The focus of audit on management places the concepts of efficiency and risk in the first place and is no longer limited to compliance or verification operations. Indeed, because managers realize that it is necessary to better control social costs, anticipate risks and integrate human resources into company strategies to achieve optimal performance, the interest for social auditing is increasing day by day. However, the complexity of the personnel functions and human behavior of the company, as well as the relative novelty of social auditing, require a lot of method and conceptual effort.
Definition of social audit
In general, auditing is part of the vocabulary specific to the financial and accounting field. It designates the checks carried out on business figures. Gradually, the principle of auditing has spread to other areas, including social and HR. This explains why one of the primary objectives of social audits is to verify the reliability and legal compliance and the organizational structure of the company’s social activities. Social audits (also called compliance audits or HR audits) are part of the mandate of social auditors. Other tasks which do not come under simple control are also assigned to it.
When we talk about social audit, we are referring to a process of observation, analysis and evaluation, which will make it possible to identify the strengths and risks of resource management. Its purpose is to identify the causes of the problems detected in the HR department and then implement targeted actions to resolve them. The social audit of human resources is an examination and verification of accounts and key elements of personnel management; it increases the efficiency of the design and implementation of HR policies and programs. It is an important approach to human resource planning. It is carried out to verify whether the performance of managers has been fair in the general interest of their company. It is a systematic and comprehensive analysis of all activities and results of a personnel management program to examine the effectiveness and usefulness of various personnel functions, activities, policies and procedures. Audit reports provide key recommendations and metrics on strengths and areas for improvement to highlight the opportunities a business organization can harness to become a better employer and achieve its long-term goals.
Why carry out a social audit?
Normally, in an organization, not all HR policies are formal and written. There are many informal, not officially documented policies. The HR social audit involves the examination of all HR policies, procedures and practices currently adopted by the organization, whether formal or informal. The audit also makes it possible to verify that the company complies with legal and regulatory requirements concerning employees such as those established by the Luxembourg labor code, collective agreements and applicable regulations. By means of an audit, the company can determine its strengths and weaknesses in the area of HR management and plan accordingly to improve its processes and procedures related to the function.
In a social audit, you can find the social objectives put forward through the following themes:
- Strategy and management of Human Resources
- Legal compliance of contracts and internal processes
- Compensation and benefits
- Job and skills analysis
- Responsible recruitment
- Performance management
- Skills mapping
- Legal questions relating to human rights.
- Role of the HR Business Partner (HRBP)
- Surveillance performance (Occupational Health and Safety)
- Managerial performance
- Employee relations and social climate
- Organization of the HR department structure
- Human resources development initiatives
- Quality of life at work: Well-being, diversity and equal opportunities
What are the challenges behind the social audit?
Social auditing has become a must practice in companies of all sizes for many reasons. The first factor explaining the growing role of social auditing is the growing strategic nature of the internal management of the organization’s human resources. The second reason is the growing interest in corporate social responsibility. The development of social auditing consists in determining the indicators used to measure human resources management practices: they are therefore fully linked and very useful for demonstrating the sense of the company’s social responsibility towards employees. . Supported by “Labor Law”, social auditing has become more and more common and builds corporate social information around quantitative and qualitative indicators of human resources management. The demand for systematic and rigorous quantitative collection of this data has created a culture of social auditing. By performing audits in accordance with the social audit framework, the company optimizes costs by reducing on-site audits. It positions itself as a reliable partner and strengthens its relationship with its customers. Finally, it is part of a continuous improvement process to better control its production and reduce its risks.
Social audit, what objectives?
As you will have understood, the social audit on human resources management offers many advantages. But it also allows companies: Independently, objectively, systematically and strictly examine the human resources functions of the organization assess the general environment and the performance effectiveness of the human resources department verify any deviation from standards and design appropriate strategies and corrective actions in areas related to human resources check whether human resources management is consistent with the general practices and procedures of the organization to measure the statutory compliance of human resources activities in accordance with the laws explore areas where personnel costs can be reduced improve business performance ensure an important part of the social and societal responsibility which falls to any company identify areas of human resources that require investment in research and development Carrying out a social audit is an essential step, especially if you want to review your strategy, perpetuate, transmit or develop your business and you do not have all the necessary resources to do so. This step, which is the social audit, is also the keystone of our time-sharing HR interventions with all our clients. If you would like to know more about our social audits or the intervention of our time-shared HR specialists, contact our CEO, Lauriane Marlier: