Engaged WorkforcePerformance Management & Rewards

Don’t Outsource Relationships

Outsourced services allow you to focus on and build relationships with people while managing non-relationship transactional services.

by Roy Saunderson

You may have the greatest and best outsourced HR services under the sun. However, if you don’t make time for your people—one-on-one and collectively—you could lose them to some competitor’s outsourced recruiting company. And that would be quite ironic.

Outsourced services are simply a tool. They remove burdens of transactional processes and allow you to focus on people. You cannot outsource relationships.
When recruitment processes are outsourced, time and energy spent on your behalf through screening, testing, and interviewing ensure a better potential candidate. Without this step you might have someone who “fits” the job but might not fit within your organizational culture and future planning. On-boarding an individual into the company involves HR directly and gives a new hire the opportunity to connect with senior leaders and become immersed in the organization.

Rewards and recognition can easily be managed by outsourcing providers automating incentives for areas such as performance measures and health compliance. Certificates of accomplishment can be sent with e-mail notification to employees and managers. By integrating with HR databases, service awards can become a well-oiled machine with on-line notices and catalogs offering an array of preferred gift items. The critical link on making the automated process meaningful is in the time and care taken with items such as wording used on certificates and in e-mail notices. You had also better make sure the leader presenting awards pronounces employees’ names correctly or you will have lost all value of any service provider.

This addresses what I call giving “real recognition,” which is defined as any thought, word, or deed toward making someone feel appreciated for what they do. It requires human interaction, whether face to face (always best) or taking time in being specific on achievements when writing automated eCards or emails.

We are all unique, and our workers expect to be treated that way. By allowing as many affordable options available through benefits administration and employee assistance programs, you demonstrate respect and concern for their welfare. Providing self-service portals, for instance, gives flexibility and convenience. Gone are the days of arranging appointments with overworked HR personnel.

Health and wellness processes assist with encouraging people to take health risk assessments and becoming more engaged in wellness programs and coaching. Linking health and wellness with incentives may help encourage those who sat on the fence. Giving employees a chance to share their personal health transformations in communications is an outcome far beyond the reduced health claims costs and absences.

A great motivator for keeping high-performing and talented employees is professional development. With on-line database systems managing training and development records, cued reminders enable you to stay on top of an individual’s goals and progress. You can better retain people when concentrating on their specific career and learning plans. This permits improved strategic succession planning. It can also connect pay-for-performance programs or integrate with performance reviews.

Consider the fact that only 35 percent of unscheduled absences are due to personal illness (CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey, 2005). Having an absenteeism or time and attendance system in place allows you to zero in on the other 65 percent who are away due to other reasons like family issues, personal needs, and stress. When you don’t have to divert energies on crunching out figures, you can focus on people as individuals with real problems and real needs. Coaching managers on how to address absenteeism effectively brings the human part into your resource management. Exhibiting compassion in the workplace shows you care more about people first and not just the results.

Perhaps you wonder whether it makes a difference if it’s your voice or that of the outsourcing provider. Outsourcing providers are best at what they do—which is creating systems to manage transactions. HR professionals must never forget their important role in transforming people and organizations.

Relationship building is about keeping the HR professional in the outsourced equation. HR professionals are experts in developing and executing organizational strategy. Their role extends into managing the workforce needed to make an organization successful. And it takes people to execute strategy and produce work and objective outputs. So never forget to build and keep relationships right where they belong…with you.

Tags: Engaged Workforce, Performance Management & Rewards

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