Your Human Resources Department may not be the most high profile, direct generator of revenue for your business, but it is the foundation of all your operations precisely because it deals with your employment and recruitment. For this reason, it should never be overlooked when it comes to modernizing or upgrading processes and systems. Rather, it should be the department in which you invest, because such investment will eventually lead to reductions in cost, and increases in revenue elsewhere in your enterprise.
The function of contracts in your Human Resources Department
Contracts underpin everything your business does, and your Human Resources Department is a significant part of that. There are many different contract elements involved in this area of your business, going far beyond simple employment contracts. These include:
- Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) – These standard legal documents are usually enacted to protect proprietary and commercially sensitive information, and it is therefore vital that they are properly managed.
- Non-compete agreements and clauses – These restrictive covenants help to ensure that your employees do not enter into competition with your business for a specified period of time. This protects your business interests and your information.
- Wrongful termination and appeals documentation – When your business is accused of wrongful dismissal, your contract's documentation and processes become essential in defending against those claims, which can become costly.
- Training and development plans – In terms of developing your workforce, enhancing and improving skill sets, and attracting new recruits, a comprehensive training and development programme is key. Contract documentation here will include requirements and obligations for employees and employers, along with supply agreements with contractors delivering professional development services and training.
- Performance reviews – Language referring to the obligations of all parties with regard to performance reviews is an important part of your Human Resources contract system and, when properly harnessed, can lead to increased revenue elsewhere in your operation.
- Remuneration issues and negotiations – Effective management of your Human Resources contract documentation means that remuneration discussions and negotiations are more tightly controlled.
- Disciplinary procedures – When personnel falls foul of your operation’s disciplinary processes, comprehensive and auditable documentation is required in order to avoid, or minimize, costly legal issues.
- Entitlements and benefits – Your workforce is your biggest asset but is also one of your biggest costs. Effective contract management helps you to keep entitlements and benefits under strict control.
These contract elements constitute a broad range of management issues, the results of which include both potential revenue increase and the avoidance or minimization of legal expenses.
The case for implementing Contract Management Software in your Human Resources Department
A well-motivated workforce is a productive workforce, and this is an important benefit of using Contract Management Software in your Human Resources Department. In gaining tighter control of the legal agreements that pertain to your team members, you are able to make significant improvements to your professional relationships with your personnel.
When your business enshrines opportunities for career progression and support in the language of its employment contracts, employees have reason to be incentivized. When this language is bolstered by additional specifications about performance reviews – including timescales, line management, and results – each party can proceed in full knowledge and understanding of their respective obligations. Moreover, ensuring this aspect of workforce management is included in your contract system means that staff movement through the organization can be easily tracked and monitored, which increases accountability for all concerned.
On the other side of the equation, when there are problems within your workforce, your Contract Management System can be your best defense. For this reason, it is vital to have documentation well organized, entirely up to date, and easily accessible. In addition, it is beneficial in such cases to have comprehensive records of access made to the documentation, and of version histories.
The case for implementing Contract Management Software in your Human Resources Department is not just about the documents, however. Such software packages include a high degree of automation, which means that your Human Resources personnel can spend more of their working time dealing with employees directly, instead of being mired in administrative tasks. This means conflict and grievances are more likely to be resolved quickly, thereby reducing potential costs in terms of legal challenges, staff time, and lost sales or produce.
The most effective way to successfully integrate Contract Management Software with your Human Resources Department is with a phased implementation. This ensures that users are properly trained, and are given the opportunity to fully explore all the capabilities of the package. It also means that users can raise any issues early on in the process, providing the installer with the opportunity to rectify the problem to your satisfaction.
The configuration is perhaps the most important part of the implementation process. This is the task of ensuring that the Contract Management Software is meeting the specific needs of your particular business. In terms of your Human Resources Department, this means automated, configured reporting on several areas, including the following:
- Contract expiry and renegotiation dates
- Performance review timescales and results
- Training and professional development milestones
A significant aspect of the configuration process is the creation of a template library as part of your central contract repository. In addition to holding templates of standard employment contracts, this library should also hold standardized clauses pertaining to Non-Disclosure Agreements and clauses, and non-compete clauses. Standardizing legal terms and language throughout your business in this way ensures a cohesive approach to legal documentation across departments. It bolsters audit trails and further enhances regulatory and corporate governance compliance.
The bottom line
Integrating Contract Management Software with your Human Resources Department is a big boost for your bottom line. Savings are made in administration, staff costs, and in conflict resolution timescales, while tighter control of Human Resources documentation creates streamlined processes that help to motivate the workforce to greater levels of productivity. Browser-based Contract Management Software packages, such as Symfact, are a surefire way to maximize efficiency, boost productivity, and optimize your Human Resources Department.