Lean, mean HR machine…

In this two minute HR Blast from Jaluch we focus on ‘waste’ in HR. We don’t think that HR is often subjected to a ‘waste’ assessment (have you ever done one?) but if HR expects other functions to operate efficiently, then there is no reason why the HR function should not operate that way too. Besides, wouldn’t it be great to know that you have single-handedly created a lean, mean HR machine!

Take a look at what we have set out below. These are the typical areas of ‘waste’ that we see. Which of these create the greatest ‘waste’ in your business?

(When talking about ‘waste’ we are referring to anything that results in wasted time, resources, energy or duplication of effort etc.).

Meetings

  • Employees failing to turn up to disciplinary or other formal meetings
  • Managers not turning up to scheduled meetings with their staff
  • Insufficient use of conference calls in order to avoid time consuming meetings
  • Too few telephone interviews at first stage of recruitment process resulting in too much wasted time with candidates attending for interview who are clearly not a good cultural fit

Q. If you could identify just one action to take to minimise waste in this area, what would it be?

Paperwork

  • Having to send back to staff or line managers incorrectly completed forms
  • Having numerous forms to complete when just one better thought out form would do
  • Chasing information that should have already been provided
  • Doing paperwork admin that is not really essential (differentiating between nice to have and need to have)

Q. If you could identify just one action to take to minimise waste in this area, what would it be?

Failure to engage brain

  • Reckless pursuance of best practice when that is not in the commercial interests of the organisation
  • Nonsensical adherence to processes and procedures that are essentially a waste of time and not fit for purpose
  • Doing things the long-winded or hard way due to a reluctance to change/move with the times
  • Not addressing issues that cause wastage (time money effort) due to a failure to understand the importance to the organisation of doing so

Q. If you could identify just one action to take to minimise waste in this area, what would it be?

Education of managers

  • Watching the same managers make the same mistake time after time and choosing to berate them (or whinge about them behind their back) rather than educate them
  • Filling line managers full of fear about what they can and cannot say which leaves managers fearful of doing anything at all which in turn results in issues being completely unmanaged
  • Not being aware that one to one coaching is not a luxury, but is in fact a great way to reduce or eliminate repeated mistakes

Q. If you could identify just one action to take to minimise waste in this area, what would it be?

Political correctness and sensitivity gone mad

  • Wasting time tip-toeing around issues for fear of upsetting someone, when really HR just needs to say what the problem is
  • Kowtowing to directors on issues, when really this is a time when HR should stand up and be counted

Q. If you could identify just one action to take to minimise waste in this area, what would it be?

Lack of commercial understanding/awareness

  • Not pushing for new technology and software when they know the existing tech and systems are making life really inefficient and/or create commercial risk
  • Not understanding the value of money (or even how revenue is generated within the business!) which then impacts on absence management, performance management, training decisions, recruitment decisions etc.

Q. If you could identify just one action to take to minimise waste in this area, what would it be?

We have to stop here, but this list could go on and on. What actions have you identified for your organisation? But also, what if anything will stop you from taking these actions?

Its often said that HR needs to learn to be more commercial, so if you can identify ways to tackle ‘waste’ then, perhaps this is your opportunity to lead the way and establish HR’s commercial credentials … once and for all?

Too close to see what’s not needed or what’s out of date? Ask us how an HR Audit could help you analyse and prioritise.

No time to develop the skills and confidence of your line managers? Talk to us about our training programmes.

Limited resources to outsource your training needs? Deliver our tried and tested courses yourself with one of our Bags of Learning.

Inbox collapsed under the weight of paper? Let us come and review and redraft those polices, contracts, procedures and forms that are blocking progress.

The information contained within this article is for general guidance only and represents our understanding of employment and associated law and employee relations issues as at the date of publication. Jaluch Limited, or any of its directors or employees, cannot be held responsible for any action or inaction taken in reliance upon the contents. Specific advice should be sought on all individuals matters.

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