Human Resources

For small businesses and large conglomerates alike, the human resources or personnel function can be helpful for much more than simply processing payroll or handling the open enrolment season once a year. Human resources plays an essential role in developing a company’s strategy as well as handling the employee-centred activities of an organization.

Human Capital Value
An in-house human resources staff or a human resources expert on staff can increase the understanding of how important human capital is to the company’s bottom line. For small businesses, in particular, human capital is critical because so many smaller firms have employees who perform cross-functional duties.

Budget Control
Human resources curbs excessive spending through developing methods for trimming workforce management costs, which includes negotiating better rates for benefits such as health care coverage. In addition, human resources ensures competitive and realistic wage-setting based on studying the labor market, employment trends and salary analysis based on job functions. As some small businesses have budget constraints, this human resources function is especially helpful.

Conflict Resolution
Workplace conflict is inevitable, given the diversity of personalities, work styles, backgrounds and levels of experience among employees. A human resources manager or a staff person specially trained to handle employee relations matters can identify and effectively resolve conflicts.

Training and Development
Human resources conducts needs assessments for the organization’s current workforce to determine the type of skills training and employee development necessary for improving skills and qualifications. Companies in the beginning or growth phases can benefit from identifying training needs for existing staff. It’s much less expensive than the cost to hire additional staff or more qualified candidates. In addition, it’s a strategy that also can reduce turnover and improve employee retention.

Employee Satisfaction
Human resources specialists usually are charged with the responsibility of determining the level of employee satisfaction – often an ambiguous measurement at best. With carefully designed employee surveys, focus groups and an exit interview strategy, human resources determines what underlies employee dissatisfaction and addresses those issues to motivate employees.

Cost Savings
The cost to hire new or replacement workers can be exorbitant for employers. With a wellconstructed recruitment and selection process, the human resources function can minimize expenses regarding advertising job postings, training new employees and enrolling new employees in benefits plans.

Performance Improvement
Human resources develops performance management systems. Without a human resources staff person to construct a plan that measures performance, employees can wind in jobs that aren’t suitable for their skills and expertise. Additionally, employees whose performance falls below the employer’s expectations can continue on the payroll, thereby creating wasted money on low-performing employees.

Sustaining Business
Through succession planning that human resources develops, the company identifies employees with the promise and requisite capabilities to eventually transition into leadership roles with the company.

Corporate Image
Businesses want to be known as the „employer of choice.” Employers of choice are the companies that receive recognition for the way they treat employees; they are the companies for whom people want to work. Becoming an employer of choice means human resources balances recruiting the most qualified applicants, selecting the most suitable candidates and retaining the most talented employees.

Steadfast Principles
Human resources ensures the workforce embraces the company’s philosophy and business principles. From the perspective of a small business, creating a cohesive work environment is imperative. The first opportunity human resources has to accomplish this is through wise
hiring decisions that identify desirable professional traits, as well as orientation and onboarding programs.


Adapted from www.smallbusiness.chron.com


Exercise 1

Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) a large company made of many smaller ones: __________
2) hiring new staff: __________
3) on the company premises (inside the organization): __________
4) very important: __________
5) to limit the expenditures: __________
6) limitations: __________
7) impossible to avoid: __________
8) workers being happy with what they do: __________
9) conversations conducted with employees who leave the organization:___________
10)very high: __________
11)to find yourself in a position you are not qualified to be in: __________
12)to be much worse than expected: __________
Centrum Języków Obcych Archibald poziom B1/B2


Exercise 2

Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) to process                    line
2) the bottom                 resolution
3) cross                            turnover
4) to curb                        of choice
5) wage                            excessive spending
6) conflict                       retention
7) needs                          payroll
8) to reduce                   functional
9) employee                  assessment
10)an employer            setting


Exercise 3

Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) wymagane umiejętności
2) niezmienne / stałe
3) spójne
4) nieodzowne
5) programy wdrożeniowe dla
nowych pracowników
6) rozwiązywanie konfliktów
7) znajdujący się w siedzibie /
8) rotacja pracowników
9) ograniczanie wydatków
10)zyski firmy
11)ustalanie wyskości płac
12)pełniący wiele funkcji

Grammar corner…

Throughout the text, you have seen function words and phrases, such as alike, in particular, additionally, which helped you navigate the text and find the meaning of what the author wanted you to know. Alike means similarly (but similarly is usually used at the beginning of a sentence). Either … or … implies that you can choose between two options. The negative of that is neither … nor …. If you would like to be more specific, you use in particular or particularly. For talking about cause and effect, it is best to use because of, as, due to the fact, consequently.
If you wish to say something more about a subject, use additionally or in addition, whereas if you are talking about conditions that have to be met for something to happen, you use given the fact that. For talking about ways in which something is done, you may want to use through which means using. Since often means because.


Exercise 4

Fill in the gaps with a suitable word or phrase:

1) You ____________________ improve your performance ____________________ we will have to let you go.
2) ____________________ the use of in-house HR staff, many conflicts in the workplace can be resolved.
3) Employees and employers ____________________ prefer to have a set of rules of conduct.
4) Over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements ____________________, are a multi-million dollar business.
5) Please upload your CV and, ____________________ , provide your cover letter.
6) ____________________ we don’t have our own translator, we have to oursource such services.
7) The profits haven’t been very impressive lately, ____________________ fact that there is a crisis in the EU.
8) ____________________ we’re being taken over, there are going to have to be lay-offs.
9) ____________________ us ____________________ our competitors know how to respond to the new market situation.



a conglomerate – konglomerat
enrolment – zatrudnienie
in-house – wewnętrzny
critical – bardzo istotny
to trim the costs – ograniczać koszty
constraints – ograniczenia / obostrzenia
inevitable – nieunikniony
employee satisfaction – zadowolenie pracowników
exit interviews – rozmowy na zakończenie zatrudnienia / pożegnalna
exorbitant – niewyobrażalnie wysoki
to wind somewhere – skończyć gdzieś / wylądować gdzieś
to fall below expectations – odbiegać znacznie od oczekiwań
payroll – dział płac
the bottom line – zysk firmy
cross functional – pełniący wiele funkcji
to curb something – ograniczać coś
wage setting – ustalanie wysokości płac
turnover – rotacja pracowników
retention – zatrzymanie (np. pracownika)
requisite capabilities – wymagane umiejętności
steadfast – stałe / niezmienne
cohesive – spójne
imperative – nieodzowne
on-boarding programs – programy wdrożeniowe dla nowych pracowników
recruitment – rekrutacja
thereby – tym samym / w ten sposób
rules of conduct – zasady postępowania
expenditures – wydatki
to let somebody go – zwolnić kogoś
ambiguous – niejasny
to outsource – korzystać z usług podmiotów zewnętrznych


download lesson (pdf)



Ex. 1
1) a conglomerate
2) enrolment
3) in-house
4) critical
5) to trim the costs
6) constraints
7) inevitable
8) employee satisfaction
9) exit interviews
11)to wind in a job you’re not suitable for
12)to fall below expectations

Ex. 2
1) to process payroll
2) the bottom line
3) cross functional
4) to curb excessive spending
5) wage setting
6) conflict resolution
7) needs assessment
8) to reduce turnover
9) employee retention
10)an employer of choice

Ex. 3
1) requisite capabilities
2) steadfast
3) cohesive
4) imperative
5) on-boarding programs
6) conflict resolution
7) in-house
8) employee turnover
9) curbing expenditures
10)the bottom line
11)wage setting
12)cross functional

Ex. 4
1) either, or
2) Through
3) alike
4) in particular
5) additionally
6) As
7) due to the
8) Since
9) Neither, nor