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Resource Management

23 Tips For Innovative Resource Management

By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive overview of resource management. With these tips from industry specialists and best practices from various companies like Google and Ford, we encourage you to dig deeper into every topic. Reach the Resource Guru status to squeeze the maximum out of your valuable resources.

According to the most common definition, resource management is the efficient and effective development of an organization’s resources to achieve the maximum utilization of all funds. Such resources may include finances, inventory, personal skills, production materials, and equipment, or information technology.

The modern concept of resource management draws our attention to people as the greatest resource any company has. At least for now, when AI and robots have not yet taken over the world as some researchers are predicting. Today we will focus on how to successfully recruit, develop, and motivate your greatest assets – your people.

From Personnel Management to Human Resource (HR) Management to People Operations

Only since the 1980s the term “personnel management” has slowly been replaced with “human resource management”, emphasizing the importance of people as a valuable resource, which needs a strategic and long-term approach. Human resource management is no longer defined as a task list on the table of an HR (human resources) specialist.

In the pursuit of even higher emphasis on people relations, companies have started to rebrand the whole HR department, giving titles, such as Chief Happiness Officer and Talent Resources. However, for a lot of thought leaders, including Doug Devlin, the most accurate contemporary term is “people operations”. And while these changes should represent a switch in our mindsets and a decision to improve our processes, changing the name still doesn’t automatically change the way we operate.

Thus, we have gathered together these 23 practical tips that will hopefully change the way you think about your resources!

KNOWING THE GREATEST RESOURCE = PEOPLE

Your employees, colleagues, and partners are the most valuable resource a company has. Because ultimately, business takes place between people and is built on human connection.

According to Laszlo Bock, the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, people are the primary focus for the company. This reflects from the company’s budget allocation – Google spends twice as much time and money on people’s operations compared to the average company. “Research and numbers back this strategy; it is more of an investment,” Bock explains.

“Spending a lot of time and money in recruitment is inexpensive compared to hiring and dealing with the wrong people.” – Laszlo Bock, the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google

Deloitte’s research offers another piece of proof: “high-performing companies spend 1.5 to 2 times more on recruiting and developing top candidates than other companies – and accomplish results three to four times higher than their competitors.”

1) Keep your knowledge updated. The ever-changing digital world is keeping us alert. Read, iterate, analyze, and read more. For example, Harvard Business Review and Society for Human Resources Management are great resources to keep an eye on.

2) HR is an executive position. Treating HR as a separate part of everyday operations and administrative decisions is an unnecessary risk you shouldn’t be taking. Sarah O’Neill, the Director of HR at Digital Trends, lists four reasons why HR should have a seat at your management table:

  • compliance;
  • alignment;
  • communication;
  • growth.

Even more so, human resource management should have all the seats at the table, meaning all executives act on the acknowledgment that their greatest resources are the people.

RECRUITING WITH THOUGHTFULNESS

A simplified recruitment process can be described as advertising a vacant job position, inviting candidates with the most outstanding resumes to an interview, and then selecting the seemingly most suitable person for the role. If you still recruit on this level of simplicity, you should probably think about updating your strategy.

According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2020, the key trends to keep in mind this year are employee experience (EX), people analytics, internal recruiting, and multi-gen workforce. Furthermore, one of the biggest challenges for companies this year is said to be finding a way to attract and retain talent.

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3) Your candidate is king. The time of employers making all the demands is long gone. In fact, the dynamic has fundamentally changed in recent years. Organizations are now conforming to workers – understanding them, investing in them, and involving them in creating a better working experience.

4) Digital presence is a must-have. Your candidates are surfing online, using social media channels and communities, reading online news, and networking on LinkedIn. Glassdoor survey claims that 79% of candidates are likely to use social media in their job search. Are you there to meet them?

Jobvite research found that already in 2010, 80% of specialists used social media as a recruitment channel. LinkedIn was used by 95% of the sample, Facebook by 59%, and Twitter by 42%. Nowadays, you can add Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, and eye-catching banner ads to the list. Laszlo Bock from Google believes that finding the right people will be even easier in the future thanks to technology, social media, and of course, AI.

