Why creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is important for Human Resources
Why do we need SOPs for Human Resources?
Well, this is the most frequently asked question to the HR department of any organization. Human Resources is one of the key functional areas in any organizational setup. Irrespective of the size of the business management often struggle with people management and faces few or most of the below-mentioned concerns.
- Complaints regarding Employee Onboarding
- Employee Attrition
- Employee performance issue / Employee Appraisal
- Employee dissatisfaction towards HR while handling grievances
- Complaints received from employees regarding Reimbursements/ Payroll Management / Grievance Handling / HR Policies
The Human Resources function has grown extensively and has now moved from a support function to the most critical function which helps in designing HR and People Management strategies. Hence, it is essential for the HR department to ensure all sub-functions are in sync with each other and the ownership for each sub-function is clearly defined. Hence, SOP for this function needs to be designed with the utmost attention to detail. Organizations today have transitioned the SOP design and management from manual to digital. With the HR function becoming more technology friendly, SOP management has now moved from being a manual process to a digital one.
1. Talent Acquisition
Talent is the most important factor which can make or break any organization. Hiring the right talent is not an easy job! Talent acquisition professionals often state how difficult it is to find the right match, especially for niche roles. While tapping the potential talent market it becomes important to shortlist candidates who are in alignment with the job specifications and also fit well in the company culture. HR teams should draft an SOP which will describe the entire talent acquisition process right from the understanding of job description till offer acceptance. Many organizations have now gone the digital way of recruitment. Various HR software programs are now available and are used by organizations.
The HR function is not far behind when it comes to leveraging digital platforms. Machine learning programs also are preferred to assess, shortlist and hire new candidates. Hence, SOP implementation must be done in sync with the in-house ERP software. This digital manual can also mention a FAQ sheet with questions faced by the team in day to day working. Talent development teams can refer to the digital SOP format for better understanding of the TA process. The SOP is a ready reckoner for any new members who join the talent acquisition team and will be a training manual for them.
Post offer acceptance the next major step in the employee lifecycle is onboarding. The onboarding team connects with the prospective employee and checks with them for any concerns. This sub-function has the responsibility to gather mandatory pre-joining documents. Before joining a new organization any new candidate has a lot of questions and concerns regarding various policies and these queries are directed to the onboarding team. Hence we can say the onboarding process is the first glimpse of the operational culture of the organization. Also, it is very necessary that the onboarding team works closely with the talent acquisition team to ensure the onboarding process is smooth and glitch-free. This team is the bridge between the TA team and the new employee. While creating an SOP for this function we need to chalk out every step, policies, guidelines & templates. This includes offer letter templates, HRMS (Human Resource Management System) policy and guidelines, company policies, payroll and compliance points and many more. All these should be a part of the onboarding SOP document. Any new employee who joins this team can access the SOP document and it becomes easy for them to understand the working process. The digitization of on-boarding processes can help organizations streamline this mechanism. Manual onboarding though still practised in a few places is a tedious one. Collection of documents, storing them, filing them and many more tasks are time-consuming. The risk of losing/misplacing paper documents also cannot be ruled out. Automation of the on-boarding process ensures comparatively more efficiency. With less paperwork, the risk of losing important data is also mitigated to a great extent.
3. Training / Learning & Development
The major KRA for this function is the skilling and reskilling employees. With changing times, the training trends have also undergone significant change. In the past few years organizations have shown a preference for e-learning programs. Training calendars can help in choosing the appropriate training tool for your organization. These calendars are usually designed during the start of the financial year as they focus on identification of training needs, designing of training solutions and the execution plan of the training program.
Past training needs and programs are assessed while constructing a new calendar. The format and design of training calendars eventually help in making an apt choice regarding the training mode (e-learning, videos, in-person) which will be suitable for your organizational setup. Various cloud training software has been implemented by organizations which enable better training environments. Cloud HR programs have inbuilt training modules comprising videos, audio files, PowerPoint presentations, online reading material enabling employees to have ease of access and navigation. These software’s are designed to enable employees to achieve greater productivity as they can access the modules while being on the move or while working remotely. In this manner, employees can achieve their professional goals and eventually successfully contribute to achieving business goals. Online training programs help you streamline the training process, generate accurate training feedback and improve your workforce efficiency.
