Focus on HR: Human Resource Outsourcing: Optimizing Lab Performance and Profitability

By Hedley Lawson
Today’s optical laboratory owners and managers understand the importance of elevating their company’s competitive advantage through excellent value-added Human Resources, ‘Best Practice’ processes and cost-effective benefit and administrative programs. Small to medium-sized labs now have the unique opportunity to outsource their HR organizational and administrative services and enjoy expertise that is only available to much larger corporations.

Capitalizing on Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO) can help optical labs maximize efficiency and profitability, while providing the ‘Best Practice,’ affordable HR outsourced solutions.

Why consider outsourcing Human Resources services?

In February 2009, Hewitt Associates, a global leader in advising organizations around the world in human resources consulting and outsourcing solutions, conducted a wide-ranging survey “2009 Human Resources Outsourcing Trends and Insights.”Key survey findings for small and medium-sized business owners included the following:

• 89 percent of respondents rated 25 of 26 HR outsourced services as being effective or highly effective

• 82 percent of responding companies indicated they have achieved the expected benefits from outsourcing human resources

• 82 percent prefer to work with a partner who has in-depth domain expertise versus broad outsourcing experience

• 78 percent indicated they have gained access to more professional and capable expertise to support their business

• Outsourcing helps alleviate the administrative burdens associated with managing increasingly complex and ever-changing legal compliance requirements, HR programs and cost pressures. In addition, research confirms that HR outsourcing provides companies with the ability to lower costs, gain access to top industry-experienced expertise, and enable the company to deliver greater value to its customers.

Many optical labs are cautiously preparing for better times in 2010 and beyond, but many organization’s human resource capabilities have been reduced due to financial constraints or are lacking from a competitive value perspective. This reduced capability has lab owners and managers examining new, more advanced and value-added solutions to rebuild or obtain Human Resources capabilities to attain and leverage a competitive edge, particularly when pitted against larger vertically integrated competitors in the wholesale laboratory space.

The HRO Value Proposition to Optical Labs Access to contemporary human resources solutions and services provided by select HR experts who possess experience in prominent businesses and in the optical industry is a new value and profitability-enhancing business proposition. Frequently such expertise and services are unachievable due to cost or the full-time need to employ an HR professional on staff. None of the optical industry associations or buying groups presently offers or provides as a service to their members an HRO solution. Likewise, none of these groups provide members with access to highly professional human resources services to proactively plan and to mitigate immediate HR challenges, to gain a competitive edge in the general market place, to achieve cost savings through economies of scale, and to more effectively manage, grow, develop and retain their valuable human assets through contemporary human resources programs. Here is a list of some HRO services that labs can consider outsourcing:

• Development and implementation of contemporary talent acquisition and recruiting strategies and processes (recruiting, interviewing, selection, referencing, background checks);

• Customized ‘Best Practice’ cash and non-cash compensation programs (development and implementation of base salary, bonus, incentive plans, other cash and non-cash reward programs);

• Highly innovative and results-proven Performance Management and Alignment strategies and programs;

• Technical and professional training and development course planning and delivery;

• Advisory services to assist with legally compliant organizational programs and initiatives;

• Succession Planning, leadership and team competency development and alignment;

• Contemporary employee relations and union avoidance strategies;

• Innovative solutions to employee engagement, recognition programs and retention strategies;

• Legally compliant and contemporary Human Resources policy development, including ‘Best Practice’ employee handbook development, communication and revision;

• Up to date and compliant HR forms, documents, and regulatory compliance notifications and legal postings;

• I-9 documentation and management;

• Periodic HR compliance audits;

• Workers’ compensation plan selection, Safety program development and loss prevention strategies;

• Monthly or quarterly employee communications plan development;

• Advisory services associated with possible staff reductions, exit strategies, family succession planning and leadership development, or possible merger, acquisition or sale of the business; and

• Owner and executive coaching.

Hedley Lawson is Founder and Managing Partner of Aligned Growth Partners, LLC, a board and management advisory and Human Resource Outsourcing company. For 20-years prior to founding AGP, Hedley was Senior Vice President Human Resources and Quality Management and as Corporate Vice President Americas for SOLA International, Inc. Hedley can be reached at [email protected], or by calling 707-217-0979 (Northern California office) or 714-224-8906 (Southern California office).


Labtalk June 2020