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Giving your HR manager the gift of time

by Mike Melloy
 
It’s time to free HR from the burden of paperwork. The health of your business depends on it.

Like it or not, just one mention of “HR” is enough to send visions of endless paperwork, regulatory concerns and time-consuming administrative processes dancing through a typical office worker’s head. But there is so much more to HR than that. Increasingly, companies big and small are taking notice of the important role that HR plays in maintaining a successful business.

In fact, the need for high-quality talent acquisition and management is often cited as the biggest area for improvement in today’s companies. Getting the right people in the door, and keeping them, is an important (not to mention full-time) job.

Whether you are a small business owner who wears the HR hat, have one HR manager at your business or work with a small team, chances are there isn’t much time left for strategic planning once all that paperwork has taken its toll. So how can your small business free up HR’s time to focus on what really matters?
 
Bersin study

It starts with technology

In its 2016 predictions report, Bersin by Deloitte1 confirms that there is major demand for updating HR technology, including everything from improving the employee user experience to integrating data and the cloud into HR processes.

For a small business, the “rip and replace” method described below may seem a bit daunting.

Of course, there is no getting around the necessities of HR paperwork. But there are accessible technologies available to small businesses today to make some of the more tedious processes move faster — saving your employees headaches and your HR department precious time.
 

​Digitizing old records can put historical data at your fingertips in an easy-to-search archive.

 
Here are the first things to tackle when upgrading your HR technology:
 

Workflow automation

Payroll, benefits administration, compliance procedures and even time management processes should be digitized and automated. Manual data entry for these tasks can be among the biggest productivity drains for an organization, and increase the risk of error as well. Workflow automation services can free your HR team from those stacks of paper by automating many hardcopy functions, such as data extraction, special processing and validation.

Cutting down on paperwork doesn’t just benefit the HR professionals in your organization either. By some estimates, as much as 35 percent of a small business owner’s time is consumed by HR work. That’s time workflow automation can give back to business owners, allowing them to focus on running the company instead of filling out forms. And because every employee deals with HR in some capacity, improved processes can have a wide reaching impact on overall productivity.

The benefits of digitizing and automating HR processes extend beyond recouped time as well. Removing the possibility of human error from many of the steps can improve document security and reduce the likelihood of costly compliance infractions. Automatic record archiving and audit trails can also go a long way toward protecting against HR-related risks.
 

Talent management

So, now that HR has more free time, what is the most effective use of it? Today, it’s all about data.

If employee retention is your main priority, consider investing in data collection and analytics technology to analyze the sentiment of your current workforce. Consider programs like TinyPulse, Glint or CultureIQ that can help you take anonymous employee feedback and turn it into tangible improvements in your business place.
 
For a more holistic look at talent management, pulling and utilizing data across everything from hiring processes to performance reviews is a major trend in HR. "Just as marketing departments analyze the results of campaigns, create personas and segments of the customer population, and understand the drivers of market share success, we can now do the same thing for our employees,” explains Bersin.

However, in order to identify trends and insights about your workforce and hiring practices, you must have access to historical information as well. This is why going digital from this point forward is only half of the equation. Digitizing old records can put historical data at your fingertips in an easy-to-search archive, and document conversion services can get it done without distracting your employees from their core responsibilities.

Want real-world tips for eliminating wasteful processes within your organization?

This free guide will help you find common time wasters within your business, providing simple, common-sense advice for addressing them.
 
However, in order to identify trends and insights about your workforce and hiring practices, you must have access to historical information as well. This is why going digital from this point forward is only half of the equation. Digitizing old records can put historical data at your fingertips in an easy-to-search archive, and document conversion services can get it done without distracting your employees from their core responsibilities.

For small businesses, this may seem like a tall order. But starting with employee feedback data and then integrating hiring data and even sales data can help turn your HR from a headache into an integral part of your business strategy.
 
Mike Melloy
Mike Melloy, Director of Ricoh Services Design for Mid Market customers at Ricoh USA, Inc., brings his services and technology experience to businesses ranging from small to medium to Fortune 1000. Melloy focuses on services impacting document life cycle, document workflow and managed document services. He holds degrees in business management information systems and information technology.
 
 
1 "2016 predictions report." Bersin by Deloitte. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/at/Documents/human-capital/bersin-predictions-2016.pdf