Moving from Operational HR Management to Strategic HR Management

The Human Resource department plays a key role in every organisation. Right from hiring, interviews, salary management, payrolls, and management of working hours, to performance and retention, appraisals, employee engagement, new ideas and processes to be implemented to seek the best talent in the market, HR has a very important role to play. While HR is known to all of us as one particular department, in reality, its functionality includes two types, namely Operational and Strategic. Smaller organisations may have common people to take care of both the types while bigger organisations would choose to bifurcate the process for a more organised approach.

A good and efficient HR team is the one that carries out all the responsibilities falling in both the categories efficiently. Unfortunately, in most of the companies today, irrespective of their category, most of the times, the HR workforce ends up taking care of mundane day-to-day activities such as keeping a track of time and attendance of the employees, shift management, leave management, payroll, etc. These tasks, though important, tend to put the HR department in a static mode with no significant progress. Long-term goals and strategies then take a second priority and in most cases is never looked into. So how can organisations tackle this problem? How can they ensure that the regular tasks are taken care of while a substantial amount of time and effort is also given to strategic planning for the future of the company?

The answer is technology! The increased advancement and growth in the technological world has brought us to a point where the use of certain software can automate a major part of the responsibilities carried out by the HR. This can enable HR to be more productive in terms of carving out a good future for the company as well as its employees. Let's take a look at the core HR activities of any organisation and aspects related to their operational and strategic management

Performance Management and Employee Engagement:

The performance review of a particular individual or department essentially needs to be carried out on a short and long-term basis. Tasks such as analysing reviews, compensation, benefits and being available to answer the employees' queries would need to be done on a daily basis. These tasks, if automated, will provide room for strategic management activities such as defining the skills and knowledge that are vital to the company's growth. With proper tracking and monitoring of the company resources, Strategic HR management can design initiatives to establish an environment that fosters innovation and creativity.
 
Employee relation management involves operational activities such as maintenance of policy, compliance, complaint management etc. A more strategic activities involve alignment of the hiring strategies based on the business goals and engagement with the right talent to help the company achieve its business goals.

Orientation and Training:

Employees need to be given regular trainings so as to ensure that the company as a whole follows a universal style of working. In other cases, such as shifting teams or introduction of a new software, too, training needs to be provided. Technology, when used for these daily training sessions and workshops, will provide leeway to the HR team to take care of other aspects such as aligning the future goals of the employees to that of the company's; thereby giving the employees the personal importance and a sense of belonging.

Compensation and Benefits:

Monthly payrolls, time tracking, management of leaves, holidays, incentives, etc. are a part of regular set of activities for the HR department. Setting performance scales and creating measurable results for grading purposes also make up their operational tasks. However, HR also needs to get into an analysis to consider aspects such as company profitability and how performance metrics can be adjusted for more aggressive efficiency. The use of technology can eliminate the need for constant monitoring and allow HR to design Employee Reward Programs and Benefits Programs to keep the employees motivated and engaged with the company.

Recruitment:

Getting the right candidates for the right roles is a very tough task and the HR needs to get into ground level activities such as attending job fairs, conducting interviews in colleges and universities, conducting background checks, and orienting new employees to the company environment. A part of this process, such as background check and orientation, if automated, will give more scope to the HR to undertake activities which will enable appropriate shifting and promotion of employees within the organisation. Working towards building a good rapport and partnership with local universities will also prove to be a great long term goal. 

The pace at which individuals and organisations are growing in the professional world shows that maximum efficiency and stability can be achieved only by resorting to the power of technology!