How tech gives HR room for the human experience07.08.18
Chief Innovation Officer
For years, HR has been overloaded with more administration than human interaction. But is this the most effective use of their time and abilities? While HR teams need to be reconnecting with employees and building authentic experiences, the burden of admin is weighing them down.
What are the wider repercussions? Well, a survey of C-level executives in Europe found that 42 percent of respondents described their HR employees as too absorbed in processes and heedless of the big picture. Overwhelming admin workloads are swamping our HR departments and consuming valuable time that should be focussed elsewhere.
HR’s admin overload
Payroll processing, talent management, employee benefits… the list of HR tasks goes on and on. Where some large organisations have the luxury of reward managers, payroll teams and specialist recruiters, many still find themselves switching their attention back and forth between tasks. This is leaving HR overworked and unable to focus on ensuring employees are fully supported. Tedious administration tasks are taking up more than 70 percent of an HR professional’s time.
The sheer volume of administrative tasks within HR means that less than 30 percent of HR time is actually spent acting as a strategic business partner. Ineffective admin systems mean HR teams are losing out on valuable time to develop relationships and employee experience.
The future of HR is human
HR thought leaders around the world have been calling on a refocussing of HR departments. Many HR teams now have the attention of the board and are concentrating on how they can maximise the effectiveness of their strategic people-related activities by developing the employee experience.
According to Deloitte’s ‘The Future of Human Resources: A glimpse into the future’, the first thing that will determine the future of HR will be the quality of employee-employer relationships. Deloitte predict that the most successful HR teams of the future will achieve high levels of automation to develop the company as a personal career partner for its employees.
The Future of Human Resources predicts that it will deal with more human-centred issues around employee wellbeing. HR will focus on the employer brand and how that is marketed to the outside world – with the growing demands of a more diverse workforce and a seat on the board, HR will shape and lead overall business strategy.
Tech isn’t a replacement, it’s the enabler
Being overloaded with more tasks to complete than time to assign is all too familiar in the workplace, but with this refocussing of HR, the system needs an overhaul. In HR, tech is a necessary aid, not a replacement. HR must have the time it needs to build authentic relationships and develop human interaction with employees. In order to do this, organisations need to find ways to relieve the heavy admin burden currently resting on many HR teams’ shoulders, such as HR, benefits or admin management systems.
According to research by G&A Partners, one of the top time-consuming responsibilities within HR is employee benefits. It’s therefore no surprise that it is one of the most commonly outsourced tasks – and with a third of organisations increasing their benefits offering in 2017, the burden isn’t getting any smaller.
Online benefits are no longer a luxury
Nearly three quarters of U.S. companies have now moved their benefits management online to save money on admin. Online benefits platforms allow automated input and reporting, real-time data and live dashboards. Platforms such as our own OneHub give employees faster, smoother access to all their HR and benefits needs in one user-friendly place, while also allowing HR relief from admin overload. Through putting benefits management online, HR teams can make better, faster people decisions. Live feedback can be the difference between great employee experiences and only making changes once it’s too late.
With better HR management tools, HR is able to streamline processes, manage their resources and focus more on being the people-oriented team that the business – and employees – need them to be.
“We must simplify the load that we put on our people. Good experience design removes barriers and makes employees’ lives easier.” - Matt Macri-Waller
Does admin overload and an overworked HR team sound a bit too familiar? Why not book a demo session with our OneHub team to see what our bespoke HR management system could do for you...
Gethin is an award-winning psychologist who has been helping some of the world’s largest organisations to improve their employee experience and wellbeing for more than two decades. The last 11 years have been spent working as part of the senior leadership team at Benefex where Gethin leads thought leadership as Chief Innovation Officer.
As a frequent writer and speaker on employee experience and employee wellbeing, Gethin has been featured in Forbes, The Guardian, The Sun, The Huffington Post and The Financial Times as well as all major HR, Reward and Pensions publications. Gethin has been listed as one of the world’s top 101 Global Employee Experience Influencers for the last two years running, is listed on the Employee Engagement Powerlist, is one of LinkedIn’s top global contributors and an Inspiring Leader 2021. Gethin is also a regular keynote speaker, ex-Chair of Wellbeing at the UK Government-backed Engage for Success and a Fellow at the RSA.
In 2018, Gethin published his first book - the HR bestseller ‘A World of Good: Lessons From Around the World in Improving the Employee Experience’, which has gone on to inspire HR and Reward teams at some of the world’s best known brands. In early 2022, Gethin co-authored his second book ‘Das Menschliche Büro - The Human(e) Office’ a collaboration between leading academics and workplace professionals from across Europe. In October 2022, Gethin published his “third” book ‘A Work In Progress: Unlocking Wellbeing to Create More Sustainable and Resilient Organisations’ which also became an immediate bestseller.