Now that year-end and first quarter are over and spring is here, it's time to get to spring cleaning your office and your department!
Files, Paperwork, and Organization
Now that first quarter is over there might be stacks of paperwork on your desk waiting for attention. You've pulled employee files and have updated benefits information, withdrawal requests, and are ready to move on. So start with ridding yourself of anything you no longer need to hold onto, like
old personnel records
, via proper shredding and find ways to organize your files for minimum space usage and maximum security. Might I recommend...
Technology has advanced us to the point that we can get our paystubs online, our W2 online, file our taxes online and receive our refunds online. And that's not all we can do. There are plenty of onboarding forms that can be filled out electronically and never need to see ink and paper. And with the
cloud taking over
, there are so many options for safe and accessible storage of sensitive data, which you could utilize and rid your office of that file cabinet and add a plant or an accent chair! Software for documents like PDFs have the flexibility of editing, creating bookmarks, password protecting, and more. So grab a sturdy scanner and watch your shred bin fill and your file cabinet empty!
Speaking of paper, when was the last time you checked out the employee handbook? Now is a great time to review it for updated policies, guidelines, verbiage and maybe a fresh makeover. Be sure to check insurance information, the employee directory, 401k information like eligibility and notes on any company match. Maybe add basic forms for new hires or forms you need to update on each employee annually for a quick way to gather data each year.
Check on the compliance posters in your office, and notice the dates in the bottom corner. These signs should be updated regularly to avoid penalties and fines. Be sure to do searches for not only federal posters but also those for your state and possibly locality depending on where your business is situated.
Time Off Requests
With spring break upon us and summer rapidly approaching, vacation requests tend to rise. As such, it is essential to stay ahead of this and ensure that not too many people are taking the same days or weeks off. Have a public calendar and
set some rules
. Maybe there need to be blackout dates. Perhaps you operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, or maybe seniority plays a factor. Whatever your situation, be consistent and be fair.
Audit Your Benefits
It's not hard to fall behind on auditing benefits. Now is a great time to do your own internal audit and match up benefits with providers, pricing, and double-check payroll deductions. You'd be surprised at how often a benefit election doesn't match the paystub. Clear out these issues now before they become big problems. There are a few providers of benefits administration and
HCM solutions that offer this service
. Ask about it, and you may be able to delegate this task!
Evaluate Your HR Vendors
While on the topic of outside services, how happy are you with yours? What vendors do you work with as part of your role? Your payroll provider, your recruiting agents, benefits providers, etc. are all competing with other businesses. If you're less than happy with the service you're providing, now is a great time to ask for more, and if you're not getting it, shop around, do some demos and see what else is out there. If you need help shopping,
check out this guide to evaluating HCM solutions
Now that you've purged your file folders and scanned your paperwork, it's time to clean up the virtual office. Start with your email inbox, delete old emails, clean up folders, respond to things that may have slipped through the cracks during the chaos of first quarter. Then clean up your desktop, make sure you have proper backups and storage, and maybe even use this time to update your passwords. Finally, check that all your software is up-to-date and audit your subscriptions to ensure you're not paying for something you're not using.
While going through all the personnel files, it may be a good time to evaluate how the office has changed, what additional responsibilities people have taken on, and make sure you have a complete list of job descriptions for everyone in the office. This practice will make it easier come evaluation time, or if you need to replace someone or hire a second person for a role.
Recognition & Engagement
Through reviewing job descriptions, you may come across some accomplishments, big or small, that deserve recognition. Remember, a couple of reasons people love their jobs and stay in them include being appreciated, paid well, and promoted. So if you find opportunities for rewarding your people, do it! Make it a party, engage the team to rally around one another and support their peers. An engaged office drives business success.