How to Reduce the Administration Workload in HR Departments ⋆ Margaret Buj

Human resources (HR) departments often get bogged down with administrative tasks like booking annual leave, tracking employee documents, and handling routine queries. This prevents HR staff from focusing on more strategic priorities like recruitment, training, and employee engagement. However, there are several ways HR teams can streamline processes and reduce their administration workload.

Enable Employees to Self-Serve

One of the most effective ways to reduce HR administration is to enable employees to handle routine tasks themselves through self-service. This empowers employees and frees up HR staff from constantly fielding the same requests.

Annual leave booking is one area that can easily be managed through self-service. Rather than requiring employees to email their leave requests and wait for approval, set up an online annual leave planner. Employees can check available dates, make their own bookings, and get instant confirmations. The system can be configured to require manager approval and send automated reminders, taking the burden off HR.

Similarly, use online portals where employees can access payslips, submit expenses, update personal information, register for training, and handle other day-to-day tasks. The more that can be transitioned to self-service, the lighter HR’s workload will be.

Automate Repetitive Processes

Another way to achieve HR workload reduction is through automation. Any repetitive, rules-based tasks that don’t require human judgment are prime candidates for automation.

For example, use HR software that can automatically track employee documents like contracts and certifications. Configure alerts to notify employees when renewals are coming due and digitally store files rather than maintain physical copies.

Likewise, automate any data entry such as inputting new hire information or performance appraisals. The system can auto-populate fields, send reminders, and even trigger next steps like notifying payroll once a performance review is complete.

Automation saves HR teams countless hours by removing manual busywork. It also reduces errors that can occur with manual processes.

Streamline Policies and Procedures

Complex or unclear company policies often lead to increased HR enquiries as employees seek guidance. Review existing policies around areas like compensation, performance management, and absence management to identify opportunities to simplify and standardize.

For instance, move to an organisation-wide annual leave policy rather than having multiple policies. Have HR data like org charts and job descriptions housed in a central knowledge base that employees can reference themselves.

Document all policies and procedures clearly and make them accessible to managers and staff. By making information easy to find and understand, HR will get fewer basic questions.

Outsource and Offload Where Possible

HR departments don’t need to handle every task themselves. Evaluate which activities could be outsourced or delegated to other teams.

For example, outsource background checks, visa processing, exit interviews, and other specialised tasks to vendors. Have IT handle employee hardware and system access setup. Assign a team member to be the point person for employee relations issues.

Offloading peripheral tasks allows HR staff to devote their time to high-value responsibilities that leverage their expertise.

Adopting even a few of these tactics can significantly reduce HR administration burdens. The result is an HR department working smarter, not harder.



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