In today’s fast-paced world, efficiency and effectiveness is the name of the game. An efficient HR department will be able to effectively manage the number one asset of any organisation - its people.
Here are 4 HR best practices which will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your HR Department.
It is often said that two hands are required to clap in order for a relationship to be successful. Workplaces that encourage open lines of communication between employees and HR tend to perform better and have a more innovative, progressive culture as can be seen by the success stories shared by organisations like FedEx and 3M.
Employees should feel that they are able to easily approach their HR department with any concerns and issues that they may have. By gathering such information, HR professionals can take the necessary steps to improve various procedures and processes or eliminate procedures which are time-wasting and not effective.
For example, an employee feels uncomfortable and dissatisfied with how his overtime pay is being calculated and has some suggestions as to how he feels staff overtime should be calculated. Fortunately, his organisation’s HR Department encourages communication and thus, he is able to communicate his concerns with the HR professional responsible. From thereon, corrective action can be taken.
From this scenario, it can be seen that proactive action by the HR Department has long-term benefits for the organisation. Firstly, by listening to the concerns aired by an employee, the HR Department is able to head off any dissatisfaction and unhappiness and over the long term, reduce potential counselling and rehiring costs.
Secondly, the HR Department is able to further improve its processes after listening to suggestions from their employees.
Most organisations usually have monthly, bi-annual, and annual evaluations of their employees. This is great for analyzing an employee’s quantitative performance.
However, such methods of performance analysis usually leaves much to be desired. Firstly, annual or bi-annual KPIs are usually seen as a mere formality with the primary goal of calculating an employee’s annual bonus.
Thus, in order to truly drive change, HR Professionals should seriously consider conducting monthly or even weekly reviews with their employees to provide continuous feedback. These meetings should be informal affairs conducted on a one-to-one basis with their employees.
These meetings can be used as a platform for providing feedback to employees on how their work is progressing, and to point out certain behaviours that are to be encouraged or discouraged.
For example, positive feedback can be given to an employee who has shown extra initiative in order to encourage this employee. On the other hand, employees who display negative behaviours can be approached and counselled as a form of corrective feedback.
Long-term wise, this will serve to improve the performance of employees and reduce employee turnover and counselling.
Traditionally, most organisations maintain physical copies of their employees’ files on hand. The reasons given by these organisations vary from reasons such as cost limitations or even the old fashioned distrust in computers.
Maintaining physical copies of personnel files is a costly and inefficient affair. Firstly, physically stored document scan can be misplaced, stolen or even damaged. With the advent of inexpensive cloud storage solutions,organisations can now store their data safely on host cloud servers without worrying about data corruption.
Secondly, it would be extremely time-consuming and inefficient to search through hundreds or even thousands of personnel files just for one employee. In turn, this would serve to discourage employees from approaching the HR department with an issue that they may have due to the perceived inefficiency and long delay associated with submitting a request to the HR department.
A computerised personnel database management system can greatly improve the efficiency of the HR department by allowing HR professionals to access all required information with just a simple mouse click.
Most HR professionals are usually expected to conduct training programs or spearhead initiatives that drive change in an organisation. Employees who are required to attend HR initiatives often feel forced or coerced into attending such sessions. Hence, any campaign, no matter how well intentioned, is likely to fall flat on its face should there be a lack of support from leaders within the organisation.
HR professionals need to work together with leaders of the organisation in order and communicate how initiatives organized by the HR department will be able to generate value for the organisation. From here, this information can then be disseminated to the members of the organisation, thus allowing the organisation to move in a single, united direction.
The challenges faced by HR professionals are many and varied as the landscape is constantly changing and evolving. However, these 4 HR best practices are sure to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of any HR department.
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