No “I” in Team: 5 Ways to Streamline Your HR Department

Every business looks for ways to consistently improve their performance and quality, even in small ways. It’s necessary to grow and stay competitive. But that same perspective should extend to every manager and every department in the company, and to HR in particular. Everything you do affects the company as a whole. Finding ways to streamline your workload will free up your time for more meaningful tasks and more effective employee relationships. Here are some ways to improve HR performance.

HR Performance - No "I" in Team: 5 Ways to Streamline Your HR Department

1. Reconfigure Your Processes

The same principal that drives lean manufacturing techniques can be applied to every aspect of business, including HR. Lean processes basically mean constantly trying to reduce or eliminate all waste. Wasted effort, materials, and money will be eating up valuable time. This time could be used in more productive or meaningful ways if your processes are efficiently organized. Wasted time comes from processes that involve duplicated efforts, inadequate tools, and excessive touches, or too many hands in the same task. It can be helpful to diagram your workflows. Be vigilant for this kind of waste and find ways to get it under control.

2. Reduce Meetings

Collaboration and communication within your team can be great motivators, but they can also be a huge waste of time if the message is too vague, too specialized, or involves too lengthy a process. If you hold a meeting, have a specific topic or agenda, get to it, and stick with it. Take control of your meetings. Discourage small talk or irrelevant discussions. Don’t invite any personnel who don’t need to be there. Avoid holding meetings when your point can be made through an email or other digital medium more quickly and clearly. You and your team will have more time for your work tasks.

3. Compartmentalize

Another way to improve productivity is to assign specific responsibilities to those most suited to handle them effectively. Create smaller teams within your HR department who will take charge of and be accountable for specific responsibilities such as recruitment, health insurance, or monitoring vacation time. Provide them with the training and support they need to excel at these specific roles. Eventually you’ll get specialists who are doing these isolated tasks much faster and better than if you simply delegated them to anyone available.

4. Audits and Feedback

Take the time to establish metrics for each of your own processes. Metrics have to be measurable to be of value. Start with things like the time taken and quantity produced to determine efficiency. Create your own custom audit reports and periodically conduct audits of your team members to be sure they’re observing your policies and procedures as well as progressing in their job skills. It can also be useful to invite feedback from employees, anonymously or otherwise, to get criticism and suggestions from a different perspective.

5. Productive Software

A number of different tasks, including data collection and reporting, can be coordinated or automated with IT tools and products. Customized professional tools will be saving time and effort. Human resource information systems are data and process tools designed for HR teams. Within one HRIS software package, you can perform benefits management, payroll, track employee reviews or disciplinary actions, share files, and tracking processes such as recruiting and training new employees. Everyone on the team will be on the same page.

Managing your HR department so that it runs smoothly can seem like an impossible task as more tasks and responsibilities fall to human resources. But improving your own processes is worth the effort in the long term. Applying both trusted management principles and new technologies within your own team can make a huge difference.

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