As 2021 starts to wind down, it’s a good time to reflect on your HR operations over the past year to determine what worked, what didn’t, what can be streamlined and, in some cases, what should be tossed all together. While you likely go through this same exercise at the end of every year, this one is different. It is hard to fully understand how the pandemic has fundamentally changed how, where and why we work. HR has never been more important to successful business operations. The pressure is on, and the stakes are high. Might 2022 be the year you decide to outsource HR? Here are five reasons to outsource HR.
Shift From One To Multi-State Operations
This is a big one. As if ensuring compliance with federal and single state employment laws weren’t enough, many companies have shifted to multi-state operations. When the pandemic hit and employers had to deal with quarantines and stay-at-home orders, working from home became an overnight remedy. Many companies realized the majority of employees working from home were not only more productive, they reported a better work-life balance and were happier. The realization working from home could be a win-win situation for companies and their employees, remote work has become more commonplace as a permanent work arrangement. Employees who once worked at corporate headquarters may now be working from home in a close neighboring state.
This is particularly true in the DC-metro area with employers often having employees in VA, MD and DC working from home. Employers also realized they were no longer limited to their usual talent pool and geographical area. If an employee could successfully work in a close neighboring state, why couldn’t one work from across the country? This shift from onsite to remote work was not without its consequences, one being that employers must ensure compliance with employment laws in multiple states. When you outsource your HR, this very heavy compliance burden shifts to the HR outsourcing company freeing up your resources for other important corporate endeavors.
Motivating A Remote Workforce
Many of the HR challenges associated with post-pandemic operations center on remote work. While the majority of employees working remotely enjoy and want to continue it, there are challenges to this new work arrangement, one being how to keep those employees engaged and motivated. The old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind” is very true. Employees formerly working onsite enjoyed the camaraderie with coworkers that in-person working fosters. That connection is missing when employees are working from home. The importance of “water cooler” talk cannot be minimized either. Those opportunities to really connect with co-workers and superiors are practically non-existent when employees work remotely. A boss popping in to do a quick “check-in” on an employee goes a long way towards keeping that employee engaged and motivated to perform well.
An email, text or Zoom call doesn’t have quite the same effect. Employers with a hybrid workforce have even more difficult challenges keeping remote employees engaged. How does it make a remote employee feel to participate in a meeting via Zoom instead of in person with her onsite co-workers? When working with a HR outsourcing firm, you enjoy the benefits of their expertise acquired through working with other clients. A HR outsourcing firm can offer suggestions on how to motivate your remote employees based on what has worked with their other clients of a similar size and industry.
Managing A Remote Workforce
Managing employees from afar is difficult. Traditional managerial techniques may not work with a remote workforce. Recognizing and handling performance issues can be difficult when managers aren’t in close proximity to direct reports and don’t see them every day. Whether onsite or remote, employees must know what is expected of them by way of well-written, thorough job descriptions. A HR outsourcing firm can revise or completely rewrite existing job descriptions for remote employees to include new responsibilities required when working remotely. A HR outsourcing firm can also counsel managers on how to best monitor performance and recommend appropriate courses of action, such as written warnings or performance improvement plans, for under-performing remote employees.
Employees must also know what is expected of them to make the remote work arrangement successful. A HR outsourcing firm can draft a comprehensive telework policy that includes eligibility, performance and work hours expectations, safety of the workplace, timekeeping, equipment, cybersecurity, communication channels and situations in which the arrangement will be discontinued. The HR outsourcing firm can roll out the new policy to employees in a thoughtful and well-communicated manner so that everyone is on the same page at the same time.
For many companies, corporate culture took a direct hit during the pandemic, from which they are still recovering. It cannot be overstated the critical role culture plays in recruiting and retaining talent, driving profits and increasing corporate visibility. Highly valued, shared, common beliefs that guide every decision made by every employee in a company help cultivate a corporate culture, often taking years to establish. When the pandemic hit, corporate social events, working lunches, in-person team meetings and collaboration sessions completely stopped. Routines, traditions and events that normally sustain corporate culture were gone.
It is imperative that companies address this issue with innovative ways to bring employees together in meaningful ways, even with a remote or hybrid workforce. A HR consulting firm can help you “think outside the box” for solutions and can share what has/has not worked for other clients. For example, the HR outsourced firm can create and communicate a team schedule that optimizes days in the office focusing on connections, both scheduled and not.
The Great Resignation
We’ve all heard it and have dealt with its effects. Employees are and continue to leave their jobs in record numbers. Visier, a people analytics firm, recently reported at least one in four people quit their job this year, and the share could grow before the end of 2021. The pandemic caused people to reevaluate their lives and work which, in many cases, resulted in early retirements or career changes. Most experts agree it would be a mistake for corporate leadership to view this mass exodus as a temporary blip and that, instead, leaders should be examining ways to retain and build their future workforce.
A HR outsourcing firm can help leadership develop a long-term strategic plan to build back a stronger-than-ever workforce. Additionally, a HR outsourcing firm has access to large talent pools and other sources from which to find the best candidates for open positions. If desired, the complete recruitment and hiring cycle can be outsourced including interviewing, hiring, onboarding and new hire orientation.
Get Smart HR
Once you’ve decided outsourcing your HR is the way to go and know the reasons to outsource HR, Smart HR is the obvious choice for businesses in the DC-metro area. Smart HR is a company built on the premise of offering innovative, world-class HR services to its clients, ranging in size from a few to over 150 employees. Smart HR is well equipped to handle HR outsourcing and consulting support for organizations of all sizes, large or small, in private, non-profit and government contracting sectors. Call Smart HR today.