HR department of one? Here’s how to make a difference

28 May 24 | Blog

It’s lonely to be in a one-person department. It’s even worse to be a one-person Human Resources department – partially because of the less-than-flattering perception of HR, and also because there’s simply too many HR-related tasks for one person to handle.

Both of these challenges can make it feel impossible to become a strategic player in your organisation – because you simply don’t have the time or the authority to make broader people decisions. We know that’s frustrating: you probably didn’t get into HR for the overwhelming amount of admin. That’s why we’re sharing some tips that should help.

HR department of 1? 2 challenges to overcome:

1. Too much work, not enough time

Payroll, recruitment, onboarding, offboarding, progression, reporting, paperwork, office admin, team socials – the list goes on. You’re stacking hats like nobody’s business, and there’s no-one around to lend you a hand. With a to-do list that keeps getting longer, you’re also having to fight fires at the same time. From disgruntled employees and sudden waves of resignations, to legal crises and badly-behaved managers, you’re always dealing with the unexpected. You are dealing with people, after all.

2. Too little power, not enough respect

Because you’re dealing with people – i.e. the most important commodity for any organisation – you have a unique perspective that could guide strategy. Believe it or not, you have the power to understand how to reduce attrition and absences, and spot opportunities to make employees happier and more productive. The trouble is, not everyone thinks that’s part of your remit. And not everyone trusts your opinion. With senior management focused on the bottom line, they want hard data that goes beyond anecdotal experiences.

3 solutions to those 2 challenges

No time, no authority – but there is a way that even the smallest of HR teams can make themselves a driving force of organisational strategy. It’ll just take a little help from the right HR tech, and a bit of confidence in sharing the results.

1. Use HR tech to find time for people strategy

Some work has to be manual. Some work will always take time. But it’s not necessarily the case that you need to automate the admin to focus on everything else. In fact, you can automate the strategic data-led side of things instead. Here’s how:

    • Spend time on interpreting insights, instead of doing manual analysis
    • Use a people analytics platform that converts your HR data into KPIs

2. Prove your strategic worth with big insights

You can have all the ‘hunches’ in the world about what will improve employee retention, but your senior team will need some convincing. Use that HR tech to find big insights – the sort of revelations that make them pay attention. Here’s how:

    • Share how HR metrics compare to benchmarks – make them feel competitive!
    • Show changes in HR metrics over time, with a spotlight on what’s driving changes

3. Stay proactive with data trends & predictions

When big dramas happen, it takes up your time. You can minimise the ‘unknown’ by staying on top of trends in your data, and by seeing predictions about where your data is going – from a rise in absences, to who’s most likely to quit. Here’s how:

  • See if your attrition rate has increased, or if absences are more frequent in certain teams
  • Filter down by team, gender, tenure or other characteristics to see at-risk groups

Qlearsite’s free HR analytics platform can help

You know another challenge that small HR departments have? A lack of budget. That’s why we’ve decided to offer our HR analytics tech for free, with no obligation to upgrade. And you’re getting a lot for free…

  • Connection with 50+ HRIS, and automatic analysis of that data
  • A clear view of metrics like attrition, including changes over time
  • Global benchmarks, side-by-side with your own data, to add context
  • Trends and predictions about your HR metrics, to guide next steps
  • Easy-to-use filters, and signposting to identify who’s driving KPIs

In a nutshell: it’s a free, fast, and easy way to get a strategic understanding of your organisation’s people. No budget sign-off, no strain on your overloaded workload – just big insights you can share with your senior team, to prove that even HR departments of one can have a BIG impact on organisational strategy. You’re welcome!

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