Strategy | Value-added HR: 3 areas to focus your attention

Value-added HR: 3 areas to focus your attention

There is always plenty to keep HR teams on their toes on a day-to-day basis – but it’s also important to invest time, effort and resources into value-adding and strategic activities that will reap rewards both now and in the future.

We’ve taken a quick look at three opportunities for HR to do more: the impending arrival of IR35; the steady advance of artificial intelligence; and the shift towards employee experience which is already underway.

Have you got to grips with employee experience yet?

Everyone has had strategies in place for engaging employees for some time – but how far have you got with ‘the new kid on the block’ – employee experience or ‘EX’ as it’s often referred to? EX is a bigger, more encompassing approach which spans the entire employee lifecycle. It’s about creating strategies that are employee-centric at every touchpoint – from onboarding to the working environment, culture and technology. It’s a big deal and therefore a major challenge for HR to tackle.

And how well do you really understand the perceptions and views of existing employees? This goes far beyond engagement surveys – it’s about finding out what individuals are feeling, what is working and what is negatively impacting or practically hindering their ability to thrive at work. In order to improve employee experience, you need to uncover what’s really going on in your organisation and learn what matters most to your people.

IR35 is just a payroll issue, right? Wrong.

Payroll may be dealing with the practicalities of IR35 but in HR it would help to be looking at (and updating) hiring approaches to make sure you don’t inadvertently create more issues with new contractors going forward. IR35 rules are complex and can dig into all sorts of areas from benefits to briefing practices and overtime – all areas that HR can get stuck into and clarify.

You’ll also need to be checking records on your HR system are up to date. The lead up to IR35 changes going live in April 2020 is a great time to look at how HR and Payroll work together – including how effective and efficient your current systems are and if your organisation could benefit more from a different payroll solution.

Are you preparing for artificial intelligence?

This one is easy to put off – but that could be a mistake for lots of sectors. Artificial intelligence (AI) feels pretty futuristic, and some areas definitely are still quite a long way off, but AI is already impacting roles with lots of process such as finance, law and administration for example. Automating tasks previously done by humans is great for business because it’s much quicker, more accurate and consistent. So, there are two key points for HR leaders to be thinking about now: which roles are likely to be impacted? And what skills will the business need more of from its people going forward?

HR leaders could benefit from the planning tools included in learning and development software to take a longer-term view and ensure the workforce as a whole is evolving in step with a changing technological landscape. It’s all about being prepared for what’s on the horizon. 

For even more support and inspirational ideas about meeting your HR challenges then take a look at Access’ HR software, or download our new HR guide: Undercover HR Boss, to discover how to improve your employee experience. 


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