HR Corner – If You Don’t Have a QOS, You Need One Now

In an effort to streamline efficiency, many companies have elected to implement some form of a Quality Operating System (QOS) to assist them in running their daily operations. An effective QOS can not only help you run a more efficient company, it may also be mandated by certain industries. A good QOS will encompass many of the daily HR duties and monitor their progress, as well as point out any flaws or areas for improvement.A company will employ a QOS Manager, who is usually a person already in a management position. The QOS Manager, along with the management team of the company, is generally responsible for identifying key areas in the organization that should be monitored or improved. Areas that are typically monitored and fall under the watchful eye of the HR department include; employee retention, conflict resolution, hiring and termination practices and the benchmarking of benefits programs and competitive compensation. A good HR Manager will already have effective programs in place to monitor all of these issues, but here are a few tips for making the most out of your system.

Employee Retention: This is a critical area in the running of a company. Frequent employee surveys or, in the case of a smaller company, face to face encounters with employees will assist the HR Manager in determining common areas for improvement as well as overall employee satisfaction. You may also wish to benchmark with companies who are known for their high employee satisfaction such as Southwest Airlines and Walmart. It is important to keep detailed records of all encounters and to address any issues in a timely fashion, which will assure the employees that the company is interested in their satisfaction. Remembering that it is impossible to please all people at all times is a must, but addressing common employee complaints will help to retain those employees.

Conflict Resolution: There should already be a firm company policy on conflict resolution and it generally falls to the HR Manager to assess whether or not the policy is working. This is easily done by keeping track of the number of employee conflicts and charting them. Because it is almost impossible to classify conflict and predict employee behavior, this is sometimes difficult to track. However, monitoring the frequency and, most importantly, recurrence of employee conflicts can assist you in determining whether your policy is working or if it needs modification.

Hiring and Termination Practices: All employees should be surveyed when hired about the process and rate the orientation process. These surveys are invaluable in both ensuring that new employees are properly trained and prepared to begin working and also in how effective the HR staff is at communicating the policies and procedures of the company. Because a high percentage of attrition occurs in the first month of employment, it is key to monitor new employees for satisfaction and ensure that they feel they are an important part of the company. Employees who are terminated should always be presented with an exit interview by the HR staff or corporate management. The exit interview often provides valuable information regarding weaknesses in the company or its policies. Understanding that the information received from a disgruntled employee should be taken with a grain of salt, sifting through common complaints can assist management in keeping employees happy.

Benchmarking: It is always important to benchmark to identify successful business practices by not only companies in your industry, but in other industries as well. A good HR Manager will benchmark competitive compensation packages on a regular basis. This not only assists your company in identifying baseline compensation in your area, but may also shed some light on different benefit packages that your company may not have considered in the past. Compensation is a key factor in attracting and retaining good employees and therefore is one of the most important areas in your company to benchmark.

These examples are only a few of the areas in which a good QOS system can assist in the running of an efficient HR Department. Only you know what works best for your company and what areas should be tracked and monitored. These examples, however, are common to every company and are generally considered to be critical operation areas. It is important for the HR Manager to work closely with the QOS team to ensure that their department is as effective as it can be.