Change | 3 ways to drive efficiency in your HR function

3 ways to drive efficiency in your HR function
SD Worx

HR has been at the centre of the coronavirus crisis from the start; the pandemic has added more to the function’s already full work plate. As Sharon Doherty, Chief People Officer at Finastra states: “The volume of work for a Chief People Officer has never been greater”. As such, HR has to sort the work from the noise, the ‘need to do’ from the ‘could be automated’ or ‘that isn’t useful’ pile. Finding efficiencies, at such a business sensitive time, is a must in order to complete necessary tasks and keep transforming.

To help with that process, HR Grapevine has collated three tips below, showcasing where efficiencies could be found. Read on to find out more.

1. Reimaging organisational design – including for its own function

The pandemic is changing the way HR and organisations work. Now, unprecedented flexibility reigns - that is according to a recent commentary in Forbes. In an article written by Kim Billeter, a member of Forbes’ Human Resources Council, who describes how virtual communication is now definitely here to stay and that means businesses are flatter, non-hierarchical and agile.

“The virtual teams and remote collaboration once dreamed of by HR are almost certainly here to stay, and they represent an agility of thinking and behaviours that will help reshape the business landscape going forward,” she writes.

As HR as been at the forefront of how organisations have changed during this period, it is this function that will likely have the strategic insight to drive change. Yet, it mustn't forget to apply this process to itself: what is working, how does the function engage, what could change and does it need re-stratifying.

It’s as if that infamous Ram Charan article – on the need to ‘split HR’ – could be coming true.

2. Becoming more tech-savvy

According to Billeter, before the pandemic-sparked move to remote working HR was already moving at an accelerated pace – it just got even more complex, data-heavy and transformed at an even quicker rate during the pandemic.

She says: “The implications for your people strategy are endless — and the companies that are going to win in the long term are those that will show the ability to adopt newer technologies in response to the need for speed and efficiency, while also keeping humans at the centre of how they respond and understanding that this is a highly emotional and stressful situation for everyone — like nothing many of us have seen before.”

The takeaway for HR is crucial: understand how tech-first implementations, working patterns and changes are affecting your workforce and use these insights to drive efficiency and productivity going forward. As Billeter adds: “This isn’t simply a temporary change. In fact, many organisations are looking at this as an opportunity to reimagine work for the foreseeable future.” HR could be at the centre of this.

3. Being driven by payroll

During the pandemic, the UK Government was relying on at least one major British employer to help them track where coronavirus was, geographically, hitting hardest. This allowed the Government to plan how to deal with the impact; for the employer, it allowed them to know how to manage talent, sickness, hiring and strategic business management.

Yet, this was only possible because their payroll was mature and functioning – allowing firms to align payroll operations and data with wider business objectives and challenges - increasing operational efficiencies and employee engagement. But payroll rarely gets thought of in this way. However, an optimised payroll could help with efficiency and with cost savings – crucial at a time such as this.

If you want to get a better understanding of your payroll function, why not take advantage of an efficiency review with our partner SD Worx? To get started, simply complete the form below.

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