By: John DiLorenzo, CEO, Michigan Planners

March 16, 2016

We live in a world where we can literally reach 1,000 people, with an impactful message, in just about 30 minutes via a Tweet, Facebook post, or email message. All it takes is the right people and the right technology.

A century ago it would have been a good old fashion, pen, paper and envelope.

In today’s fast-paced, constantly changing environment, companies must always be on the lookout for ways to improve their operational systems and processes.

Angie Richardson, Human Resource Director for Financial Plus Credit Union in Flint, couldn’t agree more.  Richardson has seen the transformation of her HR department since she began with the company four years ago.  She recalls her first day and laughs out loud.

“When I first started at Financial Plus, I had a typewriter at my desk. I thought it was a joke,” Richardson said. “We were doing the same thing the same way for the past several years.”

Since then, she has transformed her department through HR software, new systems and the elimination of paper – her nemesis!

Like Richardson, HR professionals in nearly every industry are faced with a multitude of responsibilities, including answering employee questions, processing membership changes, developing benefits packages and deciphering insurance terms.

Along with economic and industry changes, come upgrades to processing.  Examples of upgrades include adopting online enrollment systems, using dual monitors, relying more heavily on vendors and partners, and posting videos and documents on internal posting systems.

Lindsey Miller, Accounting and Human Resource Director for ValuePoint in Saginaw, has seen a need to constantly remain efficient, especially with the additional layers of administration and employee questions that have been added as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

“Streamlining and achieving efficiency in both the day-to-day operations, as well as during open enrollment is a necessity. The current demands and drastic changes in healthcare have required us to allocate more time to meet our employees’ needs and answer their questions.”

When it comes to upgrades in the form of people and technology, a company should take certain steps towards making this transformation. While the upgrades will not happen overnight, there is often a delayed response from companies who tend to get stuck in the analysis paralysis stage … and then never do anything.

Well-run companies are constantly on the lookout for fresh ideas for innovating processes and operations. They believe that remaining open-minded is important. The most productive – and often successful organizations – are those who are committed to change and forgiving of mistakes.