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...

Going Paperless

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!

Employee Handbook

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.

Compliance Posters

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.

Computer Clean-Up

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.

Job Descriptions

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.

Recruitment

Upon wrapping up the recognition portion and maybe making a few promotions, you may find the need to fill some roles, or are anticipating doing so down the line. Because you've updated job descriptions, this part is a breeze! If your HCM solution comes with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), you are already set from resume to retire. Otherwise, start checking out options for posting your jobs when the time comes. Make a list of the positions you are looking to fill and by when so you can stay organized during the flood of applicants. Don't forget to brush up on new hire questions and other ways to impress them!

Budgeting

From software upgrades to evaluating vendors and planning for new hires, now is also an excellent time to address your budgetary needs that may have been buried under piles of new W-4s and benefits elections. Having a grasp on what you need for your department to operate smoothly is vital to finishing the year strong. Plus it allows for cost-cutting and showing off just how much money you've saved the company through your savvy shopping!

Goals

With files cleaned up, promotion parties planned, and your budget complete, take a look at the year ahead and set some measurable goals for yourself, your department and your company. Finding ways to measure your impact on the company and being accountable to yourself in your role can boost your productivity and even confidence when the time comes for your raise or promotion to C-Suite!

Actual Cleaning

That fake plant in the corner is dusty and dull. Your keyboard hasn't seen a can of compressed air in God knows how long, and there's a piece of granola under the 'M' key from one of your fast-paced lunches during open enrollment. Janitorial companies only do so much, so find some time to give your office a good deep cleaning. You've shredded and tossed plenty of paper by now, may have even lost a file cabinet or at least a Banker's Box, so dust, Lysol and vacuum the place, and maybe add a real, potted plant to brighten the room and your daily mood.

Author a Best Practices Guide

Having just gone through everything you touch in your position, curate a best practices guide for your role. This guide serves so many purposes, from being a point of reference for yourself to passing on to your replacement as you move up in the company, easing a bit of your transitional training. Finally, a best practices guide is an impressive explanatory tool for your boss when you're pushing for a raise. Or maybe, it's what lands you your first published book on a subject you know forward and backward.

 

Check out the 15 Ways to Spring Clean HR Infographic.

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