5) Employer branding is becoming more and more relevant. 69% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand. 76% want detailed insight into the working environment:

  • Motivation packages (including salary, benefits, team events, etc.)
  • Basic company information
  • What makes you an attractive place to work
  • Company’s mission, vision, values

This should give you a good hint of which content to share in your digital channels.

6) Experience, attitude, competence, and cultural fit – what is essential? There is no right answer to this one. Some leaders are praising the importance of cultural fit, some value attitude above all. It makes sense in a way that these factors can not be taught or modified to fit the company’s needs. Having an extensive resume and proven competence never hurt a candidate, especially for an executive role, but potential talent can surpass it.

In the end, it is easy to say that it all depends on the case, and you should put all four aspects into the equation. To make it easier, try answering this question: Which candidate has more potential to exceed your expectations in the long run?

7) Include the whole team. The role of HR is leading the recruitment process and conducting the first screening. Future colleagues and executives participate in interviews and make the final decision based on previously agreed-upon criteria.

On the other hand, stay modest – you do not have to “impress” by dragging 20 people to the process. Paul Slezak, a recruitment expert, suggests including as many people as needed and as few as possible. More than 3-panel interviews indicate inefficiency.’ Meet and greet’ with the team is different – future colleagues meet the candidate briefly in the final rounds to confirm their fit within the team.

Read on: Scoro’s Secret to Hiring the Best People

TAKING ONBOARDING SERIOUSLY

You have selected the best candidate with a proven track record and a great attitude, but do not make the mistake of giving them “space to settle in”. Overwhelming them with information can be wrong, but it is even worse to leave them with no tools or instructions.

A study of 264 new employees published in the Academy of Management Journal found that the first 90 days are crucial to building rapport with the company, management, and team members. When the new team member was supported and guided by the team and leaders, they often had more positive attitudes about their job and worked harder. When attention and direction were not offered, the results were remarkably inverse, leading to lower levels of job satisfaction and productivity.

According to Gary Dessler, author of well-known human resource management (HRM) books, the onboarding program has four main steps:

  • adapting to the new environment;
  • getting role-related information and instructions;
  • having a comprehensive company overview;
  • socializing, finding a connection with the organizational culture and values.

8) Onboarding is not the same as training. While a lot of companies are aware of the importance of onboarding and training, not many are aware of how important it’s to have both. It is a prevalent misconception that onboarding is the same as training. Showing gratitude, doing check-ins, and making people feel as if their contributions matter are great and simple ways to ensure your new hires feel visible and accountable.

Michel Falcon, the founder of Experience Academy, has said very wisely: “Employee onboarding is the design of what your employees feel, see and hear after they have been hired. While training does have a role within the onboarding, it doesn’t represent the entire scope of the process.”

9) Give clear guidelines. While this may seem obvious, and you might be sure about the simplicity of your instructions, the number one request from employees is to get more precise guidelines – organized, relevant and well-timed content. So, you might want to think twice: Are you still so sure that the new hires are on the same page with you? Do they fully understand their responsibilities and tasks? Did you explain your goals and ask their expectations?

Onboarding comics

10) Online onboarding. Take advantage of the digital era and upload all the information to your company’s intranet or online database. Just make sure to explain how the system is organized and where to find needed documentation. The simple explanation is still more time-efficient than presenting all the information in person. You can also take a step further and use work management software, which helps you automate, track, and manage the process.

11) Take special notice of software and tools. There are so many apps, tools, and software solutions available. You’d be surprised to learn how many business tools popular companies use. According to Siftery, Uber uses 141 tools, Facebook 175 tools, and Apple 169 tools. So, whether your company uses 5 or 50 different tools, make sure you do not overlook teaching your new employees how your company uses them. Tools should make our work easier, not the opposite.

Read more: 79-Point Guide To Getting Started With New Software

12) Include the whole team. The new hire should be welcomed by the entire company, especially by their team and leader. 56% of new hires say having a buddy or mentor is essential to them when starting a new job. Do not make the mistake of leaving the new person only into the hands of the HR department.

