When it comes to organizational efficiency, there’s a lot of talk about running lean. And while re-evaluating your processes is always a good idea, continually cutting staff in the name of increasing individual productivity can definitely backfire.
Take Human Resources, for instance. In an effort to save money and streamline procedures, some companies have decided HR is a secondary function that can easily be regionalized, downsized, and/or absorbed by others within the company. But is that really the case?
You don’t call a plumber when you have a toothache. If your goal is to get your business running at peak performance, why would you let anyone but trained experts perform the critical and often highly sensitive functions executed by HR?
Vital HR functions
HR departments typically handle hiring, firing, compensation, payroll and employee benefits. They may also deal with employee conflicts and complaints, including those involving claims of harassment and discrimination.
These can be tricky topics that require a specific set of skills and knowledge. Often, there are legal implications associated with these issues as well. Do you really want to pass these important tasks on to random individuals, departments, or third-party organizations?
If you’re thinking about making cuts in the area of Human Resources, you may want to think again.
You need experts
You don’t get really good at something by doing a little bit of everything. Excellence is achieved through years of training, experience, and practice. This is true in everything: sports, music, art, business, and yes— even HR.
It takes time to develop the communication, negotiation and people skills needed to build and maintain a great staff. And it takes substantial amounts of diplomacy and fortitude to deal with tough issues like employee conflicts, layoffs, and terminations.
In addition to allowing your Human Resources team to specialize in these complex functions, having a designated HR person or department frees up the rest of your staff to do what they do best.
Do you really want your accounting lead hiring the new administrative assistant? Or your CEO spending time answering detailed questions about your employee benefits package? Turning over critical HR roles to people who don’t specialize in those areas isn’t doing anyone any favors.
The financial consequences of handing key HR functions over to those less familiar with the regulations surrounding them can be huge.
· Fines for noncompliance
· Accusations of discrimination
· Wrongful termination lawsuits
You could start out pinching pennies, but end up hemorrhaging hundreds… of thousands.
Can you really afford to skimp on this crucial part of your organization?
Invest in HR
Your Human Resources team has their fingers on the pulse of your company.
They recruit, hire, and onboard staff. They know who your overachievers (and underachievers) are. They see your processes in action day in and day out. They know what works and what doesn’t. And they probably have some great insights into how things could work even better.
Instead of putting these folks on the chopping block, make this team your secret weapon. Bring them into the boardroom, ask them what they think, and listen to what they say.
They just might be the ones who can take your business from fantastic to phenomenal.