Top Priorities for Small HR Departments

Whether just starting out as a green entrepreneur or having a small HR department is part of your business strategy, just because an HR team is small doesn’t mean there aren’t big shoes to fill and even bigger responsibilities.


What’s most important, regardless of size, is that your HR department prioritizes these things in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness within your company.


Engage your employees


Based on a survey conducted at the 2019 Annual Conference & Exposition, employee engagement leads the charge as one of the most critical priorities any small human resources department should have. 


When your business prioritizes engaging with employees in a positive manner, the company as a whole experiences an atmosphere where individuals are excited and passionate about their jobs, along with the work that they are doing. 


Because employees are the cornerstone of many businesses, when they are engaged and invested in an organization, they often help in driving the business forward through positive brand promotion, active involvement in internal initiatives, and more. 


For these reasons and many like them, it’s important that your HR team has plans in place to keep employees engaged. 


Tips to stay engaged with your employees include:GetToKnowYourEmployees

  • Get to know your team -Treat your employees as humans first and employees second. Taking on the initiative to understand your team (how they operate best, what obstacles they might encounter, what victories they enjoy celebrating, etc) will never be a poor investment for your organization.

  • Communicate properly - Full-time employees work, on average, anywhere between 40-60 hours per week. With this much time invested in your organization, the people who work for your business deserve to know what’s going on with the company. While the minute details might not be imperative for everyone to know, goals, company visions, upcoming projects, and more do help employees see the bigger picture and how their unique roles fit within that context.

  • Stress job importance - Employees often become disengaged when they feel like their job isn’t important to the company’s success. Be sure that you communicate to your employees how important their job is to the company, and how their unique set of skills and experience are important to pushing the needle forward.

  • Offer competitive pay and/or benefits - It’s hard to talk about employee engagement without mentioning payroll and benefits. However, if employees feel disrespected with the pay they’re receiving, they’ll quickly burn out and become disengaged in their job.

Talent acquisition and retention

Hiring great employees should be high amongst your HR department’s priority list seeing as how the types of people within your company either serve to enhance, or detract from, your company’s culture.


Your company’s hiring and recruiting process should entail the following:

  • Draft a clear and descriptive job description
  • Post the job in proper places
  • Properly vet candidates to ensure they’re qualified
  • Ask the right questions in the interview process
  • Offer a competitive salary and benefits package


Because employees are the backbone of any company, the recruiting and hiring process should reflect that. Furthermore, once you’ve obtained the perfect new hires for your business, your organization should organically transition to a robust onboarding process.




An ineffective (or obsolete) onboarding plan can make new employees quickly feel disconnected, which can lead to them looking for a new job, a.k.a poor retention.


A comprehensive onboarding system in place for new employees will:


  • Help employees make connections
  • Complete paperwork
  • Receive proper training
  • Encourage feedback
  • Keep new employees happy

Visit: Tips to Create a Superior Employee Onboarding Experience



Although correcting employees and/or enforcing negative consequences for poor actions is not the most favorable part of any HR job description, it’s critical for your organization as a whole to stress the importance of company policies.


These policies are calculated and are usually set for specific, preventative measures, and can typically be distributed through an employee handbook, or be available for your employees to access online through an Employee Self Service (ESS) portal.  


These policies might include:

  • Code of conduct
  • Safety requirements
  • Diversity and equality statements
  • Benefits
  • Discipline and termination
  • PTO


HR departments are responsible for so much more than meets the eye. Regardless of the size of your company’s HR team, there are long withstanding priorities that resonate with everyone.

Learn more about onboarding effectively within your organization. Download our free onboarding checklist to help you along the way. The HR Onboarding Checklist for Hiring New Employees | Download Free Checklist

Recent Posts

Powerful Tools Every HR Department Needs

Putting the “human” back into “human resources” means empowering your team with the tools they need to succeed.   Tools lift the burden on the sheer...

Top Priorities for Small HR Departments

Whether just starting out as a green entrepreneur or having a small HR department is part of your business strategy, just because an HR team is small...