are crucial elements of the HR employee advocate role. As an advocate, HR organizations must ensure that employees' legal rights are upheld and enforced promptly and that the employee's policies are not violated.
Moreover, HR employee advocates are responsible for ensuring the organization values diversity and inclusion, implementing Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) principles, and providing diversity training to the workforce. These policies demonstrate the organization's commitment to creating a workplace where everyone is respected, valued, and allowed to succeed regardless of background or beliefs.
Although the HR department serves as a critically important employee advocate, it is not without its challenges. As a department tasked with advocating for the voice of employees, HR must do so in a fair, equitable, and unbiased way. This can be challenging for HR teams, as the lines between advocating for employees and maintaining impartiality are often blurred. It should be remembered that an effective HR advocate must support supporters while recognizing the organization's needs and respecting upper management's decisions.
Equally important is maintaining the trust of the employees. HR must take necessary steps to ensure employee concerns, grievances, and suggestions are heard and appropriate action is taken promptly. An effective advocate will strive to create an environment of trust and openness, especially with senior management, to ensure employees' opinions are considered and theirs rights.
Conclusion: An effective HR employee advocate is essential in promoting long-term job satisfaction, organizational health, and economic stability. In addition to the traditional HR functions of employee relations, benefits, and compliance, the HR advocate must ensure the workforce is treated fairly and respectfully while remaining unbiased. Although there are challenges associated with the role of an HR employee advocate, the potential benefits of having an effective advocate can be invaluable to the organization and its employees.
Corporate HR is a trusted partner and ally for every employee.
Yu Payne is an American professional who believes in personal growth. After studying The Art & Science of Transformational from Erickson College, she continuously seeks out new trainings to improve herself. She has been producing content for the IIENSTITU Blog since 2021. Her work has been featured on various platforms, including but not limited to: ThriveGlobal, TinyBuddha, and Addicted2Success. Yu aspires to help others reach their full potential and live their best lives.