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Article Contributed by Rachelle Wilber

Human resources, also called human resources management or HRM for short, could easily be renamed the “people department.” In its most traditional implementation, human resources is in charge of recruiting, hiring, training, tracking and firing, as well as legal compliance, benefits oversight and dispute resolution.

So it is no wonder even the savviest of entrepreneurs and business owners are often found scratching their heads when attempting to describe or quantify HR’s value or function. In this post, learn four easy ways to streamline, simplify and improve HR outcomes in your company.

Automate Routine Functions

There is an undeniable part of the human resources department’s regular workload that is highly routine. Examples include collecting employee time sheets, monitoring time-off requests, processing expense reports, submitting payroll, tracking benefits usage and more.

Today, human resources software is available to reduce tasks such as these – which used to take hours – down to minutes each week. By automating routine tasks, you can free up your high value HR staff to use their time more productively and efficiently.

Opt for High Return Recruiting Methods

A huge facet of any successful HR department’s role is recruiting and hiring the right talent for the right roles at the right times. Since losing even one trained staff person can cost anywhere from half to 400 percent of that individual’s annual salary, it is in the company’s best interests to hire the right person the first time.

Not surprisingly, this will require rigorous review of recruiting and hiring success to date, and perhaps a migration away from traditional recruiting towards social media, which has been shown to boost hiring results by 2.5 percent over traditional methods.

Go as Paperless as Possible

Not only does using paper increase your overhead costs, but it reduces employee productivity. For the paper-intensive traditional HR department, moving to a paperless workplace and using human resources software can show a near-immediate improvement to productivity and profitability. This is especially significant in a department which historically has had its own challenges with quantifying its impact on the company’s bottom line.

By bringing in new HR software tools and fully using cloud-based file sharing and storage solutions, digital document signature services and mobile-friendly connectivity tools, you can add “sustainable business practices” to your company’s community impact, reduce your monthly overhead costs and improve the productivity of your HR staff at the same time.

Be Sure Your Employees Know What HR Can Offer Them

It makes little sense to maintain a human resources staff if your employees have no idea what they do or why they are there. A fully functioning, connected HR staff can make the difference between disconnected, disgruntled employees and a workforce that feels heard, valued and supported to do their jobs and be fully rewarded in turn.

Be sure your workforce knows that HR is there to help them use their company benefits, resolve disputes, maximize retirement savings plans, make use of all training resources and ensure each employee receives equal rights and opportunities within the context of their individual roles. Encourage your HR staff to connect individually with each employee as well to answer questions and provide support as needed.

By implementing these four tips within the context of your company’s human resources function, you can not only improve the productivity of your HR staff, but you can do the same with your workforce company-wide. Perhaps even more critically, a high-functioning and productive HR department can translate to improved his value employee retention and growing profitability for your company’s bottom line.

Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;



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