Human Resources regularly takes on (or is given) projects or tasks that fall outside of its core strengths and primary focus — people management. Instead of allocating your limited staff time and resources to build the talent in-house, look outside of your department. Often, the support you need is closer than you think. In this article, we look at how tailgating responsibilities to other departments or external sources accelerates your efforts and reduces organizational drag.
Four Key Strategies for Getting Back Your Time
Strategic thinking requires time and space. To elevate HR, we need to free up both. When we work with clients and HR professionals, we systematically walk through four methods to decrease their workload and increase their organizational impact:
We’re sharing our insights into each method in a four-part series on how to get back your time. This article is the fourth in the series.
Watch Today’s Discussion on Tailgating Tasks
Friend of the organization, Andrew Meyers, joins us for today’s discussion on tailgating. Andrew is the Human Capital Management Solutions Specialist at Mercantile Bank. He’s well-versed in helping HR professionals tailgate work outside their capacity or expertise.
How Tailgating Responsibilities Accelerates Your Efforts
When we say “tailgating,” what do we mean? Like drafting in racing, tailgating uses pace setters to reduce the time it takes you to get up to speed. In practice, it means aligning behind experts outside of your department instead of trying build knowledge in-house.
Below are a few examples in HR when it makes sense to follow behind a leader instead of trying to lead yourself.
Letting Others Manage Transactional Responsibilities
Transactional responsibilities, such as payroll and benefits administration, are perfect opportunities for tailgating. While they often fall to HR to handle, routine administering doesn’t requires HR expertise.
Business units like Accounting and Finance are often better equipped to manage those process. If that resource isn’t available in-house, transferring those tasks to a CPA will save you both time and money over the long run.
The opportunity cost of not tailgating those transactional responsibilities keeps you from improving your strengths and people strategy.
Instead of trying to keep up with the tax code or FinTech or trying to improve your administrative efficiency, outsourcing these tasks will give you back a significant amount of your time.
Partner with Vendors Who Engage Staff
Improving employee use of HR technology saves you countless hours in reactive work. But training others on a platform you didn’t develop isn’t always the best use of your time.
Instead of taking on the burden yourself, look to your HCM providers. Often, they have resources available to provide retraining and improve digital literacy. Having worked with numerous organizations, their programs will likely have a higher efficacy rate than what you develop in-house.
So when looking for vendors, consider their training and troubleshooting programs as well as their customer service. By selecting vendors who prioritize ongoing training, you can significantly reduce the time you spend troubleshooting user-error issues.
Find the Overlaps in Organizational Expertise
The demands on HR are growing, which is leaving HR feeling overwhelmed. But, instead of putting your head down to try to learn new skills, now is the time to look outward for collaborative opportunities. Much of the expertise needed to accomplish critical priorities for HR leaders already exists within your organization.
Are you struggling with finding candidates and building a strong employer brand? Leverage Marketing’s knowledge of market research, advertising, and branding. Are you unsure how to connect people analytics to the bottom line or use them to forecast future trends? Learn from Finance. Do you want to increase workplace flexibility through remote technology? Bring in IT.
Take advantage of the resources you already have by putting your internal partners in the driver seat. The less time you spend trying to relearn skills that already exist within your organization, the more time you can spend on the strategic work where only HR excels.
Look at where you’re currently dedicating your time and resources. Are those tasks deepening your expertise in people management? Or are they keeping you from it? Whenever you identify responsibilities outside of your core strengths, tailgate them to the outside experts who are better equipped to lead the way.