HR processes are at the heart of a host of a series of challenges facing organizations – strategic challenges that are both related to business value and risk reduction. Investopedia sums up the rising HR stakes for companies this way:
“Employee-related issues are [a] source of business risk. Labor problems may arise that impact a company's production. The need to retain certain key personnel may result in increased wage costs. Loss of key personnel can affect the company's performance and profitability – for example, if one of the company's top salespeople takes a job with another firm, or if the company loses a key product designer. Included in this risk category is management risk – the risk of bad management decisions for a company.”
Business value. How are organizations embracing collaborative technologies? How is the nature of work changing? How do we find and retain the best talent? How do we generate more engagement from our employees? Will changes in the nature of work fundamentally impact the competitive outcomes of organizations, or will we look back on this period of experimentation as a fad that will pass?
The signs are all around that something needs to change in how we manage the information systems that support employees on a day to day basis, and HR executives need to take the lead in driving this change. Studies by McKinsey, Interact and IDC all conclude that the average knowledge worker spends 20-30% of their day simply trying to find the right information.
Here are 7 features of employee management solutions that optimize business value:
- Ease of integration with on-premise or SaaS process solutions.
- Ease of use, including mobile access.
- Ease and speed of implementation.
- Automated digital signatures and workflows.
- Secure and comprehensive audit trails.
- Secure protection of private information.
- Built-in compliance and regulatory workflows.
Risk reduction. As we make our systems more open, responsive, and collaborative, how do we still protect the organization? How can we document what happens among and with our employees without getting in the way – but also without giving up control?
Consider for a moment the huge variety and volume of documents associated with HR processes:
- Job requisitions
- Job applications
- New hire pre-boarding and onboarding
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave tracking
- Employee status change notifications
- Employee referrals
- Timesheet processing and leave/vacation tracking
- Travel requests
- Expense reimbursement
- Exit interviews
According to the HR Specialist, these HR documents carry wildly varying retention requirements, making manual document approaches dead on arrival. Their advice?
- Don’t be a “just in case” hoarder; store records only for legal, operational or archival reasons.
- Retain and destroy documents systematically.
- Segment records according to a retention timetable.
- Don’t retain unscheduled temporary materials, such as drafts, reminder notes, work sheets or extra copies
- Don’t hang onto documents just for their sentimental or public relations value. Information must earn its keep, like any other asset. A comprehensive record of the past that fosters a “company memory” can be an asset but be sure to minimize your legal liability while doing so.
Creating business value while also reducing risk is not an easy task. Which means that an automated approach to managing HR documents and processes is not optional – it’s mission critical. HR executives can, and should, take the lead in adopting these new approaches.
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