What are the biggest threats to HR’s productivity?

by Chloe Taylor05 May 2015
A recent survey conducted by BambooHR has revealed where HR professionals agree time is being unnecessarily lost during the working day.

The study had over 1,300 participants, the majority of whom had more than ten years’ experience in the field.

The top ten threats to productivity

Researchers asked the respondents what they felt stood in the way of their productivity at work.

The most common barriers to productivity were:
  1. Employee engagement
  2. Recruiting
  3. Managing time cards
  4. Updating employee information
  5. Managing benefits
  6. Reporting
  7. Compliance
  8. Event planning
  9. Legal issues
  10. Tracking annual leave and paid time off
When it came to what HR professionals allocated most of their time to, 71% said that the majority of their time was spent managing employees; answering questions, resolving issues, giving staff recognition and overseeing discipline.

A further 54% said that most of their time was spent on compliance and company policies, including health benefits and workers compensation. Forty-two per cent said that much of their time at work was devoted to recruitment, which included attending job fairs, producing listings and posts, reviewing résumés, looking into references and running background checks, as well as conducting interviews.

What should HR professionals be doing at work?

However, the tasks that respondents were managing varied from what they told researchers that they felt HR professionals should be dedicating their time at work to.

More than half of the study’s participants said that they felt they should be spending more time on professional development, while 47% said that they should be conducting training and another 37% said that HR should be managing and overseeing the company culture.

Professional development

According to the study’s findings, two in three HR professionals spend at least an hour every week educating themselves on HR updates, with four in five having attended HR related training over the past 12 months. 

The report also showed that 60% of respondents spent a weekly average of an hour and a half educating themselves in HR policy, procedure and compliance updates.

In large companies, HR professionals felt undertrained on workforce planning, professional development and managing and overseeing company culture.

Whose job is it?

Interestingly, respondents’ attitudes towards management indicated a sense of being burdened by managers with a lack of knowledge when it came to their company’s human capital needs.

Eighty-two per cent of the survey’s participants said that they felt it was primarily management’s responsibility to keep employees productive, with 65% also saying that management should be working to keep staff happy.

However, 69% of the HR professionals surveyed said that they felt they understood the needs and issues of employees more than management at their organisation. 


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