NURTURING POTENTIAL TALENT TO A PRODUCTIVE ROCKSTAR

You have hired a “top gun”, who’s ready to take over the world – or a potential talent who is hopefully going to skyrocket their results with the proper guidance. What you might not realize – there’s no such thing as a “top gun” vs. potential talent anymore. We all need to improve ourselves continually to keep pace with the ever-changing digital world.

13) Development is more than role-specific training. Michael Armstrong, the author of several best-selling HRM books, describes various studies conducted from 1996 until 2008, which prove that having a thorough and strict training program improves the efficiency of each employee by 6% on average. While this can still be true, employee development consists of much more than onboarding and on-the-job training. Unfortunately, these are too often the highlights of the development program, with the occasional attendance of an industry-specific conference.

14) The challenge of personalized development. Recent studies and opinions of industry leaders claim that it is no longer possible to standardize personnel development. You should have a system in place. But it has to be flexible, personalized, and continually evolving. The challenge is to plan and develop the skills needed in the future.

Take an example from Ford – they have developed an HR technology platform that will provide insights into their 60,000 plus global workforce. This enables to improve long-term planning and adaption to the changing global environment.

Kavi Guppta, a Forbes Contributor, predicts that companies will start implementing the role of Director of Learning, whose primary focus will be the ongoing learning and personalized development of every employee. As technology and processes will change, and more importantly, customers will change, companies need to be dynamic.

15) Development starts with values and organizational culture. Whether you are active or passive, or even ignorant, organizational culture is your company’s unique identity essential for competitive edge and sustainability. It is a system of shared values, beliefs, and principles, which describe and steer the way things are done in a company.

If the culture does not support the mentality of development and personal growth, the well-thought-out training system is worthless. Inversely, in an environment where learning is celebrated, people will take the initiative to find learning opportunities most suitable for them.

16) In-house learning. Continuous improvement requires a commitment to education: creating a company-wide structure for information processing and knowledge sharing. In-house learning consists of collecting, storing, and actively using data from previous experiences, experiments, and researches. It also includes peer-to-peer knowledge transferral in the form of coaching, mentoring, rotation, workshops, and using an online learning center.

Laszlo Bock suggests implementing social learning, which is relatively easy and cost-effective. You have recruited great people – let them teach each other. Google has developed a series of workshops called Googler2Googler. The topics are very diverse: from public speaking to programming for dummies.

MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES WITH HAPPINESS

Did you know that happy employees are 12% more productive while being unhappy is proved to lower productivity by 10%? Inverse to the conventional opinion – research suggests that more money can make employees more satisfied with their jobs, but not as much as other factors in the workplace. How to make your employees happy?

17) A complete incentive program. In addition to a competitive salary, attracting and retaining talent requires a comprehensive and well-thought-out incentive program. The offering of bonuses, health and convenience benefits, development and career opportunities, work-life balance, and other perks have increased nearly one-third in the last year—the top reason being the need to remain competitive in the talent marketplace.

While the costs may have a growing trend, employees are starting to value non-monetary incentives even more. So the good news is – keeping the office fridge stocked or giving your team the flexibility to work from home can bring more satisfaction than money could.

18) The value of achievements and experiences. Research among Googlers demonstrated that employees were 28% more satisfied receiving gifts, bonus trips, and experiential rewards than monetary incentives. Receiving a bonus holiday for a job well done is much more memorable than the extra money, don’t you agree?

Yet, 76% of people do not feel their work is appreciated enough. Employees have listed recognition and the clarity of instructions as top factors that would improve their performance. So, forget drafting up lists of benefits and perks, if you still haven’t used the simple (and free!) phrase of “well done”.

19) Meaningful and essential missions. Finding meaning is one of the great existential questions of life. According to Deloitte’s research, significant work is one of the three employee engagement drivers. How does one find meaning at work? This is a very personal and individual subject, which is quite hard to be managed from the company side.

