Work processes should be designed with a disclaimer:
Caution: This process is meant to shrink over time.
It will become outdated due to changing technologies,
evolving labor laws and innovative thinking inside our organization.
Most of the processes in human resources require numerous steps, have built-in time delays, are confusing, hard to teach to others or just don’t make sense any more. The list goes on and on. Many procedures have outlived their usefulness. Do things really need to be so complicated? How are these inflated processes hurting the overall value and perception of human resources in an organization? Imagine what simpler procedures can do for a company’s performance and profits?
While I can appreciate attention to detail, we should not be choked by them in order to get work done. Nor should we continue along the same impractical path because that’s “just the way it’s always been done before”. What may have worked years, months or even some weeks ago doesn’t guarantee a long shelf-life in today’s fast paced world of business.
Some process-heavy areas in HR include hiring, onboarding, performance reviews and policy-making. Consider any of these:
- When recruiting, time to hire can drop by focusing on asking killer interview questions not by adding more questions as you search for the best qualified candidates.
- New hire onboarding should include online paperwork prior to a new employee’s start. Don’t waste time (yours and theirs) on their first day with administrative tasks. This way you can get to know your new employee, engage them and lead them to work faster on day one.
- Just as asking killer questions during the recruiting process is critical, it’s as important to do so with performance reviews. Purge the questions that do not reveal insights or drive calls to action by an employee.
- Create policies that are clear and understandable. Present them in the language of the company not the words of an attorney. Remember your audience is your employees.
When it comes to shrinking processes, why not think like Twitter, where you have only a limited number of characters or else you are muted. In this case, it’s a limited number of steps to a process. After that number, you’re muted and forced to get rid of any excess.
Simplicity can be a driver of efficiency. Doing a process audit exercise revisits the importance of profitability and everyone’s time and talent, all precious commodities to a company. Tedious methodologies affect not only those that carry out processes, but those that need to explain, train and monitor results.
Pick out one of your processes especially any that are time-consuming, have manual components, involve multiple employees and/or have not been updated in quite some time. Assess how many steps and the time and effort it takes to completion. Be creative and exploratory. Keep asking why. Then cut that number in half. From there, identify the absolute essential steps and what can either be eliminated or streamlined further. Maybe you won’t cut the process down by 50%, but you’re certain to find ways to identify the unnecessary to taper down.
Consider what simplicity will do for the employee experience, one of the trending HR areas this year. By removing convoluted process steps, it is easier for an employee who works within or through them to stay connected, reach a finishing point and gain a sense of accomplishment; all of which are motivating.
When looking at ways to shrink a process, employees as well as manager’s input will be integral, so invite them to the discussion and planning. Unclog the snags and when it comes to processes, allow for shrinkage, especially as they age!
Let us help you shrink your processes in onboarding and beyond. Explore the possibilities of Onboardia and talk with our HR Consulting Team. Call us at 800-771-8610, visit us at http://www.onboardia.com or Schedule a Demo today.
Cathy A. Reilly is the CEO & Founder of Onboardia, Inc., HR software, HR Consultant and the author of “The Temp Factor: The Complete Guide to Temporary Employment”.