5 Ways to Free Up Your Time With People Operations

Outsourcing certain systems can help your company put drudgework aside and focus on growth and development.

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Payroll, benefits, time reporting — find out how to move from rote tasks to work that’s more rewarding

An Operations Manager looks at the big picture: the tools, talent, and services necessary to maximize production, minimize risk, and get the job done. People Operations Managers work with the same overarching theme with an employee-first frame of mind. They look to provide the tools and services necessary so talent maximizes production, reduces risk, and gets the job done. They also look at the means to the end: are we providing a positive employee experience as we execute?

The challenge for businesses is to maximize the high investment made in talent with high-value tasks and production, moving drudgework aside. In today’s technology-driven business community, it’s never been easier to assure your staff isn’t wasting time on tasks that are easily (and often more efficiently) automated. It’s now much easier for employees to focus on work that enhances their own professional success and fulfillment as well as the bottom line. Here are 5 systems HR, office managers, and business owners should outsource to maximize people operations.

Payroll

Necessary but mind numbing, payroll processing is a weekly (bi-weekly) headache that eats up time and resources. For some organizations, a single dedicated employee manages payroll — rushing to get it done when the cycle is due, sitting idly between payroll runs. For others, payroll takes someone’s time away from other tasks (often the business owner) for processing.

Running payroll correctly means making sure:

  • Employees are paid for all the hours they worked
  • Taxes and FICA are paid
  • Employee contributions are withheld accurately, and
  • Reporting is done in a timely manner

When done manually it can mean dealing with time cards, spreadsheets, and calculator. When done online, with a payroll processing service, it can mean clicking “approve” at the end of each cycle and moving on with the rest of your day.

Payroll processing was one of the first services SMBs and large corporations leveraged to outsource an HR function, and it’s been servicing business ever since. The drain on resources payroll takes, and the need for dedicated employees to affect this bi-weekly service may have been the impetus, but assuring paychecks are accurate and taxes are paid is as important to business.

People Operations Leaders understand the drain payroll processing has on the HR department and others — some even remember stuffing paychecks in envelopes every week. Outsourcing this function not only optimizes worker time, it frees talent from rote tasks.

People Operations Leaders understand the drain payroll processing has on the HR department and others — some even remember stuffing paychecks in envelopes every week. Outsourcing this function not only optimizes worker time, it frees talent from rote tasks to concentrate on work that’s more rewarding and challenging.

Source: Zenefits

Benefits administration

Benefits are another high-touch/low reward task that HR professionals and business owners must perform accurately. Explaining every benefit option to new hires, and making sure they get their forms in correctly and on time is a repetitive drain on staffers. Annual open enrollment is a nightmare of paperwork, deadlines, and frustration. The ability to move new hires and annual enrollment off your desk means more than time saved: it allows professionals who are fluent in benefits to work with employees to choose the best options for themselves and their families. When there is an issue, outsourced benefits professionals know how to resolve problems, work with carriers, and advocate for staffers.

People leadership professionals understand benefits administration is a job in and of itself. Poring over policies to decipher insurance to staff members, and help them make the right choices or resolve issues requires time and resources better served by those whose job it is to do nothing else. And when it comes time for enrollment and annual re-enrollment, online services provide staffers the resources they need to complete paperwork, remind those who are late, and provide deadline-centric completion of the processes. Why dread December 15th every year?

Source: Zenefits

Onboarding

The resources it takes to recruit don’t stop with time invested and costs allocated. Bringing on a new hire successfully means making sure they make it past the first few months of employment and become a long-term employee. Studies show up to a third of recruits leave their company in the first 3 months on the job — costly mistakes for business.

Explaining the ins and outs of payroll, policies, and procedures can be easily outsourced to a third-party provider.

Successful onboarding helps business help the newest member of the team make the transition from candidate to employee. During those first, most at-risk, months, onboarding welcomes the new hire into the fold. It also gives them the tools and resources they need to acclimate to the organization, along with policies, procedures, and culture. But onboarding can be time consuming and repetitive. Explaining the ins and outs of payroll, policies, and procedures can be easily outsourced to a third-party provider. In addition to saving time for HR and administrative professionals, business is assured that every new addition to the company has been provided the same information and a consistent message.

People Operations professionals understand that some onboarding tasks, like assigning a buddy to the new hire, and participating in follow-up check-ins are best done personally. But for the basics, scheduling, and procedural portions, outsourcing is the best way to leverage new employee’s and HR’s time.

Source: Zenefits

Time reporting and scheduling

Time reporting is a task-heavy assignment for management professionals and staff members. Creating schedules, filling out timesheets, and verifying their accuracy to forward to payroll can represent a full day’s work for managers. Automated systems can help.

The best time reporting and scheduling services allow managers to verify minimum/maximum hours allowed, avoid blackout days, and assure coverage for the floor or department. Rather than scrambling for notes that outline which part-timer has school on which days of the week, the system is pre-programmed to avoid conflicts. The time saved here allows managers to get to their real work: managing their staff.

When staff members can leverage their own mobile devices, hands-free time reporting and scheduling is a boon for managers.
When staff members can leverage their own mobile devices, hands-free time reporting and scheduling is a boon for managers. Providing employees with the ability to track their hours, clock in and out, and resolve conflicts puts the power in their hands, and reduces time spent by managers.

Outsourcing allows staffers, managers and the company to track paid and unpaid time off, as well. No more sick, vacation, and personal time spreadsheets and conversations necessary: technology remembers all.

Source: Zenefits

Performance management

Annual performance reviews have given way to more flexible processes. But there’s still the challenge of keeping track of due dates, and information issued and received. People Leadership professionals leverage tech for reminders to management teams, use templates — either customized or stock — to set evaluation parameters, and even build out the process with peer-to-peer and 360 degree reviews. A challenge to master manually, when outsourced, even just the tracking of performance management can be a seamless time saver for management professionals.

Setting goals for staffers and teams is an integral part of an evaluation process, but requires follow up that can easily get lost in the shuffle. When the system is outsourced, reminders are set, goals are and tracked and updated, and results are integrated into the next review cycle. Outsourcing the nuts and bolts of performance management shifts the task from a paperwork/follow-up chore to it’s intended, high-value function: helping employees grow and develop.

People Leadership professionals know when it comes to talent management, using technology to move from rote tasks to employee training, development, and growth is the best use of resources for the HR team. For staffers, it allows them to get the resources they need, when they need them. When staff members can skip the time drains and move to high value/high reward tasks, employee experience gets a boost and the company’s strategic goals are met.

Source: Zenefits
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