No Time to Make Free Time

Make Time for HRWhile it’s not typically talked about, free time to create a better, more efficient HR department doesn’t exist!

While this is not news as HR departments are typically ran extremely lean and are looked upon as overhead instead of a profit center, it is the truth in almost all cases. It’s not hard to understand why from a strictly financial perspective looking at the balance sheet. The pressure is on to do “More with Less” as there’s no direct revenue generated from the Human Resources department, right?

Often, you’re even too busy to realize there’s a problem, but your vendors can easily see it. They’re typically vying for a brief 15 minute window to share amazing new solutions that could drastically improve the efficiency of your department freeing up time. But for most leaders of HR departments, you can count on 95% of scheduled meetings being pushed or missed due to a hundred different reasons which all stem from one. “I don’t have time to create free time”.

The rub is easily understood. The work has to get done and there’s not enough time or resources in your office to do it. Add to this, payroll week, benefits enrollment or any other recurring nightmare and any meeting that isn’t directly related to the never-ending forest of trials and challenges of completing these recurring tasks must be pushed.

So what’s the Solution?

Well there’s no perfect short-term solution but there is a long term solution called “Time Management Investment”. “Time Management” is an age-old term that thousands of books have been written on that have been ignored for years in the HR department. You may even think you know what the phrase “Time Management” means, but do you? The answer is easily evidenced if you’re rescheduling meetings set that may have improved your efficiencies because you’re too busy to take them.

The dictionary says “Time Management” is the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively, especially at work.

It doesn’t say “the ability to get a tasks done at all costs”.  And adding the word “Investment” helps make it clear what’s needed. I.e. It should result in a return. The “Investment” time we’re talking about has to be blocked off and invested no matter what! It’s the only way things will change. Do you currently have at least 1 hour of blocked off time once a week to make this investment into your departments future? How about once a month? You’re not alone.

While you can’t take every call and meet with every vendor, keeping abreast of new technologies that improve the way your HR department operates is MANDATORY! And just educating yourself and taking a couple meetings still won’t create a return.

“Implementation” is the second reason that leaders of HR departments don’t want to even consider solutions that may save them time in the long run. Implementing these solutions can often take a great deal of time and who’s going to do it? There’s a short answer is you through intelligent leadership, not more work.

If you don’t have the time to do it, it must be delegated. And if you don’t have a person to delegate it to, you must invest the time to talk / battle with your executive team to get the resources, even if it’s a temp to delegate the implementation to so your department as a whole realizes the return.

Still wondering if you understand “Time Management Investment”?
Answer just a few questions to see.

  • Is your human resources department efficient?
    A) Well if you don’t have any free time, the short answer is no.
  • Are you still using filing cabinets?
    A) Document Management Systems that are built into your own HRSoftware system, not a payroll or Benefits software, make the most sense due to document retention compliance requirements.
  • Are you still using Excel spread sheets for employee information?
    A) Perfectly fine for the 80s.
  • Are you still having employees sign paper forms?
    A) Get signatures in minutes for any form. And using E-Signature that’s built into your HR Software keeps all documents in one place. Don’t be suckered into using a payroll or benefits provider’s system. They hope you do so you can’t leave their services for lower cost or a better fit next year.
  • Do you have a single company portal that employees can get answers for time off, benefits?
    A) Time off calls, vacation calls, benefits calls etc. Take back that time with an online HR Software system.

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