Human Resources and Six Sigma aren’t often mentioned together, and there’s a good reason. HR is difficult to analyze objectively.
It’s not manufacturing. It’s not labor. So much of the job is immeasurable.
Employee happiness, for example, can’t be quantified in a number or a report. Recruiting top talent is less about numbers and figures than it is about personalities and culture.
So how does an HR professional use Six Sigma to make his or her job easier?
Simple. Use it on what can be measured.
HR Compensation Processes
Think about all the processes related to compensation. How might you speed up overtime authorizations? Can you offer the benefits package through an online portal, so you’re not spending time trying to chase down signatures from every new hire? Can you create a clear performance review rubric for managers, so they’re not spending hours and hours evaluating their teams?
Orientation and New Hire Processes
What does your new hire orientation look like? Could you email new hire paperwork to new hires the weekend before their start date and save everyone involved an hour of their time? Can you host an employee’s direct deposit information on an online portal, so he or she can update it without knocking on your door?
Formal Complaint Processes
How many harassment complaints do you get every week? If it’s more than five (and if you’re in a large organization, it probably is), consider setting up a specialized email where victims can report the situation. That way, you can print the email directly from your computer and add it to your files without having to pursue a formal written statement from him or her.
Legal Expectation Processes
Employee handbooks can be expensive to print, especially in large organizations. You can save a lot of time and money by printing one or two handbooks and keeping them in your office, while at the same time making the handbook digitally accessible on an employee portal.
Instead of asking managers to write job descriptions (which are often lengthy and confusing), provide a single template for all jobs in the company. The managers can simply plug in the details of the job and send it back to you, and you can provide the template to the recruiter for use in scouting talent.
And speaking of talent, what systems do you have in place for responding to applicants? Is there any way to streamline that process by 50%? Because slow response times could be costing you top talent.
Rewards and Recognition Processes
Do you have specific expectations in place for each role in the organization? If you talk to managers to better define the roles in your workplace, you can create an objective system for rewards and recognition. More frequent (and consistent) rewards can improve morale and performance across the entire organization, even for those people who aren’t recognized.
Don’t let the variable nature of your role in HR prevent you from streamlining the processes you use most frequently. Think about where you’re expending most of your energy day-to-day, and ask yourself if there’s anything you can do improve that process.