When it comes to developing HR
systems, New Zealand firms need to be aware that the one size fits all approach isn’t the best.
“Most HR systems need to be adapted to suit the particular business or industry,” says Muriel Roake, Opal’s HR Consulting Services Manager.
She cites the case where, say, financial manager moves from large organisation to medium sized one, one that’s more hands on, and realises that the elements of the HR process are the same in principle but different in practice.
That’s when companies need to think of having an HR audit. Where specialists can evaluate the existing HR policies and processes, and look for the gaps.
The biggest concern is in compliance and minimising any potential situations of risk.
“For instance this could arise in relation to an employee not performing, or poor selection issue, or an issue relating to terms of employment and the possibility of dispute or risk that could lead to legal action.
“The other area where organisations are exposed to risk is health and safety. number of employment laws require certain processes and systems to be in place with regard to policy and procedures and how business is managed.”
Performing an audit means examining firms existing policies and procedures. “For instance,” says Roake, “there was manufacturing company where the quality manager had responsibility for HR but didn’t know what to do because they didn’t know where the gaps were!
“We look at an organisation’s internal framework, then work through its manage-ment procedures.
“Often its the way they handle certain processes. For instance on an application form, they should ensure it complies with the human rights act or privacy act; or do they have policy on harassment and internal processes for handling complaints.
“The other thing that’s often misunderstood is that there are lot of HR manuals and resources with templates for say employment, for contacts or performance management systems, or induction programmes. These are OK as starting point, but they need to be adapted for the business.
“So the audit process looks at the nature of the organisation and what managers need to manage effectively.”

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