4 Solutions to Elevate Your HR Management Operations

Human resources is a relatively new department in the history of business. The personnel department of old considered employees as mere tools to get things done. Human resources, on the other hand, emerged when those employees began being perceived as assets necessary for success.

The scope of HR management has evolved as well. It was once viewed as the purview of those who handled paperwork and ensured compliance with labor laws and regulations. Today, HR leadership has to provide the competitive edge needed to attract, hire, and retain the best talent possible. HR continues to deal with administrative tasks, but it has also taken a strategic role in a company’s overall success.

The role of HR has therefore moved from the back office to the C-suite. You need to make sure every facet of its operations has risen to the top as well. Here are four solutions you can use to pull it up precisely where it needs to be.

1. Adjust HR’s Priorities

Consider the breadth of responsibilities your HR professionals handle. They must deal with writing job descriptions, recruiting, interviewing, hiring and firing, onboarding, completing paperwork, and administering payroll and benefits. Now, add compliance monitoring, employee grievance resolution, education and training, staff recognition, and the annual picnic. Maybe your in-house HR operation is overwhelmed.

One way to raise the quality of the work your in-house staff does is by lightening their load. There are many opportunities for farming out some responsibilities. Integrating multiple software platforms is a start. There’s no reason these days to not manage everything from payroll and benefits administration to personnel files from a single platform.

There is also the opportunity to partner with an external company, like a professional employer organization, to handle a range of tasks. A PEO can tackle everything from payroll and benefits administration to recruiting and onboarding new hires. Note, however, that in-house staff are still responsible for ensuring that your company stays in compliance with whatever laws, rules, and regulations apply.

Placing some HR responsibilities in the hands of external partners doesn’t mean you lose control over them. But it does mean your internal staff can focus on vital concerns such as strategy, engagement, and compliance.

2. Align HR Strategies With Company Goals

If your employees are assets, then those assets are what will determine whether your business reaches its goals. That’s the reason they have such value. And because your HR operation is focused on those assets, HR strategies need to align with your company’s overall goals.

This seems simple, but too often there’s a disconnect between HR strategies and the targets set in a corporate strategic plan. For example, say the corporate plan has set a goal for diversifying its service line in the next three years. However, the HR strategy is generically to “respond to hiring needs as the company grows.” Without proactive recruiting of individuals with the necessary skill sets, those new services may never come to be.

HR strategies should therefore specifically address how to staff and support the new service line. They should include issues like development of job descriptions and projecting the type of talent it will take to fill roles. How about developing plans for recruiting that new talent or upskilling current employees to move into them?

If your company has an overarching plan, your HR strategies should align with it. This may require HR to be more intentional in its strategic thinking than it has been. But it will ensure that those responsible for your most valuable assets are aiming for the same targets the company as a whole is.

3. Measure, Analyze, and Adjust HR Performance

Goals are only as good as their ability to be measured. Without measurement, claims of progress toward established objectives are complete conjecture. As with any other department, HR should have metrics it can use to assess, analyze, and adjust strategies.

There are numerous metrics that might apply, beginning with the time it takes to hire a new employee. Tracking this can help you identify barriers in your recruitment process that need to be overcome. How about the cost of hiring a new employee? Brainstorm strategies that can lower it, such as incorporating a social media strategy to engage prospects.

You can measure and analyze employee retention rates, absenteeism, employee turnover by manager, and internal mobility. Then identify ways to improve these metrics as part of an overall strategy to increase employee engagement.

Of course, you shouldn’t overlook opportunities to gain more qualitative feedback from employees as well. Entrance, annual, and exit interviews can help identify what’s working and what’s problematic in your HR operations. Measurable knowledge is power.

4. Develop Your Own Talent

The pace of change in business is rapid. Artificial intelligence, changing demographics, and a widening global economy are a few transformational forces. To be successful, companies need to invest in their employees in ways that make them more agile in the face of such change.

Your HR operations should have policies and strategies for employee education and training that anticipates, rather than reacts to, future realities. Upskill some employees to help them keep pace with new technology and reskill others to move into different roles. Don’t neglect to give talent best suited to move up the education and tools to do so.

When companies invest in their employees in these ways, those employees are engaged, satisfied, and more likely to stick around. That’s a benefit to your HR professionals, too, as they can save time, money, and resources by recruiting within before competing externally for talent. Reduced onboarding and faster and smoother internal transitions limit disruptions all around.

Here’s where you can see the advantage of contracting with external partners to handle some of your HR operations. Doing so will leave your internal pros with time to implement talent strategies that will keep your workforce nimble and engaged.

Taking HR Up a Notch

Without your human assets, your company won’t succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The only way to make the most of your employees is to elevate your HR operations. In an economy where uncertainty may have you tightening your belt, give your HR department freer rein. The four solutions outlined here can help your business rise to the challenge.

Back to top button