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The strategic cost of employee management minutiae

As the traditional role of HR continues to evolve,one thing is clear:HR pros want to be more productive and involved by handling bigger issues that directly impact the company and its bottom line.

Recently, HR Daily Advisor, in conjunction with BambooHR, polled more than 1,300 U.S.-based HR professionals to gauge their thoughts and attitudes regarding the challenges they’re currently facing and how they spend their time versus how they think they should be spending their time. Not surprisingly, the survey confirms that employee management takes up the majority of their time. But while they feel it’s a necessary part of their job, many HR pros feel like they should be spending their time participating in higher-level functions.

HR professionals want to play a more strategic role in the company; they see their role and value as extending beyond minutiae like employee paperwork, payroll processing and routine trainings. They want to own the role of managing and overseeing company culture and would like to be more involved in activities such as workforce planning. They care about their careers and strive to consistently attend HR- related trainings, but they would like to spend even more time on professional development.

HR professionals feel they understand the needs and issues of employees better than managers and executives do, yet they feel it’s management’s responsibility to make sure that employees are both happy in their jobs and being productive. In a more-involved, strategic role, HR professionals would like to do more to help rectify that disconnect, respondents believe. This study illustrates how HR practitioners perceive their role and how they’d like that role to develop as the modern workplace evolves.

Key results

HR professionals spend the most time on: Employee management (answering questions, resolving issues, recognition, discipline); 71 percent of respondents felt like it consumed a lot or most of their time.Company policies and compliance; 54 percent of respondents felt like it consumed a lot or most of their time. Recruiting ( job fairs, listings and posts, reviewing resumes, reference and background checks, interviewing); 42 percent of respondents felt like it consumed a lot or most of their time. The No. 1 task that HR professionals said they would like more training on was “workforce planning” (40 percent), followed by: Professional development (34 percent); Managing and overseeing company culture (32 percent). The  percentage  of  respondents  at   businesses  with   500+ employees  who  noted  “managing  and   overseeing  culture” should consume more time was much higher than from those at smaller businesses.

Overall, this study shows that HR professionals are seeking to improve their job performance and enhance their role within the company. And as back-office technology and the modern workplace continue to evolve, the once traditional view of HR will adapt alongside them, continuing to usher in this new era of HR.

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