Outsourcing Gives HR More Time to Address Employee Concerns
HR professionals can wear many hats, from making sure everyone is paid correctly, to onboarding new employees and administering benefits programs. As technology continues to evolve, many HR professionals find that outsourcing payroll and other administrative functions can be beneficial. By shifting focus away from administrative tasks, HR teams have the opportunity to focus their time and efforts on areas where they can offer the greatest contributions.
What Employees Expect from Their HR Department
A recent Paychex survey compared 1,000 employees' overall impressions of HR departments to 90 HR professionals' descriptions of their actual workload. Employees and HR professionals both most frequently named handling employee disputes as a primary responsibility of the department. Yet one-quarter of employees surveyed also claimed they were unhappy with the way conflicts were handled in the workplace.
To meet this particular need, it’s important that HR teams have the time to make conflict resolution a priority and implement best practices for handling such disagreements.
Finding Time to Address Workplace Conflicts
Many employees first interact with HR during the hiring phase, and may not communicate with them again unless an issue arises. When disputes cause a ripple in the office environment, employees may often look to the HR department for help. However, the HR professionals surveyed said that they spend the most time on recruiting and training new employees, as well as managing benefits – not handling conflicts. HR teams that are likely already stretched thin may need to re-prioritize their workload to make a greater impact where they're needed most.
Outsourcing payroll and other administrative tasks, like benefits management or certain aspects of new-hire onboarding, is one way to give HR departments more time to devote to important issues requiring their attention. When conflict arises, employees want HR professionals to have the necessary resources available to effectively address their concerns.
Conflict Resolution Best Practices
HR departments should consider implementing best practices for effective conflict resolution. Although it’s common for HR professionals to have training in this area, follow-up or refresher training could be beneficial. To add value to the process, you may want to consider:
- Helping parties clearly state and agree on the cause of the conflict.
- Encouraging both sides to meet and talk about the conflict with an HR representative present.
- Ensuring all company policies are being followed throughout the conflict-resolution process.
- Negotiating a solution agreed to by all parties.
- Following up to confirm that the agreed-upon solution is implemented.
As more companies recognize the time and cost savings available by outsourcing administrative tasks, HR departments can focus their in-house resources on what employees need and want.