Last month Tacoma was overrun with HR professionals from all over Washington, Oregon and Alaska for the 80th annual NW Human Resources Management Association conference. Our local human resources group, WSHRMA, planned and organized it, and the over 700 attendees spent three days discussing the evolution of HR and envisioning the future. The group represented our community well with the record-breaking event!
Much of the chatter in between sessions was focused on the universal feeling of not being able to find the workforce needed to fill the positions each company had sitting open. And while so many are spending more and more time trying to recruit, other aspects of a fully functioning HR department continued to be set aside, waiting.
Does this sound familiar? Employees are an organization’s biggest asset supporting our business. How do we, as business leaders, make sure that our HR management is at the top of its game so that it can contribute to business growth in a time like this?
An answer could be found in streamlining your HR department. Even though technology has advanced, and the recognition of the strategic value of human capital has evolved, HR leaders continue to say their actual work is focused on administration. Streamlining will increase efficiencies: saving time is like finding money on the ground, where the more time- and labor-reducing tasks are realized leads to the ability for your HR team to focus on your human capital.
Here are a few tips to consider when evaluating where and how to streamline:
Processes: Take a look at the processes in place. Are there 15 steps to reaching a result, when it really could take just 7 steps, or even less? Often a process which has been in place for some time has evolved each time there’s been an exception or a clarification, and after a while, that process becomes messy. Or maybe the process still exists to solve a problem that doesn’t exist any longer. A review can uncover needless steps, saving time and effort.
Go paperless: A 2015 study run by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that, despite the plethora of technologies available, 47% of HR departments still use paper. Other studies have shown that the typical office generates more paper than ever before, because our computers make it so easy to print off everything. Invest in an HRIS system – one that can-do applicant tracking, benefits management, performance evaluation, compliance, payroll, etc. Not only will a system like this consolidate the numerous Excel spreadsheets, data lists, separate files and such into one location for your HR team members to monitor, it will also empower all employees to answer their own questions regarding pay slips, leave balances and other topics before reaching out to the HR department.