Organizations can only encourage this by creating a culture, which brings employees personal values and work-life together. Cultivating a culture of ethics and morals is especially crucial when recruiting Millennials. An Accenture survey of recent college graduates found that 92% of the sample wanted to work for a socially responsible company. While you probably will not put up a sign saying, “we are saving humankind,” – you could explain how and why is your company creating value to customers and society.

BECOMING A RESOURCE GURU

20) Make decisions based on statistics and data. HR tends to have a stereotype of being quite a qualitative and subjective field. Laszlo Bock has justifiably learned to demand data-based decisions everywhere. People management decisions at Google are guided by the “people analytics team”. Bock wants to bring the same standard of data-based decision-making to HR as they have in engineering.

Although, in most cases, this level of detail is not necessarily needed nor very practical. According to Peter Cappelli, it is easy to get carried away by trying to implement “big data” in every department possible. Using effective software and having a data-driven mindset will do the trick.

21) Using software like a boss. As digitalization forces us to step up our game, it also provides numerous tools to make our work easier. Know your needs, research the opportunities, and make a wise selection. There is no one-suits-all solution. Properly selected and implemented software can help you with these tasks:

  • People’s operations processes – recruitment, onboarding, development, evaluation, and feedback.
    Some examples: Clanbeat makes 1-on-1s more efficient; TinyPulse wants you to improve your culture, and BambooHR lets you keep all your employee information in one place. Remember to differentiate HR-related functions from work management and daily operations.
  • Tracking time, tasks, and projects.
    Some examples: Trello is an easy task board for teams; numerous project management tools include Asana for smaller and Wrike for larger companies. If you manage people or projects daily, see our list of 48 project management tools you can use.
  • Keeping order in your documents and materials.
    Some examples: the most common is Google Drive for sharing documents and spreadsheets; and Dropbox for sharing images and files.
  • Managing customers and sales.
    Some examples: Pipedrive is for small teams with big dreams; larger companies praise SalesForce. We have done an overview of 27 best CRM software and 19 best invoicing tools.
  • Reporting and analytics.
    Reporting and analytics should be integrated into every tool or software you are using. The challenge is to collect all the data from different sources. Using dashboards makes it easier. Read more about 23 dashboard solutions we think are best.

As you can see, there is an overwhelming number of software and tools available. The important question – is your current software helping you be more productive? Do you have a good overview of all your resources – people, time, office space, documents, and other materials? If you are using too many tools, it might start killing your productivity.

Productivity Calculator Scoro

The possible solution can be a comprehensive work management software that will help you combine all your tools, projects, documents, and reports into one Control Hub. There are plenty of reasons to use multi-feature software, for example, less scattered data, lower costs, and higher productivity.

For example, work management software Scoro includes all the tools you need for projects, teamwork, customer relations, invoicing, and reporting. If needed, you can add integrations and still have all your data in one place.

22) Treat software as all other valuable resources. Remember what we said about investing in the recruitment of top candidates? The same applies to tools, software, and other resources. Think through your needs and map out possible solutions. Time spent researching, choosing, and integrating software and tools to your business is, without a doubt, worth the investment.

23) Take a look ahead. Every day a new tool, app, or a trend emerges. AI seems to be one of the latest buzzwords, but according to Forbes Contributor Jeanne Meister, Artificial Intelligence is not the future; it is already happening today.

A survey of nearly 400 chief human resource officers conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value found that half of the survey sample recognize the power of cognitive computing to transform key dimensions of HR. IBM and some startups are already using chatbots and algorithms to simulate a human conversation, recruit employees, collect feedback, and personalize learning experiences. While this is not something you should obsess about, it is always good to be prepared.

Read on: How AI is Changing the Way We Work

CONCLUSION

The first step to reaching the Resource Guru status is to acknowledge the importance of PEOPLE. To keep up with the competition, employers are pouring more time and money into human resources – and research proves it is a worthy investment.

For your next step, we suggest taking a good look at your processes and daily operations – make sure they are up-to-date and supported by suitable software.

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Liisi Ruuse

Liisi Ruuse

Liisi Ruuse takes interest in marketing, business management, innovation, and startups. She's all about reading, good coffee, and cats.

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