To be an effective in human resources today, one has to be well rounded and proficient in several areas. HR professionals need insight into human behavior, legal knowledge that maintains strict compliance, and an ability to understand numbers and data. It’s the equivalent of having to be good at English Literature, Social Studies, Math, Science, and even a little Law in school.
The greatest challenge for HR is finding ways to effectively and efficiently execute everything that needs to be done for a business to do what it has set out to do, and it’s unreasonable to expect any single person to “do everything.” HR pros understand the need to do what matters most, the challenge is that there are many things that matter in business today. According to a study by G&A Partners, HR spends 73 percent of its time on administrative activities. While HR may want to focus its energy on programs that power the performance and productivity of the workforce, there’s still paperwork that needs to be done. And just like anything else, all too often, what is required has to be finished, and often at the expense of what is truly needed or wanted to maximize the company workforce.
So how can you shift to an environment that allows you and your HR team to spend more time with people and what matters most, and less time on paper?
AUDIT YOUR SYSTEMS
There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The challenge though, is when your systems work just good enough to “hook” you, and keep from really evaluating there effectiveness. The lack of time, and the concern for cost keep some from really diving in to audit their systems and processes, especially when it already feels like you lack the manpower or hours to do anything other than what you’re doing now, just to meet the current list of requirements.
It’s a relentless cycle that keeps HR from being strategic, and really planning for optimization. At some point, there has to be a determination to follow-through with a solid audit that brings to light inefficient processes, compliance gaps, redundant loops, and more.
Be willing to “stop the presses” for a bit to really evaluate what’s going on, helps lay a foundation for the introduction of automation, paperless forms, artificial intelligence, intelligent bots, and more. And while this may seem like a daunting task, it’s not as overwhelming as you think, once you’ve been able to really understand your weaknesses and inefficiencies in your systems.
SAY ADIÓS TO PAPER
Paper. It kills trees…and it kills productivity. And let’s be honest, it’s a nightmare to keep up with records, signed documents, I-9s, and everything else that comes with making sure you’re compliant.
And while it may be tempting to move everything to a digital, record-based system (PDFs, spreadsheets, etc.), take it another step further to find a content-centric system that automates your paperless forms and needed work while backing and sharing through the cloud. Even record-based systems create compliance gaps, and can be difficult to access, especially if things are housed on one computer, so when you get rid of paper, make sure to automate.
USE INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION FOR COMPLIANCE
It was Zuri Baker’s first week on the job as HR operations director at GoDaddy when she got an I-9 audit — and it was a mess. “We had I-9s everywhere. They were scattered across several different systems,” Baker says. The worst way to find out that your compliance processes are riddled with gaps is through an audit. This should be taken care of with your systems audit, as long as you then take the measures to remove the gaps.
As we talk with HR personnel, we find that the number one pressure point for HR pros today is compliance. Yes, you have to recruit, hire, train, and ultimately retain top talent. Onboarding and culture assimilation are critical parts to your job, and essential to the company’s success. However, every bit of it has to be undergirded with compliance.
Don’t leave your compliance systems in paper, or even record-based systems, as stated above. Leverage the burgeoning technology of intelligent automation that assures your processes are efficient, while meeting the strict requirements to Work. Compliant.
These are the beginning steps to leverage technology to help you move away from spending so much time on paper and “leaky” processes, so that you can then invest your time and effort where it matters most…people!
Ben Olson is the Chief Technology Officer of Essium, a premiere software company that has developed a revolutionary, customizable, workforce management solution named Xenqu. Essium’s Xenqu Software leverages our Smart Content Technology to organize everything related to your workforce in one secure, digital file using the latest cloud-computing technologies and architectures.