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Why Too Many HR Departments are Unproductive

For the important role they play within every type of organization or business, HR departments too often lack that… human touch.

This isn’t their fault, however, as countless talented HR professionals are buried under cumbersome tasks and receive zero help from their outdated HR systems.

If this describes your organization, it’s likely you view HR as an unproductive time suck or a necessary evil to be avoided at all costs. This problem is compounded every time you invest in human capital by hiring employees within your organization without truly investing in a system to properly onboard, manage, and engage staff.

The result is unmotivated employees, unchanged processes, and expensive turnover.

In many cases, HR departments are a mess due to misaligned priorities.

Consider, for example, the amount of time and resources your company invests in client acquisition and product/service delivery. Now, compare that to the amount of time and resources you invest in onboarding, training, and retaining employees.

If the discrepancy between the two is large, you likely have an HR problem.

If an unhappy client leaves, alarm bells are set off and questions start flying:

“What did we do wrong? What did we promise that we didn’t deliver? Where did we fall short? Why was our competition able to steal them away from us?”

When an employee leaves, there aren’t alarm bells or questions. Managers chalk up the loss to a flaw with that employee, a bad fit, or a symptom of the industry.

Leaders Have the Wrong Focus

The truth is if you want to deliver on the promises you make to your clients, your people are the vehicle by which you follow through on those commitments. If you’re struggling to motivate them and not batting an eye when they leave, you’re missing something.

This disconnect in HR often occurs because management spends too much time on repetitive tasks and paperwork instead of on the company’s people and its mission.

Outdated systems have such a high labor requirement that business leaders spend way too much time reviewing paperwork and signing off on employee requests. Managers in this situation often feel like their plates are too full to take on anything extra.

Their “time investment” in “HR” is already huge, so they can’t imagine doing more work on this costly time suck called HR that seems to just drag the organization down.

Leaders bogged down with routine tasks are too busy working in the organization rather than on it—and that’s a problem. Luckily, there is a solution.

Shifting the Focus to People

Out of touch HR departments should aim to make HR about people again. The way to retain top talent is by communicating value via systems and employee benefits.

If you’re a CEO, executive director, HR manager, or other leader struggling with antiquated HR systems, high turnover, or other stagnation in your organization, it’s time to examine your people processes to ensure they’re working for you.

If you don’t have HR systems, you need to implement. If your systems are outdated, it’s time to look at automation as a key to solving your HR woes. You want to remove the daily drudge work and get back to the business of leading. Then, you can focus on growing, training, and mentoring your people—your true competitive advantage.

When you properly develop and manage your people, you’ll have more confidence acquiring, servicing, and maintaining clients; accomplishing your organizational mission; and delivering on your promises to your team and your customers.

This may sound like a lofty goal, and that’s because it is. However, automated HR systems are designed to make the complicated uncomplicated, so don’t fret.

Look at your systems and processes, see where improvement is needed, and then seek out vendors that can provide or build the type of system you need to move forward.

For more on HR, pick up a copy of my book: People Processes: How Your People Can Be Your Organization’s Competitive Advantage.

About the author, Rhamy

Rhamy grew up watching and working with his mother and grandmother in the senior insurance market. This familiarity with the struggles faced by people trying to navigate the incredibly complicated and heavily regulated healthcare market led him to start Poplar Financial while working on his degree at the University of Memphis. After completing his MBA and Bachelors in Finance and Economics, Rhamy guided Poplar Financial through the disruptive opportunity that is the Affordable Care Act. Since then Poplar Financial has received numerous awards from major insurance carriers and has completed its fourth year in a row of doubling in size. Now his team focuses on the processes around human resources and specializes in providing companies with between 20 and 1000 employees with the payroll, benefits, and HR needs.

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