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What HR Can Learn from Other Departments Part 2: IT and Operations

CoAdvantage -In our first article in this series, we discussed how HR is unique within organizations because of its need to master a whole host of skills to execute its functions successfully. To that end, HR teams can learn a lot from other departments. Today, we’re going to look at two other departments: IT and Operations.

The theme here is “think big picture.”

Think Like IT When It Comes to Leveraging Technology

Technology is playing an increasing role in most HR organizations, far beyond the usual suspects of payroll and benefits administration. Today, virtually every aspect of HR functionality is slowly being transitioned into the cloud for any time, anywhere accessibility while making use of sophisticated platforms that use automation and analytics to deliver better performance. For example, according to the Hackett Group, world-class HR organizations rely on automation up to 80% more often than average-performing HR orgs.

But finding and deploying successful technology implementations is easier said than done, and here, HR can learn some lessons from their IT departments.

Principally, HR departments often look at technology at just some tool they use, but IT is always (or should be) focused on the business implications. If nothing else, technology that hosts company data outside of the company’s control creates “Shadow IT” issues where a completely separate organization’s IT policies impact the company’s own IT performance and regulatory compliance. Some of these Shadow IT issues may even have labor law dimensions, especially when it comes to HR technologies. Ultimately, technology isn’t just a tool or add-on; it’s a strategic investment that must align with the company’s larger objectives.

Think Like Operations When It Comes to Efficiency and Logistics

Operations is the department responsible for getting things done. They are responsible for, well, operationalizing business strategy. One of the most important functions an Operations leader undertakes is to understand and look at the big picture view, treating the component parts of a company’s structure and operations like a puzzle whose pieces should be assembled in the most efficient and effective way possible.

This is crucial for any HR leader or team that wants to showcase the ways in which HR can generate real value for an organization, not just complete transactional tasks. As the advisory group, KPMG wrote in the aftermath of the pandemic, “It is time for HR to be a preeminent value driver.” KPMG found that an overwhelming majority (70%) of HR leaders believe that HR needs to reinvent itself along these lines.

But becoming a value driver rests on aligning HR activities seamlessly with the company’s larger vision, mission, and strategy. Like Operations, HR needs to step back, look at the big picture, and figure out how the puzzle pieces under their control can fit together to generate desired results.

For more information, read our article, “Understanding How HR Creates Value for Your Business.”

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.

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