From the Internets…
It was hard to suppress how bad I felt when I told my wife that I missed the 10-day window to renew my annual Flexible Spending account that our corporate insurance has set up for us. Without an Office Manager to keep us on those things that we didn’t do 5 years ago (but now have to) I failed to remember it myself. With HR, Accounting and Payroll down to the bare minimum number of employees (needed to keep the department open) more and more of their duties and responsibilities fall on me to see them through.
Cry me a river…
Now, I’m sure there are some knee jerk reactions from the HR world to this. It’s not your job to hold his hand. It’s not your responsibility to make sure he takes care of his benefits. It’s not your fault if he is too preoccupied with other things to keep track of open enrollment when he is the one getting the tax benefit.
You have other things to worry about. You are under pressure to reduce operating costs, not to mention headcount. You are trying to leverage technology all day long to get people paid and keep them productive. You don’t have “operational” process, so you have to lean out the transactional stuff, which means leaning hard on self service. You aren’t just an administrator, you are a strategic partner who has more to offer than reminders about the employee’s responsibilities to their family needs.
And that is all true.
Except when it isn’t.
Like it or not, HR is a service organization. And whatever other pressure you face, you have to remember why you are really there.
We recently talked about SIPOC charts. I mentioned that there is value in thinking about your customers before you start to redesign a process. This sounds like a great example of process design that missed something.
If your customers are living in the real world, where we all do three jobs and no one is ever caught up on their email, are you designing your enrollment process specifically to their needs? Or are you building one that will shorten enrollment and reduce your processing cost 5%, regardless of the needs of the front line?
The key to great processes
They start with the end in mind. And that end is the customer’s goal, not yours. Define success from their perspective and work backwards. Because if build something new, faster and cheaper, but the customer hates it, you failed.