Today we’ll continue our series on the relationship between managing employees and achieving fantastic customer service. As a marketing professor for way too long (25+ years), I always start my Introduction to Marketing class, a required class for all business majors, by answering their unasked question of why every business major must take marketing. My standard answer is that everyone working for a company, as well as other stakeholders such as suppliers and retailers, impact the customer, which means they all work in marketing.
For instance, you piss off customers when the bathrooms are filthy, they can’t buy what they need in your store (refer to the returning shortage of toilet paper as people again stock up for impending lockdowns due to Covid-19), you make a mistake on their bill, the food is cold, … I could go on for hours just listing the many failures you potentially deliver to customers that have nothing to do with the traditional marketing department but are failures made by others in your organization.
Since HR is generally charged with personnel issues within an organization, this problem rests at their feet. So, today we’ll discuss how to improve your HR department so they can deliver on your promise of fantastic customer service.
How to improve your HR department
If you’re concerned that your business’s HR department isn’t running in the efficient manner you expect, you’re probably keen to take action to remedy the situation. However, it’s not always clear how to improve your HR department and, often, there’s no will to make improvements. But, enlightened companies inherently recognize the value of HR, termed Talent Management in recognition of the value your employees bring to the organization and how impossible it is to provide fantastic customer service from poorly trained, badly managed, and inefficiently hired employees.
That’s what we’re going to talk about here today, so if you know that things need to change in your HR department but you don’t know which changes to make, the guide below should help identify some steps to take today to improve employees and provide fantastic customer service.
1. Train your HR staff
One of the first things you must do to help your HR team operate more efficiently is to train them and ensure they understand the value of what they’re doing and how employees impact business success.
A great HR professional does so much more than onboard new hires, manage annual appraisals, and handle worker’s comp claims. An HR professional is an important and valuable member of your team responsible for putting policies in place to motivate employees toward their potential, rewarding employees for great performance, and working with employees who have problems so they become more productive members of the organization.
2. Employ modern technology
It’s important to make sure that you have the right technology in place in your workplace so your day-to-day operations work more efficiently and effectively. If you’re using outdated technology, whether hardware or software, you’ll slow down your operations and restrict the performance of your HR team. By automating routine tasks and using shared systems to ease communication between departments, your HR team stays on top of problems and has more capacity than if bogged down with older technologies.
3. Provide regular feedback
Providing feedback to your HR team on a regular basis is essential to effective management. You can’t simply tell your HR team to improve and expect to see instant change; share specific issues you feel need improvement and offer suggestions for how to achieve improvements. Feedback, both positive and constructive, helps make improvements possible. Open and frequent communication about what’s working for the entire organization and what isn’t helps HR professionals meet the needs of your growing business.
4. Explore outsourcing options
You can reduce the time and expense associated with HR while simultaneously raising standards, by outsourcing your HR department to a third party. For many companies, outsourced HR makes sense, especially when the company is too small to justify hiring a full-time HR professional.
HR just isn’t something you hand off to a cousin who works cheaply and wears multiple hats within your organization. It’s just too important when you think about the alternative of missing the mark with customers.
Hiring an outside HR department not only brings needed skills to managing HR, but it also offers insights available from professionals working in other companies. Sometimes, having an outside agency handle HR decisions helps your business run smoothly by reducing conflict between employees as well as keeping certain employee problems confidential.
5. Go paperless
Going paperless is definitely one positive way to make your business more efficient, and that applies to the HR department perhaps more than any other department. Your HR team is easily buried under excessive amounts of paperwork that cause clutter and can even impact the mental health of your staff members. A digital system ensures everything is much more streamlined and organized and eases communication between departments while alleviating duplicate efforts required by paper systems.
If you want to make the task of hiring people a little easier and more efficient for your HR team, social media offers options for enlarging your pool of potential hires while providing helpful information such as recommendations to make your hiring decisions better.
When you allow your team to use tools like those available via LinkedIn and other social media platforms, their task is easier as they have a wider pool of potential talent and an easy platform to communicate with prospective candidates. Because communication is better both with individuals and other organizations, you can quickly solicit recommendations from prior employers or allow prospective candidates to reach out to you in a more natural way than through employment sites like Glassdoor.
7. Use automation
Using automation is something else that many businesses do to speed up their daily tasks and basic processes. For your HR department, automating things such as basic email alerts saves a lot of time. Thus, an entire organization or subsets of employees get a notification when you have job openings or when you add a new benefit.
HR is one of the most important departments inside your business, especially when you consider the impact of employees on providing fantastic customer service. Follow these steps to ensure your HR department works effectively and efficiently, leaving plenty of time to handle your business growth.
Need marketing help to support business growth?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.