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Why Lean HR Means Better Employee Care

An unknown author once coined the phrase, “If you take care of your employees, employees will take care of your customers.” Caring for employees has grown more complex, even for small businesses. Employees expect immediate answers and everything to work. Meeting their expectations requires Lean thinking. How do you ensure your HR function meets their needs? Caring for employees means aligning your HR system: process, platform, and people.

How Lean Are Your HR Processes?

A goal of being lean is to reduce waste. When waste is removed cycle time and accuracy often improve. A simple way to assess your HR processes today is to consider a few questions:

Does someone have to manually type information to get payroll submitted? If you have any of the following, manually entering information likely takes more time than you suspect:

  • Time worked for hourly or non-exempt workers
  • Unplanned absence and attendance point tracking
  • Time off balances (i.e. sick, vacation)
  • Shift premiums
  • Overtime

Tracking these variables and translating them correctly into payroll is a common headache for production managers, accounting clerks, and HR teams. If someone didn’t clock in or out or is absent your staff is spending time going back to confirm with supervisors what happened and make corrections.

Every time there is an employee event how many benefits vendors have to be notified? Employees have events all the time they are hired, leave, move, get married, get divorced, have babies, etc… Most companies have between 6 and 12 benefits vendors. If it takes 5 minutes to notify each vendor, that means it takes 30 – 60 minutes every time an employee has an event.

How long does it take for an employee to get a response to a simple inquiry? Do they have 24×7 access to a system or do they have to wait to speak to someone? And does that person know the answer or do they have to go into a website on their behalf or call someone else?

Which Platform Drives Your HR Service?

The vehicle that delivers your HR service has a resounding effect on how employees feel about your company. For example, manual or nonintegrated systems may frustrate job seekers, new hires, employees, managers and the HR staff as these systems are slow, error prone, and reduce productivity. Times have changed, and so has the business world. In response, employers are now seeking technology that improves the employee user experience, streamlines HR processes, and reduces the total cost of employment.

A 2017 report by ISG World revealed that small businesses are adopting cloud-based HR technology at a faster rate than larger businesses, mainly because of the system’s ability to scale quickly as the business grows. The ISG World report also showed that the companies surveyed had already fully implemented a cloud-based HR system for the following solutions:

  1. Workforce administration (34%)
  2. Performance management (34%)
  3. Learning management (33%)
  4. Payroll (32%)
  5. Talent acquisition (32%)
  6. Compensation (32%)
  7. Health and welfare benefits administration (30%)
  8. Time and attendance (28%)
  9. HR analytics (25%)

Cloud-based HR systems are receiving increased attention from employers, researchers and industry experts. While this might seem like typical industry hype, new studies are constantly proving an escalating adoption rate among businesses of all sizes. In this case, the hype appears to be justified.

The integrative ability of cloud HR technology creates a dynamic system with single sign-on access to update a spectrum of HR processes. Employees can access the system anywhere, anytime, and from any device (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops). Through a self-service portal, managers and employees can view and update information related to onboarding, benefits, time and labor, and payroll. Managers also have a range of standard and custom reporting options at their fingertips.

Who Are the People Performing Your HR Functions?

As a business owner you know how difficult it is to balance the day-to-day HR tasks against trying to grow your business. This challenge is why you have assigned HR duties. But, is your team proficient and adequately staffed?

In the context of staffing, HR is about finding and keeping the right people, both inside and outside the HR department. How many people you need for your HR team depends on various factors, including whether you have streamlined your HR processes, are using an integrated HR technology platform, and whether you are outsourcing your any portion of your HR functions to an outside vendor. In these cases, the HR-to-employee ratio  improves dramatically. The business results of this approach are allowing you to hold off investing in a dedicated HR person until you have over a hundred employees and saving over 20% on your total cost of employment.

The qualifications of your HR team are instrumental to Employee care. You wouldn’t trust a surgeon to perform a medical operation if they lack the required credentials and skills. Similarly, your HR team can botch your entire HR operation if it doesn’t understand the essence of Employee care.

Whether you perform HR in-house or outsource some of the functions, it’s important to:

  • Staff HR based on what you need, not what you have. Align the HR team to support Lean processes and focus on the work beyond your chosen platform.
  • Ensure your HR team has the necessary subject-matter expertise to address all HR challenges, from daily employee counseling to complex areas like employment regulations and insurance consulting.
  • Assemble a team that offers personalized service. For example, here at Axios, we assign a dedicated HR consultant to work with you and your team. This resource serves as an expert point of contact for all your HR needs, eliminating the need to call a generic toll-free number or go through several different people before finding an answer.

In conclusion, caring for employees means they receive great customer service, immediate answers and simple tools and process. If your HR function has lean processes, a platform that employees can easily embrace, and HR experts focusing on the right work you CAN meet and exceed employee’s expectations.


Photo credit: Freepik


September 21, 2017


Axios HR


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