In Part 1 of my Productivity series last week, I shared some of my favorite productivity tips that easily translate over to the entire workforce, as well as handy tricks for improving employment sourcing and hiring processes. This week, I have nine more tips that I’ve successfully used to make my HR processes more productive.
Some of the top HR productivity threats include managing time cards, updating employee information, managing benefits, reporting, and tracking Paid Time Off (PTO). In our age of technology, however, many options exist to help streamline these repetitive processes. Both process improvements and software have helped my company complete HR tasks more productively.
10. HR software – Software solutions for HR vary widely, but they generally streamline administrative and talent management tasks, as well as reporting. Such software can consolidate all of your sourcing and screening, payroll and time tracking, and benefits management processes into one conveniently organized program.
11. Batch tasks – Even without HR software, batching tasks can save significant time and effort. If you know you’ll have to update several employees’ information within the next month, try to complete it all at once so you can spend less time following up.
12. Improve collaboration – Employee collaboration provides multiple perspectives on, and potential solutions to, organizational issues. Leverage your workforce diversity through implementing new software or building more diverse, inter-departmental teams.
13. Time Management – It’s easy to get bogged down in an email, employee issues, and meetings that take longer than necessary. Implementing time management strategies can help us accomplish more.
Time management strategies can include:
- Prioritizing work on a to-do list – I schedule my most pressing tasks during the part of the day when I’m usually at peak productivity. Checking things off a to-do list is also immensely satisfying.
- Blocking out distractions – Shut your office door, put your phones on “Do Not Disturb,” and close your email when you’re on a roll.
- Limiting the length of meetings and using agendas – We can all get sidetracked in team meetings, but going off topic can waste a huge amount of time and kill productivity. Limit all meetings to half an hour and encourage staff to create an agenda to help focus on the issues at hand.
- Streamlining email – Email filter settings make a huge difference in organizing and managing my email. They almost make email a breeze. Try sending all compliance and legal alert email updates to one folder and schedule time to go through them in bulk. You can do the same with RSS feeds and software and program updates.
14. Cost Management – The Six Sigma management methodology is pretty helpful in other applications, such as cost management. When we review cost management processes and try to follow the Six Sigma steps: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC), completing tasks and conducting analysis goes more efficiently.
15. Security – A simple firewall can prevent employees from wasting work time on unproductive activities, such as surfing social media sites and watching videos. Sure, some people hate it, but we accomplish more.
16. Enforce Policies and Procedures – Employees may slack off at work because they don’t know or don’t believe there are any consequences. If my HR sees employees spending too much time standing around chatting, she sends a companywide email or makes an announcement during a morning meeting to remind people that socializing during work time can result in disciplinary action.
17. Focus on strengths, and learn or outsource weaknesses – If you’re great at employee management, but struggle with benefits, you could consider taking a course or outsourcing your benefits management. Employee engagement is one of my strengths, but I outsource the cooking portion of the monthly luncheon because that is a weakness.
18. Create a calendar to focus initiatives – We create an annual calendar to help departments focus their initiatives on certain themes. For example, January is Health and Wellness Month, so HR and leadership focus on sharing nutritional tips and providing group exercise opportunities. Since the theme is companywide, initiatives are aligned and implemented efficiently.
How have you improved productivity in your department or company? I’d love to see your ideas!
Looking for other HR tips? Check out my recent blog posts.
About Tammy Cohen
In 1989, Cohen founded InfoMart, a multi-million dollar pre-employment screening company that provides services to Fortune 500 companies nationwide. InfoMart has been recognized on Security Magazine’s Security 500 list and Workforce Magazine’s Hot List for several concurrent years. Additionally, InfoMart has numerous “Best Place to Work” awards from various organizations. As a recognized expert in the employment screening industry, Cohen is often referred to as “The Queen of Screen” and was influential in the founding of the screening industry’s first trade association, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Cohen is actively involved in a number of business and civic organizations and has received numerous personal honors, including a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record, the Entrepreneur of the Year award from YWCA of the USA, an Enterprising Woman of the Year Award from Enterprising Women, and the Phenomenal Women Award from the Siegel Institute.
InfoMart is an industry leader in background screening services, providing businesses the information they need to make well-informed hiring decisions. With more than 26 years in business, InfoMart is a pioneer in developing innovative technology and screening services, from criminal history searches to verifications of employment. Accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a designation earned by less than 10% of the industry, InfoMart has also been recognized on Workforce Magazine’s Hot List of Background Screening Providers for ten consecutive years. The company prides itself on its dedication to customers, innovation, and accurate reporting. For more information about InfoMart, please visit www.infomart-usa.com or call (770) 984-2727.