How to Have a Kinder, Gentler HR Department

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The most challenging aspect of running a company may be managing people. It isn’t easy to keep harmonious employee relations while giving HR control at the same time.

Still, managing people is not an intractable problem. If your business is struggling with this issue, there is good news. Many successful businesses have already solved the issues you’re struggling with right now.

Here are five things you can do today to turn things around for your company:

  1. Improve Internal Communications

human resources. - HR Department.
Human Resources.

Everywhere you look, you see HR departments drowning in information overload. Over time, this can even overwhelm the most efficient staff members. The solution is not to pressure staff to do more in less time with fewer resources. Nor do you need to hire more people. Just deploy software that increases HR’s reporting, analytic, and communicating power.

The right software makes it easier to handle major tasks. It can automate everything from employee administration to benefits administration. It can make heavy number-crunching duties like payroll management and tax compliance less tedious. A cloud-based system like Asure Software can make it easier for your staff to perform at its best. A mobile-friendly, flexible platform can empower employees, increase engagement, and enhance productivity.This is especially important as the workforce becomes more mobile.

Action Steps: Review the type of technology you’re currently using. Does it provide the functionality you need? Does it enhance internal communication between HR and employees? If you don’t have a robust system, consider putting one in place. It may be time to upgrade your technology to match the increasing pace of your business.

  1. Streamline Operations

If you were to peek in on your HR department, you might find them busy doing some of the following things:

  • Advertising available positions.
  • Reviewing resumes, interviewing people, or onboarding new employees.
  • Managing everything from payroll to benefits to tax compliance.
  • Investigating complaints.
  • Recording an employee’s violation of company policy.
  • Handling an employee’s change in paperwork.
  • Organizing a staff training.

As a result of this intense activity, they may be too busy to see the big picture.

They may be using inefficient procedures to get things done. They may do things that don’t need to be done at all. And they may be laboring under tedious work that a computer could do faster and more accurately.

Action steps: Review current procedures. Keep the efficient ones. Revamp those that have too many steps or need too much time or paperwork. Remove redundant processes and automate tedious tasks.

  1. Lighten the Load

When you think about it, HR’s tasks can be shared with everyone else in a company-wide initiative.

  • Employees can take on the responsibility to be more ambitious.
  • Managers can invest the time to develop promising employees.
  • Leaders can create strategies that increase engagement and contribution.

When HR has a lighter work load, it can do more with its limited time and resources.

  1. Merge the Tech

Your technology may have grown organically. Like an early Western town, it grew without the benefit of urban planning. This means you have disparate systems that create inefficiencies and redundancies.

You may have one computer system for payroll information. Another one for storing all your employee information. And yet another one for your benefits.

When you have disparate computer systems, staff type in the same information into many databases and they do things in triplicate. Over time, discrepancies creep in between information in one computer system compared to another. An employee’s last name, for instance, might change over time. “Johnson” may shift to “Jonson” and then to “Jensen.” Each data entry staffer remains true to the typo made by a predecessor.

Action steps: if you have a disparate system, then it’s worth the expense to create a unified system. This way all data entries propagate throughout the entire system. When errors arise, they are easier to notice and correct. In the long run, your business will recoup its costs by wasting fewer resources.

  1. Refine Strategy

One popular solution to refine your HR strategy is to get rid of the department altogether and outsource it. In most cases, this only works if your HR department is a complete mess. But if you have a fully staffed department who have a good handle on things, it makes more sense to just improve big picture processes.

Action Steps: Think about what motivates people to excel in the workplace. Is it competitive compensation? Is it providing the best employees with rewards to increase retention? Is it about improving the metrics by which you do evaluations? Is it creating succession plans? Whatever it is for your company, create a strategy to apply your insights.

It’s easy to put the blame HR when things go wrong. But this only makes things worse. Do what successful companies do. Upgrade your technology. Improve your strategies. Refine your work processes. When you do, everything will begin to fall into place.