As the influential management thinker Peter Drucker once famously said, "you can't manage what you can't measure." This is the first benefit of an HR compliance audit, which provides an effective method for your organisation to measure its adherence to people-related processes and legislation. In short, are you doing what you say you do? Are there policy gaps that need to be addressed? Which areas could be improved upon?
If you run an SME, the likelihood is that you don’t have a large HR team to tackle all of the areas of HR that are essential to support your business. Many SMEs don’t have an HR function at all; they have an office manager who does a great job juggling all of the business support tasks that you send their way. Of course, the challenge with this is not to drop a ball. Then, when SMEs grow to about 50 employees, they start investing in the function and hire an HR professional. This is usually someone who is experienced enough to be autonomous but not so senior that they’re put off by the more administrative parts of the job. The inherent issue with the early steps of introducing an HR function within a business is that the role is extremely busy dealing with a wide disparity in people practices across the teams and having to create everything from scratch for each new activity to undertake. This leaves no time for the job holder to reflect and take a step back to look at the bigger picture. As a result, this role is often reactive and what is urgent and important takes priority over checking that every part of the function is developed to the level it should be to better serve the interests of the business and its employees. One tool that can help taking this step back and assessing what needs doing is an HR Audit. These can be wide ranging or focus on specific areas of HR and tailored to the level of maturity of the organisation. The outcome of your audit enables you to make informed decisions as to current risks, needs and the future direction of travel for your HR function.