Today’s human resources (HR) managers and teams have a lot on their plates. They must fulfill traditional roles like recruiting new talent, managing staff, and enforcing company policies while simultaneously engaging with staff to improve productivity and finding ways to enhance the organization’s image. It’s easy to see why so many HR departments find themselves overwhelmed.
When HR departments become overwhelmed, performance slows down and affects the efficiency of the entire company. The solution? Learn how to optimize the HR department to ensure that all staff members can work efficiently to accomplish diverse goals. Read on to find out how to get started.
1. Invest in HCM Software
Investing in Human Capital Management (HCM) Software can help HR departments work more efficiently. It covers processes for new talent acquisition, existing workforce management, and administration, reducing the busy work required to perform these tasks so that HR professionals can focus on direct engagement.
There are plenty of HCM software programs to choose from. Look for one that supports, at a minimum:
- Automated resume management
- Time and expense tracking
- Data analysis and reporting
- Employee self-service portals
- Contract management
There’s no one HCM software program that will be an ideal fit for every organization. Smaller companies can usually get by with basic HCM systems, while larger businesses may need a more extensive set of features and functions. Choose a software program that will facilitate current HR optimization while simultaneously leaving room for future growth.
2. Foster a Strong Company Culture
An HR department’s work will be much easier if the whole company embraces a strong, healthy company culture. Broadly speaking, company culture refers to the shared values and characteristics of an organization and its employees. It affects everything from how decisions get made to the ways employees interact with each other, both in the HR department and outside of it.
Company culture can be deliberately cultivated. Strong company culture creates clear expectations for employees, rewards them for work well done, and increases productivity across all teams. Getting everyone on the HR team on the same page about how to foster and promote positive company culture will go a long way towards streamlining recruitment and management processes and improving the company’s productivity and image.
3. Implement Effective Wellness Initiatives
The connection between individual wellness and the HR department’s effectiveness may seem tenuous, but it’s not. Employee wellness isn’t just about personal health. It’s also about maintaining the health of the department and the organization as a whole.
Promoting wellness initiatives communicates that the company cares about employees’ well-being. It makes recruitment and management processes easier for HR professionals and helps to keep the whole team on track by reducing sick leave, improving mental health, and driving increases in productivity, all while reducing healthcare premiums for the company.
Wellness initiatives don’t have to be expensive to implement, either. Most initiatives involve screening activities and interventions for high-risk employees along with promoting healthy lifestyles. Organizations can also create specialized wellness programs or offer incentives to stay healthy such as paying for gym memberships.
4. Understand the Organization’s Strategic Goals
These days, HR professionals are responsible for more than just recruitment and employee management. They’re expected to help drive the company in a strategic direction, which requires understanding both what makes the organization successful and what needs to change.
If the HR department can anticipate necessary changes in the company’s workforce needs, it will be much easier to implement a plan to meet those needs head-on.
5. Develop Talent from Within
Many companies that struggle to find talent or skilled labor overlook a potential wealth of resources: their current employees. Developing talent from within can help to optimize the HR department’s efforts in multiple ways. It can make finding candidates to fill challenging positions easier, increase employee retention, and boost morale, all of which make employee management less of a challenge.
There are many ways to develop talent from within a company’s existing workforce. Start by identifying promising employees, then provide them with the tools they need to succeed. Depending on the company, its culture, and its business model, that might mean providing mentors or career coaches, offering training opportunities, or even paying for relevant classes.
Many lower-level managers and employees can develop the soft skills required to succeed in upper-level positions if they’re provided with sufficient opportunities to learn, grow, and network with others in the industry. Even HR departments can hire promising leaders from within their teams’ ranks. Current HR managers should always be looking for ways to improve not just their own relevant skills but also those of the employees.
6. Ensure Compliance
Just about every company large enough to have an HR department is subject to multiple employer regulations. Keeping up with changes to the Affordable Care Act, OSHA reporting, rules for workers’ compensation, and other regulations can be overwhelming even for seasoned HR experts.
Many people think of compliance as a back-office function, but that’s a mistake. It plays a major role in both recruiting and retaining talent. The HR department needs to be able to determine what questions should and should not be asked at interviews, how to handle harassment claims and employee complaints properly, and maintain accurate, secure records. It sometimes takes ongoing training to keep everyone on the same page, but it’s worth the effort.
When the organization’s employees see that the HR department is committed to maintaining compliance with all the regulations put in place to protect their rights, it often improves their job satisfaction ratings. Employees who feel confident that they will always be treated fairly are less likely to leave the company, and potential new hires are more likely to take jobs if they know they will be working for trustworthy companies with compliant HR departments.
Get Started Today
It takes time to improve company culture, provide ongoing training, develop wellness initiatives, and make sure everyone in the HR department and beyond is on the right track. Start from the beginning by purchasing HCM software and the other tools required to get the job done right, then commit to putting in ongoing effort towards optimizing the HR department.