Why It’s Necessary To Conduct A Human Resource Audit In Your Organization

What is a HR audit?
A Human Resources Audit is a comprehensive method to review current human resources policies, procedures, documentation and systems to identify needs for improvement and enhancement of the People Management function as well as to assess compliance with ever-changing laws and regulations in Kenya.
It determines if the current processes are valid and adequate, legal and effective therefore identifying gaps in the current HR practices of your organization, prioritizing closure in an effort to minimize exposure to litigation and lack of compliance.
It also aims to ensure that the Human Resource function is proactive in introducing modern methods and ideas of managing employees that cater for millennial employees as well as consistently introducing innovative ways of working for all that improve productivity while injecting loads of fun in the work place. After all most employees spend all their days working in that environment it’s critical that they enjoy their work.
HR Audit aims to identify and establish best practices for that company in its industry by identifying key opportunities for development that will give the company a huge boost in its competitive edge in its industry establishing it clearly as a market leader and an employer of choice.

What to Audit?
Deciding what to audit depends largely on the perceived weaknesses in the organization’s HR environment, the type of audit decided on and the available resources. Keeping a log of issues that have arisen but are not covered in the organization’s procedures or policies helps identify areas of potential exposure that HR can address during the annual review process (if they do not need to be addressed immediately).

Litigation exposure And Poor HR Compliance
Most lawsuits are dues to lapses in compliance in Labour laws and Employment Act, they can be traced to issues related to hiring, overtime issues, personnel record keeping, performance management, Health and Safety, compensation strategies, Employees benefits, Employees retention and exit reasons, Employee Relations, Learning and Development issues, Promotions procedures, discipline management or termination. These areas will be closely scrutinized by the HR consultant to ensure all gaps that exists are identified.

Value of a HR Audit
To identify the gaps, lapses, irregularities, outdated policies, short-comings, in the implementation of the Policies, procedures, practices, directives, of the Human Resource Department and to suggest remedial actions across the organization.
To know the factors which are detrimental to the non-implementation or wrongful implementation of the planned Programs and activities.
Recommend measures and corrective steps to rectify the mistakes, shortcomings if any, for future guidance, and advise for effective performance of the work of the Human Resource Department.

Major benefits of an HR Audit?
HR audits may accomplish a variety of objectives, such as ensuring legal compliance; helping maintain or improve a competitive advantage; establishing efficient documentation and technology practices; and identifying strengths and weaknesses in training, communications and other employment practices.

• Stimulates uniformity of HR policies and practices across the organization.
• Identifies the contribution of Human Resource department to the organization
• Improves the professional image of the Human Resource department.
• Encourages greater responsibility and professionalism among member of the Human Resource department.
• Clarifies the HR department’s duties and responsibilities.
• Ensures timely compliance with legal requirements by identifying critical HR challenges.
• Reduces human resource cost through more effective Human Resource procedure.
• Creates increased acceptance of needed change in the Human Resource department.
• Requires thorough review of Human Resource department’s information system.

Methods of Audit
The HR Consultant usually conducts an audit by using a questionnaire that asks for the evaluation of specific practice areas and those identified by the senior management as challenging areas. This helps the Consultant to review all critical areas of an organization’s HR practices and organizational Strategy.
The audit may also include interviewing or using questionnaires to solicit feedback from selected employees and other department managers to learn whether certain policies and procedures are understood, practiced and accepted across the organization.

Article written by Winrose Mwangi HR Operations Director and Human Resources Consultant Flexi Personnel Nairobi, Kenya.

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