Interview: How to Use Lean Six Sigma to Improve Your HR Onboarding Process

Interview: How to Use Lean Six Sigma to Improve Your HR Onboarding Process

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

0/5 stars (0 votes)

Interview: How to Use Lean Six Sigma to Improve Your HR Onboarding Process

In the past, people didn’t typically link Lean Six Sigma and human resources.

The future? That’s a different story.

Organizations use Lean Six Sigma to make operations more efficient and effective. While created for manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma has long since spread to other industries. That includes healthcare, law, education, government, the military and more.

As recent examples show, there’s also potential in applying the quantitative analysis of Lean Six Sigma to HR processes that can be measured. Those include rewards and recognition, recruitment, legal expectations and the formal complaint process.Mark Kazmierski, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, MSHRD

Another is the onboarding process. Mark Kazmierski, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, MSHRD, Associate VP of HR for Bisk, an online learning provider, in Tampa, Fla., recently sat down to discuss how the application of Lean Six Sigma can improve employee retention, reduce turnover rates and ultimately save money for your company.

Setting the Tone

Kazmierski said employee engagement and development should rank as a priority for all organizations. It’s an important aspect of a successful business.

“Your customer’s experience will never exceed your employee’s experience,” Kazmierski said. “If you want your customers to have top-shelf service, your employees need top-shelf service.”

Onboarding starts not on the first day of the job, but from the moment a job candidate clicks on your job posting. Kazmierski has taken steps to make the initial interview and the hiring process a part of onboarding.

That process is partly driven by the fact that employee turnover rates are the highest they’ve been in 10 years. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), about 20% of employee turnover occurs in the first 45 days. There’s also currently a low, 3.8% unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, meaning it’s a “buyer’s market” for job seekers in many lines of work.

Kazmierski said companies need to have a process that gets people on board quickly and easily. “If your onboarding process is clunky, there’s a good chance the candidate will assume the rest of your processes are clunky, too.”

Reducing Waste

A primary focus of Lean is reducing waste in a process while delivering value to the customer. In the case of HR and the onboarding process, the new employee is the customer.

Kazmierski said reducing wasteful steps in the onboarding process requires a proper assessment of the current operation and finding redundant and unnecessary steps. He suggests HR departments road map a better process by reducing actions that waste time.

HR personnel should “understand every touch point and remove as many friction points as they can. Remove friction points and add celebration points,” he said. “Employees expect to have a seamless, simple and efficient onboarding process. Use Lean Six Sigma to accomplish that.”

One example Kazmierski gave is to add touch points that exceed employee’s expectations, such as sending a new employee a company T-shirt and welcome card before their first day on the job.

Understanding Employees

One of the major tenets of Lean Six Sigma is to view every aspect of an operation through the eyes of the customer. Anything that doesn’t add value to the product or service should be eliminated.

Doing that in HR requires understanding what new hires are experiencing. Kazmierski said new employees are often “going through a life-altering experience.” Those changes may include:

  • Finding a new route to work
  • Creating new schedules for dropping off/picking up kids
  • Possibly relocating to a new area

According to Kazmierski, typical onboarding processes are paperwork-intensive. New hires are asked to fill out tons of paperwork on their first day, and then listen to HR personnel communicate company policies and procedures before the new employee arrives at their desk or work station. This process can take hours.

“A bad onboarding process detracts from the employee’s experience and potentially adds unneeded stress on the new hire,” he said.

Instead, Kazmierski suggests reducing administrative tasks on day one by putting the paperwork into the pre-hire process, and company policies and procedures through online learning tools. This allows HR departments to focus on culture and introduce the new hire(s) to their team and work more quickly.

Finding Solutions

Kazmierski said while many papers and articles have been written on the challenges faced by HR professionals, few present solutions. Many of them can be found, he believes, in putting Lean Six Sigma to use.

He said the first lesson of Lean Six Sigma – a granular examination of every aspect of a process – is something too many HR teams have skipped. Some HR departments do not even have “onboarding” properly defined, with all the various steps included.

“If you aren’t going through the process in each step, you are never going to put the whole process together. It is a whole lifecycle,” he said. “‘Using Lean Six Sigma’s methodology makes sure my team is looking at every step along the way.”

Kazmierski said the best first step for any HR department is to define every aspect of onboarding and create a process map to identify each step of the process. Only then can they cut waste and make improvements. Even the steps required for regulatory reasons can be revamped to focus on making the overall experience more seamless.Lean process map

Lean Six Sigma provides excellent process map guidelines, from defining operations to identifying areas that need elimination or improvement.

He also advised HR personnel to remember that there are financial impacts that accompany a strong onboarding program. “Everyone’s heard how much it costs to replace a departing employee due to recruitment and loss of production. An effective onboarding program lessens that cost by getting a new hire engaged in their new role, environment and culture,” he said.

Depending on the size and complexity of the organization, onboarding programs can come in many shapes and sizes. Using process mapping, HR can more easily keep the customer (new employee) in mind when designing an onboarding program that meets the needs of any organization. Having a purposeful onboarding program is the first step of engaging and developing employees.

The post Interview: How to Use Lean Six Sigma to Improve Your HR Onboarding Process appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

By: James LoPresti
Posted: June 5, 2018, 12:00 pm

comments powered by Disqus

Discovery Lean Six Sigma

Dummy user for scooping articles

I'm a dummy user created for scooping  great articles in the network for the community.