The COVID-19 virus has led to changes in virtually every major industry… especially when it comes to structuring operations and clarifying employees’ roles. Many hourly workers have found themselves taking on additional tasks to help their businesses adapt to pandemic conditions. For some, that has meant taking on extra sanitation duties or filling in for absent coworkers.
This is nothing new for HR professionals, who have historically been the back office jack-of-all-trades, but the added work as a result of the pandemic has been even more extensive, varied, and challenging.
According to HR Dive’s 2021 Identity of HR Survey, approximately 75% of HR professionals say they are performing duties outside the realm of HR, either on an ad hoc basis or as a permanent part of their jobs.
The burden of overseeing non-HR-related functions may be creating pressure on your HR staff to take on unreasonable amounts of responsibility and work within your organization. With limited hours to fulfill so many critical tasks, the potential cost of overextending HR shouldn’t be overlooked.
The Role of HR Has Expanded… But at What Cost?
When one considers how the role of HR has evolved in recent decades, it’s clear that the hardships of past year have stretched the functions of HR beyond their original intent.
According to HR Dive, HR has become more broadly involved in company strategy than ever before. Amid COVID-19, HR has evolved from being the liaison between employers and employees to a kind of consulting partner that helps with things like predicting hiring and operational needs, redesigning jobs, and optimizing existing workforce strategies to overcome existing barriers.
With so much to do, it’s easy to understand why HR professionals are reluctant to take on more. Having an ‘all-encompassing HR’ mindset could cost your organization time, money, and valuable HR professionals because it leads to overworked team members and resources being stretched too thin. For more on this, check out our other blog, “Curves Ahead: The Changing Role of HR and the Hourly Workforce.”
Non-HR Areas HR May Be Managing
What are some of the non-HR tasks your HR personnel have been taking on? More importantly, are there any ways to ease their burdens? Here are some of the non-HR areas that HR employees tend to find themselves wrapped up in with suggestions for how to help lighten the load:
- Operations: Tasks such as training or upskilling, sourcing ethical manufacturing materials, transitioning factory workers effectively back from furlough, processing the many forms of compliance, and fulfilling pay rate changes for specific employees can all end up on the shoulders of HR. It’s important to make sure your managers are participating and collaborating during these processes. The input and assistance of other leaders within your business can be invaluable to HR’s administrative efforts and safeguard your business overall.
- Technology Development: Because HR is concerned with helping employees do their job better, the adoption of new technologies often becomes a responsibility of HR. The use of workforce management software to boost efficiencies can default to HR unless you depend on a CTO, technology specialists, or other implementation group specifically. Continue to encourage collaboration between HR and the other areas of your business when taking these steps, or offload the burden by partnering with a workforce manager provider.
- Societal Issues: Managing the social views of your business can be a particularly stressful job in today’s world. Dictating stances on relevant social justice issues or societal debates via social media, diversity and inclusion statements, or employee programs all end up forced onto HR employees without appropriate designation. Consider hiring a social media manager or legal consultant as part of your team to ensure your business’s views are represented appropriately and consistently.
- Facility Management: Sanitation, worksite safety, and facility upgrades (ex. updating an employee rest area) have also become some of the areas where HR has been expected to pick up the slack. As an employer, make sure your HR staff feel supported and able to voice their needs so adjustments can be made if necessary.
Support HR with Human Capital Management
When HR employees don’t have the bandwidth to manage, technology offers a solution. When you adopt Human Capital Management (HCM) software, you enhance your HR efforts with the ultimate multi-functional tool. HCMs make it easier for your HR team to perform all the necessary HR functions from one seamless interface, so you’ve got added flexibility and time to spare each day.
At EPAY, we offer customizable workforce management solutions designed to help you drive workforce efficiencies, lower administrative costs and improve labor compliance. We help optimize onboarding and benefits administration alongside areas like time and attendance, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about how our system can support your HR efforts and reduce your compliance headaches, download our free HCM Buyers Guide.
Want to see it in action? Request a demo today!