Do you want to know my biggest hot button? Wasting my time. I will always remember taking my first Franklin Covey time management course as an HR newbie learning the ropes at JPMorgan. I don’t remember that course because of any brilliant aha moments, or the nifty notebook time tracker, or the free pen. What I remember most was the take home self-study audio tape (yes, it was a long time ago) that began with a super human radio announcer voice saying something pretty simple, “Time – is a terrible thing to waste.” Years later, I still remember that voice booming in my head – louder each time, when I’m frustrated for having just wasted a precious moment in a lifetime, which we all can agree, is too short.
Administrative tasks steal our time
In this HR career we have chosen, it is a constant battle for our time. Perhaps more than any other department, HR spends an inordinate amount of time on administrative tasks, while trying to connect with employees, be strategic, and make meaningful decisions on important issues, like health and wellness, safety and security, and creating the best company culture to attract and engage the best people in the universe.
Outdated HR systems work against us
When it comes to the things that make work better for our own teams and the employees in our companies, I often find we are on the losing end of the budget battle for upgrades to our technology and infrastructure. We prioritize security, accuracy, and accessibility of data (keep those regulators happy please), and use finite budget dollars to do the best with what we have. As a result, we often find ourselves working with outdated systems that function to keep information in a secure repository, leaving very few resources for actually helping with daily tasks. Even when we roll out something “cool” to our employees, too often it is a shiny façade masking what is still a manual process behind the scenes. Yet, we hold it all together – somehow.
Getting back to priorities with new technology
There really is a way out. We do not have to resign ourselves to an inescapable eternity of busywork. If you're an HR executive who wants to play a more strategic role in your organization, there is a path forward. New advances in technology can steer us away from endless administration and move us towards more meaningful engagement with employees. Our CEO, Daniel Kraft, recently wrote an article called, “Revolutionize Human Resources with New Technology,” where he shares three advances that will help HR departments get back to the job of engaging with employees. Read his full article here.
At Sitrion, we walk the walk
Every once in a while, I have to step back and pinch myself – I have a CEO who writes articles about making work better for HR? Yes, I am very lucky! And so fortunate that Daniel, like me, also hates to waste time. So, we focus on what is most important, we communicate using the very cool technology that we build, we keep our daily executive scrums to less than thirty minutes, and we are very transparent and open in the company.
Thanks for taking YOUR time to read this post. I hope it has your wheels turning. You may have noticed it has been quite a while since you have heard from me here. I have had some awesome experiences over the past year, making new connections, and doing more to further my own understanding of what really makes work better. I look forward to your comments and hope to ignite some really robust discussion.