HR Headaches: There’s No Budget for HR Software — Can I Still Run a People Ops Strategy Effectively?

Running a POPs strategy with no budget can be done by investing in your people.

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Don't have budget for HR software?

As People Operations (POPS) becomes one of the most critical aspects for any business, companies are looking for ways to implement their strategy without a budget. However, running a POPs strategy with no budget is not an easy task, and usually, the first and most obvious thought might be that you won’t be able to do much.

Not long ago, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) were once only available at a premium and required special skills to use. But in the last few years, Software as a Service (SaaS) companies have stepped up and made technology solutions more affordable. As a result, there is now ubiquity of robust, scalable tech for varying businesses and budgets, most of which are surprisingly easy to use.

Focus on small, incremental investments in your people to promote producitivity.

While no one would suggest working with nothing to get your strategy up and running, it is possible to run a successful people operations strategy with no budget by building it during your budgeting process. Instead, start by focusing on small, incremental investments in your people so that they can be as productive as possible. Read more about our POPS recipe to discover how to create a strategy around four main areas.

Find out where you stand

Before you begin the journey to find out which software solution to use, might we suggest taking the 5-level POPS maturity model? The results will tell you your exact position and how POPS-ready you are. Then, use our tool to identify, design, and create programs by outlining your current, desired future state, and the roadmap to get you there.

Don’t be afraid because you’re not a whale (yet). You can now access mobile, integrated, affordable, small tech that works just as hard and is just as smart. Based on Zenefits’ amalgamation of work with more than 30,000 small and midsize businesses, we can help you develop and refine your POPS programs.

Find out if your company is chaotic, reactive, moderate, scaling, or if you’ve reached POPS mastery. Where do you excel, and where might you need to make changes? How does your company approach data privacy, employee management, HR Data integration, process optimization, and other areas of POPS?

Automate administration and compliance (POPs strategy 101)

Automating as much as possible will save time and minimize errors.

After you learn your position on the maturity model, you’ll find that automation is, by far, the most important aspect of running a successful strategy. Ideally, you want to automate as much of an organization’s operations as possible. The whole point of investing in HR technology is to simplify or eliminate as much redundancy as possible. Let the software do its job by removing repetitive task errors, ensuring your systems are accurate across all automated areas.

No one likes busy work so take a load off your employees. Tasks like payroll, benefits, and compliance can be automated, freeing up your employees’ time to engage with the more strategic aspects of your business. Keep it human and allow your employees to focus on what they do best. Be there for your people with empathy, creativity, and strategic thinking. Your teams and your bottom line will thank you.

Build a great employee experience as part of your POPs strategy

While many companies claim that people are their most significant asset, 63.3% of companies say keeping employees is harder than hiring them. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average tenure for employees is only 4.1 years before they jump ship, depending on factors such as age, job, industry, and personal life. According to the 2021 Bureau of Labor Statics report, the annual turnover rate in 2020 was 57.3%, with younger employees more willing to change jobs more frequently.

Creating a great employee experience means looking at individual workers and team and working with their unique needs.

It’s a common misconception to think, “if we hire the right people and train them, we’ll get to keep them.” Having a well-designed training program may not be enough to keep employees engaged and productive. Contrary to the widespread HR professional assumption, training is not a magic bullet. However, don’t throw the training baby out just yet.

Building a better employee experience will require a combination of:

  • Flexibility
  • Learning
  • Recognition
  • Wellbeing

In contrast, unlike building company culture, creating a great employee experience means looking at individual workers and teams and building systems that work with their unique needs. By taking individual needs into account at scale, you’re showing your willingness to invest in your people, not just profits.

Create workforce productivity

Success is never a straight line, but you can make it less horizontal. Build success into your framework and let employees rise to the occasion. Pizza parties, Sambuca, and gym memberships don’t always do the trick of motivating your employees, so be the better company. Develop a culture that fosters high energy where motivated team members are rewarded for their hard work.

Collaboration (the key to a successful POPs strategy)

Improve workplace collaboration, engagement, and mobility. Since employees can operate virtually anywhere, they need to be able to collaborate effectively and efficiently. Make sure your team has space to work, a place to collaborate, and enough time to live their lives outside real and virtual company walls.

Positive feedback

Last but not least, create a culture of positive feedback because feedback isn’t just for customers. In a fast-paced world, your employees need to know that they are valued and where there’s room for improvement. 82% of employees appreciate feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. Prevent employee flight by encouraging managers to listen and foster frequent and open communication and transparency.

How ready are you to make that change?

While your best bet is to find a POPS software and dive in, you may be reluctant so if you can’t adopt a new strategy today, at least do the following:

  • Take our free maturity test.
  • Get as automated as you can. This doesn’t mean giving up your privacy or confidential data to an open-source solution, as you can easily automate most mundane tasks.
  • Stay open-minded, and don’t stop exploring. Just because you’re not ready today doesn’t mean you should forego automation and eventually find a solution to your future POPS needs.

Want to learn more about creating a solid POPS strategy? Sign up to receive our free POPS booklet. Let’s get started!

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