The business world is changing, and HR needs to keep up.
Like the rest of the workforce, human resource professionals are working longer hours than ever before, and yet 72% of business executives claim their HR programs are not effectively meeting business needs.
The disconnect is obvious, but the solution can seem counter-intuitive to our work-obsessed culture. If HR programs aren’t keeping pace with business needs, the solution isn’t to keep working longer. It’s time to invest in working smarter.
Human Resources, Meet Technology
Human Resource professionals, and the companies we serve, must embrace timesaving technologies that meet the expectations of business owners, and their current and future employees.
Companies of all sizes already utilize specialized software, cloud technology, and mobile access in other aspects of their business, such as sales and finance. However, HR cannot truly be the business partner that executives need without the same access to technology.
An obvious place to start is with a scalable Human Resources Information System (HRIS). An HRIS can be a stand-alone software or a reasonably-priced add-on to an automated payroll system. It can manage a department’s daily workflow, organize the administrative aspects of an on-boarding program, and automate benefits deductions. All of which reduce time commitments, redundancies, and old-fashioned paperwork.
Unfortunately, this is where many businesses stop. Small business HRIS systems are often grossly underutilized. To get the full benefit of what you paid for, users must familiarize themselves with the advanced features of the software.
Remember the ones the sales person dazzled you with?
- Open enrollment administration
- An internal job posting board
- Legal compliance and reporting
- A corporate news “hub”
When fully utilized, a robust HRIS system can meet the basic employee management needs of most companies.
But we can do way better than basic.
Beyond the Basics
Cloud technology, whether provided directly through a company’s website or through carefully vetted vendors, provides employees with access to benefits, training, and recruitment information as needs arise and without HR serving as gatekeeper. This is particularly beneficial to employees who need the information at their finger-tips on-demand, whether that might be at 11:00pm on a Saturday night, or 5:00am on a Wednesday morning.
- An employee wants to talk her supervisor about training options? Log-in to the designated training provider’s sites for options and costs that will inform a productive conversation.
- A soon- to-married couple must compare costs of employee health care options? Log-in to the benefits site over wedding cake samples, and see the breakdown of payroll deductions.
- A hiring manager needs to review candidate resumes? Log-in to the applicant tracking system from the train station, and get a head start on the day.
Just make sure your HR programs reflect current best practices and company culture before adding technology. An outdated process that’s technologically accessible is still an outdated process, and one that won’t help a company reach its goals.
Doing More with Less
Cloud technologies and paperless offices position employees as effective contributors from wherever they need or prefer to work, thereby giving them the work/life balance they seek. Fewer employees are reporting to a physical office, a trend that will continue to grow. Utilizing cloud technology for HR programs allows remote employees to stay connected to the business culture. Equally important, it will securely house a company’s proprietary records and information.
The introduction of new technology does require an initial financial investment, however it also brings opportunity for savings with the manpower it saves. HR departments can be more productive and effective in meeting the needs of their management, and with fewer staff.
These technologies open the door for remote HR work, and, in some cases, part-time employees. Qualified part-time employees are easier to find that many managers think. The work-life balance of part-time work is incredibly appealing, particularly when combined with other work-life benefits such as telework, pro-rated paid leave, and flexible schedules.
If you’re of the 72% of executives who believe their HR needs are unmet by current company practices, Inspiring HR can work with you to update human resource programs and get the most from your technology investments.