HR is often tasked with leading workforce engagement and retention efforts, but effective execution relies on buy-in from Operations since they’re on the frontline managing day-to-day employee interaction. So both departments must work together for optimal success, even if it’s HR who ultimately holds the budget allocation and top-line responsibility.
Typical HR concerns include: engagement, retention, benefits and DE&I
Typical Operations concerns include: ramp-up time, retention beyond the 90- to 120-day mark, daily productivity, and meeting business demands like shipping, warehousing, and inventory
All of these are important to your business, so with the two departments focused on such disparate priorities, how can both teams work together to tackle their individual responsibilities while contributing to overall employee satisfaction?
Like most any successful endeavor, start with communication:
While HR may spearhead and design most retention and engagement initiatives, Operations will ultimately be tasked with putting many of the strategies into action.
For example, through HR, the organization might hire more diverse workers but if those team members do not feel comfortable in their daily work, they will likely start looking for a job elsewhere. On the other hand, if operational managers and supervisors actively attend to the needs of their diverse teams, the new workers will very likely stay with the company.
Similarly, when a company and its HR team promises generous vacation time and flexible schedules to promote work-life balance, it’s up to Operations to ensure that frontline employees truly have the opportunity to take advantage of their vacation days and work in a flexible manner.
The same need for collaboration amongst HR and Operations holds true for essentially all engagement and retention efforts.
Businesses need real-time feedback metrics, analytics, and people data that enables their teams to proactively identify budding problems and address them before they take root.
Take for example a warehouse safety incident. After first addressing employee health and well-being, Operations may focus on how the incident impacts shipping targets, while HR might be more concerned with legal and employee retention implications.
Both of these sets of concerns are valid and equally important, so it’s essential that both teams are notified immediately so they can ensure the issue is addressed from all angles.
Kristina Finn, Content Marketing Manager | firstname.lastname@example.org