Hr Departments Evolve, Remain Key to Companies' Success Human Resources

By Henney, Megan | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), August 27, 2015 | Go to article overview

Hr Departments Evolve, Remain Key to Companies' Success Human Resources


Henney, Megan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


The human resources department meets employees when they start at a company, helps them tie up loose ends when they leave and probably deals with insurance issues or payroll questions while they are on the job.

That's true whether it's at a large company such as AAA East Central or a small law firm such as Dickie McCamey & Chilcote.

For different-size companies around the city, challenges to the human resources department differ. But the goal -- representing the employees -- is always the same, even if the methods are not.

Human resources departments are generally responsible for recruiting employees, benefits, compensation, employee training and sometimes payroll, said Edward Yost, an employee with the Society for Human Resource Management, a membership organization with locations across the country.

Because of technology, some of those responsibilities have changed over the years. For example, instead of protecting paper files, some employees now need to be aware of hackers trying to steal company data, Mr. Yost said.

"I think we're one of the key departments," said John D'Angelo, vice president of human resources at AAA East Central in East Liberty.

Each fall and spring, the AAA department hands out token gifts to employees to thank them for their hard work, Mr. D'Angelo said. This spring, employees received a basket filled with some healthy snacks - - in parallel with the company's new employee fitness program.

"It's an employee appreciation thing that we do a couple times a year to show them we appreciate their hard work," he said. Lately, morale at the company has been especially important because of its integration with a larger AAA entity.

Part of the human resources department's job at AAA is to promote relationships between employees and administrative departments. Although it's a big company -- more than 1,400 people are employed there -- Mr. D'Angelo said most employees know the HR staff.

He and other HR employees try to bring employees together, with efforts such as encouraging them to track and compare how many miles they walked per month. …

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