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HR Operations Automation Handbook - Tonkean

HR Ops teams, who are sometimes referred to as People Ops teams, are key aspects of digital transformation efforts, and are integral to improving the Employee Experience

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HR Operations
In this Handbook:

HR Operations, though historically undervalued, sits at the center of a crucial transformation currently taking place inside the enterprise. It’s defined by a transition away from a brand of impersonal, coldy technical operations to a way of doing business that’s people-centric, customizable, and ultimately more effective. Human Resources are leading the way. HR Operations teams, who are sometimes unsurprisingly referred to as People Ops teams, are key partners in support of this work.

 

In the wake of movements such as the Great Resignation, the success of HR Ops teams in helping HR facilitate this transition constitutes nothing less than a mission-critical competitive differentiator.

What is HR Operations (or, People Ops)?

Both People Ops and HR Ops (for our purposes here, we’ll be using the two terms interchangeably) refers to the people inside an organization whose job it is to ensure that the broader HR team has everything they need to ensure every employee in the organization is empowered, engaged, and invested in the company mission. They focus on optimizing the operations that inform the work of HR.

 

HR Ops teams who succeed in this undertaking tend to focus on a few key priorities. Here’s what those are, along with what executing on them looks like—and how your team can go about doing that better.

1. Improving the employee experience

  • What does “good” look like? > 90% of employees report feeling engaged at work in engagement surveys; > 8 employee NPS; high internal promotion rate
  • What do you need to achieve “good” here? Systems for regularly assessing how employees are feeling about their work; processes for brainstorming new ways to delight employees and iterating on them; true agile processes designed to implement improvements to better empower employees to exceed expectations in their roles—as well as to iterate upon those processes using feedback cycles; process automation tools which automate menial manual work for employees such that they can focus on work that both moves the needle and that truly interests them.

 

Dive Deeper: Employee experience is tied directly to organizational performance. A company can only ever be as competitive as its people are invested in the mission and engaged in the day-to-day work of accomplishing it. HR Ops can improve the employee experience by working iteratively to automate elements of employees’ work that are tedious and distracting, and by endeavoring to improve the company culture in accordance with employee feedback.

2. Increasing employee retention

  • What does “good” look like? 95% retention of organization’s top 10% of performers; < 25% sales rep turnover annually; < 8% employee turnover overall; < 5 years avg. tenure for employees overall; < 3 years avg. tenure for sales employees
  • What do you need to achieve “good” here? Faster and more effective employee onboarding processes; easier and more effective knowledge management systems; systems for regularly assessing how employees are feeling about their work; agile, iterative commitment to improving company culture; systematic, people-centric focus on improving employee engagement; processes put in places to identify internal successors for leadership positions

 

Dive Deeper: Employee churn is expensive. The extent to which organizations are able to more efficiently retain its employees is a product of several factors, including employee experience and company culture. One way HR ops can increase employee retention is by improving onboarding processes, iteratively improving the company culture, and working continually to make employees’ lives easier and more enjoyable.

3. Increasing organizational efficiency

  • What does “good” look like? > 80% automation of repetitive, “busywork” tasks such as data entry, manual data processing, reporting and compliance both within HR and out; 100% awareness of where to access up-to-date data and documentation both within HR and out; existence of a culture which celebrates ingenuity and innovation.
  • What do you need to achieve “good” here? No-code process automation tools HR Ops can use to create and manage automations; clearly defined goals; processes for internal evaluation and improvement predicated on regular iteration and feedback.

 

Dive Deeper: Far too much time is lost in the average enterprise on menial, manual tasks—such as updating data across systems—that could be automated. Further, needless mistakes are made when repetitive processes need to be run manually every time. Future-ready HR Ops teams must utilize automation technology in order to improve the employee experience inside their organization. Automation can play a key role in eliminating the need for employees to waste time and energy on menial work—as it can increase the efficiency of the organization overall.

 

Key, however, is that your automation tools are made accessible by a truly no-code interface, which ensures nontechnical employees are able to use them to manage the automations.

4. Increasing profitability

  • What does “good” look like? > 90% of employees report feeling engaged at work in engagement surveys; > 80% automation of repetitive, “busywork” tasks; 95% retention of organization’s top 10% of performers; efficient and effective onboarding processes.
  • What do you need to achieve “good” here? The existence of an incentive program tied to profitability; no-code automation tools that can be used to actively increase the amount of time employees are able to spend on work that creates profit; streamlined knowledge sharing, documentation, and onboarding processes.

 

Diver Deeper: Company cultures can be designed so as to not only prove enjoyable for employees, but incentivize greater productivity and revenue generation. This falls directly into HR Ops’ purview. In this work, HR becomes an integral partner to the business, rather than merely a back-office supporter of.

Glossary of terms

  • NPS – Net Promoter Score
  • Great Resignation – An ongoing trend in which employees voluntarily resign from their jobs
  • People Ops – A strategic business function that is largely analogous with HR Ops, and which is focused on putting the employee first by humanizing impersonal systems.
  • Knowledge sharing – The process of exchanging information between people, teams, or organizations
  • Data processing – A means of retrieving, transforming, or classifying information

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