4. Performance Mapping / KPI / Performance Scorecard
Every organization has key performance indicators (KPIs) defined for various levels of employment. Monitoring these are one of the critical responsibilities of the Human Resource team. Performance mapping / Competency Mapping process analyses the employee motivators, learning needs of the organization and also reskilling needs of existing employees. This process can be simplified by transitioning to cloud-based HRM programs. These programs are designed with inbuilt dashboards which help automatically accumulate real-time employee performance data. Less paperwork, real-time performance analysis and accurate results make cloud-based performance management systems the need of the hour. Detailed work methodology of these programs can be mapped in an online SOP document, else the SOP document can also be integrated into these programs.
5. Annual Appraisals
Every organization has different appraisal cycles. This step is important as it gives a view of employee and employer performance. Internal HRMS systems make it easy for the appraisee and the appraiser to conduct this process. The HR SOP should capture the dos and don’ts of this process accurately. Integration of SOP with in-house ERP / HRMS systems will help you in better talent management, retention and development.
6. Payroll Process / Salary Disbursement/ Expense Management
The payroll team manages the monthly salary disbursements and also reimbursements. A well-documented SOP gives them clarity regarding the same and avoids any discrepancy from their side. Today employees prefer pay/salary info to be accessed on phones. Payroll function SOP can be integrated to ERP software and help employees access and raise queries regarding any salary issue.
7. HR Policies / Handbook
HR policies help employees perform consistently, guides them towards achieving their job goals and provides a structured framework regarding the organization and employee behaviour. Poorly designed HR policies can have a grave impact on organization goals and employee performance. This creates a gap between management objectives and employee performance resulting in failure to achieve business goals. The SOP can also include a link to HR policies or manuals. As this SOP is going to be accessed by the entire HR function it can give a path leading to policy or workplace policies which are saved in shared folders or on a common HR drive. This can be a great help for the HR team as the majority of the queries received are pertaining to policies.
8. Exit Management
The last step in the employee lifecycle is exit management. It is important to make this process comfortable and amicable for employee / HR and business. While drafting an SOP the process for this sub-function needs to be defined clearly and should mention the various team contacts with whom the employee needs to connect with for closure. (IT, Admin and HR). Integrating the exit process SOP to your inhouse ERP will reduce complications and make the exit process an amicable one for your organization and employee.
9. Work From Home
The employment model underwent a major change recently. Many organizations have opted for the Work From Home model. The pandemic situation had made businesses choose this model as it ensures the business machine to keep running smoothly. Employees have the flexibility to work from any remote location. HR teams are redesigning SOP’s as this model needs clarity of the same. Cloud HR soft wares enable flexibility for employees with the latest technology and tools enabling them to access work from any remote location. Encryption techniques, unique user-specific passwords and many additional security formats help them keep the data protected. With the latest technology, new/existing employees can access their daily work on mobiles/laptops and increase their productivity.
At BPX we help you design and set up your entire business process lifecycle for HR & other key departments. Right from process design, creation, process documentation till process implementation. We also help to reduce chaos in the existing system with our HR process outsourcing and process automation services. SOPs designed by our experts are not only on paper but also integrated into your in-house ERP/HRM software. Integrating the SOP to your ERP/HRM software you can give your employees a WOW experience. For example, a new employee will be delighted if his onboarding process is automated and flawless. He will just need to upload all mandatory documents on the software which makes the entire process less time-consuming.
Retaining employees and lowering the employee attrition rate is one of the major concerns for any organization. We ensure the implementation is practical and easy to operate. Thus, digitization of HR processes can help you enrich your employee experience ratio.