Running an HR department is never easy. With so much throughput, both in terms of personnel and paperwork, there’s bound to be something that goes wrong. But the good news is that sophisticated HR departments have already solved many of the annoying problems that businesses face. With a combination of cunning and innovation, you can do the same, bringing your HR department up to date and solving some of your biggest and most intractable problems. Here’s how you can fix your most annoying HR issues.

Fix #1: Poor Discipline

Although businesses don’t like to talk about discipline, it’s a significant problem for many companies, especially those with bad cultures. Discipline can quickly break down if people start to observe poor levels of behavior from others in their organization, and can promptly begin emulating them, leading to issues with compliance, product quality, and relationships.

It’s the job of HR to ensure that systems are in place that deal with disciplinary issues in a quick and fair manner. HR departments need to collect all kinds of data and records, including statements of the affected parties, to carry out a disciplinary procedure fairly

Accurately storing documents for retrieval later is, therefore, a priority, and should be a core part of the function of the department. By visiting DataServ.com, HR departments can find out more about how to do this effectively. In short, they need to use a combination of technology and proper procedures to ensure that any disciplinary process remains objective and that they can retrieve relevant documents quickly, as and when needed throughout the disciplinary process.

Fix #2: Headaches Hiring Outsiders

Sometimes there’s no benefit to hiring a person to a full-time position in your company. You sometimes need a worker to perform a one-off job and then that’s it – the job is done. Freelancers and outside contractors are a fabulous resource for companies needing things like a website built or a marketing strategy because they help them avoid all of the costs and overheads of employing a person in-house.

But for HR departments, hiring outsiders to do temporary work within the company can be a bit of a headache. The main reason for these headaches are inconsistencies in the training and qualifications of those outside the company compared to internal employees. Outsiders may not attain the same technical or ethical standards of those who have been through company training, or they may not hold the right qualifications.

 

It’s the job of HR departments, therefore, to adequately screen these outsiders to ensure that they are streamlined with the company values. HR departments must ensure that they hold all the relevant data on all people entering their company, just in case it turns out to be significant at some point in the future. Finally, disputes between temporary and permanent staff may arise, so again HR departments must ensure that they keep adequate records.

Fix #3: Health And Safety Compliance

Every year, people get injured at work. It’s a sad and inevitable byproduct of doing something productive, even in ostensibly safe environments, such as offices. Health and safety regulation, however, can put businesses at legal risk when somebody gets hurt. Companies may be forced to pay out large settlements or lose their license to operate if it can be demonstrated that they acted negligently and did not perform all their legal duties.

 

Ensuring health and safety compliance is not solely the job of the HR department, but HR is instrumental in ensuring that employees receive the right training. HR departments, therefore, must ensure that they have met their legal duties and can show that they take the health and welfare of employees very seriously. It’s imperative that they demonstrate that employees have attended specific courses on safety and that they keep all details of health and safety disputes in easy-to-access records. Quality HR software can now unify records across departments, allowing any relevant stakeholder to gain access and help deal with the issue.

Fix #4: Low Productivity

Low productivity is the bane of many small businesses, and it shows up in the national data. Data from voxeu.org show, for instance, that there is a large chunk of very productive companies where individual employees are generating more than $100,000 each of revenue per year, and then a “long tail” of highly unproductive companies where average yearly revenue generation is less than a third of that figure.

HR departments have a leading role in ensuring that companies remain productive. Not only does low productivity lead to a lack of competitiveness, but it could also be a sign that your company lacks the drive and discipline required to succeed in the marketplace in the long term.

HR departments need to be at the center of data collection efforts to identify the sources of low productivity. One of the things that they can do is host what’s called a “time and motion” report. The purpose of this is to track employee workflows and identify possible gaps or breaks which could be leading to productivity issues. HR departments can also evaluate whether the structure of the company is right and if departments may need reorganization to maximize efficiency. Finally, HR departments can work closely with all departments in the business to ensure that there is adequate “cross-talk” between different sections, and provide training and other interventions if not.

Fix #5: Costly Recruitment

Recruitment can be an expensive and time-consuming business. Often there are dozens of applicants for a single position, involving many hours of human time to process. Although many companies use external agencies, recruiting new people often falls to the HR department.

The first step of any organized HR department is to store each CV in a way that facilitates secure processing. Not only will the content of the CV need to be saved, but also ancillary details, like the applicant’s name and address, so that they can be contacted if they get the job. HR departments, therefore, need software solutions that allow them to compare and contrast CVs and that integrate with email so that they can inform applicants of their success (or not).