Four Areas Where HR Needs Process Experts

HR Processes Are a Blue Ocean for Process Experts

Chintan Jain

HR Process experts

Achieving operational excellence through HR is not an easy task. To fulfill those rising demands and deliver more value to the business, HR as a whole needs to spend more time enhancing operational excellence and less time on traditional administrative work.

What's the delay? Most organizations are still holding on to their old manual HR practices. As a result, multiple HR processes are competing for attention and automation.

There are lots of HR tools out there, but very few of them actually address core HR process problems. Technology can plug in process gaps, but it can never unbreak a process. To get process improvement right, HR needs people who can withstand toe-to-toe discussions on operational challenges with process owners. In other words, HR needs process improvement experts.

The Need for Process Improvement Experts

The major problem HR leaders face is their tendency to defend the status quo. Most HR managers are focused on their primary mission to protect the organization’s policy. Their drive to ensure regulatory compliance makes them develop a risk-averse attitude. As a result, they become reluctant to embrace changes in processes and systems.  

Process excellence and improvement demands an outside expert who is ready to make analytical tradeoffs between the needs of employees and the demands to implement highly efficient processes and systems. HR needs process experts who are conversant in organizational and individual behavior while having an in-depth knowledge on process improvement.  

Four Areas Where HR Needs Process Experts

1. Streamlining and Offloading Administrative Work

It’s important for HR to understand and differentiate their core and non-core work. They need to spend less time on administrative work like setting up payroll and instead focus on keeping the operational cost low and reliable. In order to achieve this, they need to standardize their existing processes.

Before stepping into the realm of HR automation, organizations need to streamline their processes with the help of process experts who can help streamline tangled up processes, eliminate redundant tasks, and improve the efficiency of HR activities.

2. Keeping Pace with Changing Employee Demands

The evolution of technology has made interactions easy and changed people’s expectations for the better. As a result, employees expect and demand similar experiences in their day-to-day work. If this rising demand for employee experience is left unaddressed, it will either make employees bypass policies or worse, leave the organization in favor of one that provides better employee experience.

To prevent all this, process experts need to step in and help organizations find user-friendly process solutions that will tie HR activities to business results. An ideal HR system will strengthen employee interactions with HR processes and enhance employee experience without making a dent on the operational expense.

3. Enhancing the Quality and Reliability of Data

Data collected by the HR team contains invaluable information about the performance of employees and the organization as a whole. Improving the quality and accuracy of data can improve the efficiency and relieve some pressure off HR operations as well.

However, most organizations still depend on poorly integrated systems that demand too much manual intervention to keep things running smoothly. These outdated tools are neither customizable to meet current needs nor flexible to adapt to future requirements.

Standardized processes and HR automation offer more data points with higher accuracy to make better decisions. So, process experts need to:

  • Find a future-proof HR system (user-friendly, easy deployment, etc.)
  • Ensure the selected HRMS connects with other existing software
  • Help with the transition from legacy to automated HR software

The majority of the cloud-based data systems today come with corporate data standards that establish accuracy and integrity of data. As efficient automation makes sure that data is reliable and fit for use, the HR team can spend more time analyzing the available data and obtain actionable insights.

4. Sustaining the Talent Pipeline

While improving the efficiency of processes and systems are important, the main focus of HR investment must be people. Creating a solid talent pipeline should be the topmost priority for every organization.

While it may seem like an area where process experts can’t do much, they can help organizations reduce churn by establishing a result-oriented culture. The core of employee engagement and succession planning is data analytics.

By dragging HR away from manual reporting to automated data capture and analysis, process experts can establish a data-driven decision making process. Analytical HR will enable a better relationship with the workforce and create an environment where employees can be more creative, productive, collaborative, and agile.

Process Specialists Power Up HR Teams Across the World

Many organizations put on a brave face and hire someone out of left field with no HR experience to help drive their process improvement. However, with just a little exposure, process experts can gain the knowledge needed to transfer their knowledge to this important domain.

Process specialists powered up HR teams across the world by unlocking:

1. Continuous Improvement

Tony Scibelli served as the vice president of HR and operations at a large healthcare organization. During his tenure he wove continuous improvement into recruitment, benefits, and training. Additionally, he restructured the entire HR department by hiring an org development director to help people cope with process changes.

Scibelli, who was a process improvement expert, helped the team with problem solving, team building, and employee engagement. He also brought in a few other experts from outside HR. Infact, Scibelli himself came from a retail background.

2. Process Excellence

Similarly, a community healthcare system in Florida hired a process expert as director of performance excellence in 2008. After a year, he selected three internal facilitators to develop a pipeline of process improvement projects in HR.

These projects were focused on increasing the process flow, reducing delays and shortening the turnaround time without compromising the world class quality their organization was known for. These rapid improvement workshops helped the HR team implement process improvement ideas, bestow ownership across workforces, and sustain process improvement changes.

3. Performance Support

Cedric Coco, a Six Sigma Black Belt process improvement expert, was hired by home improvement retailer Lowe’s. He joined the team as the senior vice president of learning and organizational effectiveness and helped the organization’s L&D team move closer to the firm’s internal performance improvement team.

Additionally, Lowe’s hired outside consultants with performance and process design experience to help the organization assess its future talent needs as much as three years out. His main focus was developing people and building a culture that facilitates the accomplishment of business goals.

Bringing Process Excellence to HR

HR leaders find it easy to enforce policies rather than taking the proactive, risky route of implementing operational change. This risk-aversive attitude of HR leaders can cost organizations too many untapped business opportunities.

Only companies that manage to coax every bit of value from their HR investments can sustain in today’s technology-driven world of work. In order to achieve that feat, businesses need process experts who use their full arsenal knowledge of process, people, and technology to navigate the complex HR terrain and deliver results.

Process experts can help organizations develop the experience and services they need to meet the changing employee demands and deliver actionable insights to drive the business forward. With process experts by their side, HR can secure an important role as a strategic business partner of the organization.