Business process need to be linked to Human resources
Business processes and HR need too be linked together to deliver more value, the human resources function needs to spend more time accelerating operational improvement and less time on its traditional administrative and compliance activities.
It’s important for HR to decide what is core and non-core. Administrative responsibilities such as getting paychecks out on time are not core. In HR, we need to focus on what is important.
Exactly how can HR accelerate process improvement?
Bring people into HR with extensive operational improvement experience.
To get the “people” part of process improvement right, HR needs employees who can go toe-to-toe discussing operational changes with line managers. HR professionals need credibility to challenge line managers on whether they are improving the attitudes and skills of their people at the same time they’re redesigning their jobs.
Some years ago Dr. Hole worked with continuous improvement of the business processes in a medium sized Norwegian enterprise.
In the case one implemented continuous improvement into recruiting, rewards, and training of all employees. One restructured the HR department by hiring a director of organizational development from the outside since they didn’t have this function to help people adapt to process changes. The director oversaw the training and education, helped the teams on group problem solving and team building, and oversees employee engagement. The company brought in other talent from outside their industry and outside HR.
Streamline and offload HR’s lower-value administrative services.
Managers of HR administrative services such as payroll and benefits need to focus on running a consistent, reliable operation at low cost. To do this, they need standard, simple, automated procedures.
Large organizations often use shared or outsourced services so that other entities can handle these responsibilities. One can for examples implemented a new HR system to eliminate much administrative work.
Build an organizational development group in HR that includes operational improvement.
To often we see that HR doesn’t typically lead change, many people suggested separating the compliance, transactional, and administrative roles of HR e.g., in a group called “Personnel” from the more strategic improvement responsibilities. To focus on operational change, HR needs a department dedicated to it.
One need a change office with objectives: How to find ways to accelerate operational changes driven by new strategies and new business processes by developing people for new roles. Unlike the “Personnel” people who run a tight operation, these “Organizational Development” people should be change agents with a bias for operational innovation. And in addition to typical organizational development groups focused mainly on leadership development and training, this group should have operational improvement skills.
Of course, like other corporate functions, HR needs to continue to do a good job at core administrative functions, and line managers won’t accept offers of more value-added services if those basics aren’t covered. And providing administrative services and ensuring HR policy compliance can be all-consuming and comfortable. It’s easier to take orders from line managers and be a good service organization or enforce HR policies than it is to be proactive and take risks helping with the people side of operational change. But HR will continue to miss opportunities to deliver value if its leaders won’t take some risks and drive the people side of operational change.