The human resources department is responsible for a number of employee-related functions in a company. It is essentially the department that manages the relationships between employees and the company, as it deals with hiring, firing, compensation, benefits, and employee grievances and disputes. The HR department is in charge of managing a company's most valuable resource; its employees. Below are descriptions of some of the most common issues dealt with by the human resources department.

Employee Relations

Employees get along well in most office settings, but there are always exceptions to this rule. There are instances of inappropriate behavior that have to be dealt with swiftly to maintain a positive work environment for the employees involved and their colleagues. A lot of the disagreements stem from singular incidents, and can be easily remedied, but in the event of sexual harassment or other serious accusations, dealing with the problem gets more complicated. Whatever the nature of the problem is, the HR department is responsible for bringing it to a peaceful resolution.

Benefits Issues

Benefits packages are a major attraction when recruiting new talent, so companies must offer competitive benefits if they hope to land the best employees. These benefits include medical coverage, paid time off, stock in the company, and retirement plans. Human resource departments are typically responsible for creating and administering benefits packages to employees. The costs of providing these benefits must be carefully managed, as they can get quite expensive for the company.

Developing Training Programs

The training of new employees is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business, and a lot of companies fall short in this regard. The human resources department is responsible for developing and implementing training programs that adequately introduce employees to the company and provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to perform their duties. They also provide additional on the job training for existing employees.

Compensation Issues

Compensation issues may involve regular pay or the administering of benefits. This includes evaluating employees for raises and expanding benefits. It also involves any issues that arise with the distribution of retirement benefits, medical coverage and other common benefits. Another common issue among HR departments is the administration of benefits. HR handles all of the paperwork involved with providing these benefits, and must also deal with any problems caused by errors or oversights.

Legal Issues

Ongoing compliance with all applicable statutes and laws also falls under the purview of the HR department. This includes all laws that pertain to the safety and fair treatment of employees, as well as any other laws that affect employee relations with company and with each other. This includes issues like discrimination, sexual harassment and disability in the workplace. The HR department is responsible for making employees aware of their rights, and dealing with any violations, perceived or otherwise. It is tasked with dealing with legal matters in a timely fashion to prevent potentially volatile situations from escalating into a big problem for the company and for those directly involved.