How an HR Manager Can Stay Organized
5 Tips for Staying Organized in the Hectic HR World
HR managers are known for handling detail-oriented, fast-paced environments. They are responsible for managing sensitive employee information that is critical for ensuring the business runs smoothly and complies with Department of Labor’s rules and regulations. All of that can get overwhelming without outstanding organizational skills.
Here are five tips on how HR managers can stay organized in the chaotic HR world:
Compartmentalize your personnel files.
Whether you are using a paper system or an electronic employee recordkeeping program, if your files are not properly organized you leave yourself vulnerable to data loss, confusion and compliance risks. There are certain personnel files that are necessary for running any business.
These files include:
- Basic Personnel Files
Not sure what files should be included in an employee’s personnel folder? Remember to keep together all files that were a factor in the employee’s hiring as well as files that will impact their employment in the future. This includes documents such as resumes, professional references, employment applications, job descriptions, Form W-4, employee evaluation forms, performance reviews, benefit details, promotion documents and any disciplinary actions.
- Employee Medical Folders
You should always house everything related to an employee’s medical records in a separate folder. This is very important because you cannot legally base any personnel decisions, such as promotions or terminations, on medical histories of those involved. There are also various privacy laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, that require you to keep employee medical records separate.
- Employee Injury and Safety Records
All files related to employees who have been injured on the job should be maintained separately in your employee recordkeeping system. The folder should include any Worker’s Compensation claim records as well as any other medical records related to the injury. You may also include any training materials on employee safety in this area.
- Payroll Record Files
If you are responsible for payroll at your organization, you should keep any payroll related documentation separate from other files. You should also stay abreast of any state laws regarding payroll record retention to ensure files are stored for the proper amount of time. This area can also include records of sick time, vacation and any other time-off records.
- I-9 Files
All I-9 forms (Employment Eligibility Verification) should be kept in a separate master file. Because I-9 forms are subject to specific record retentions laws, a separate folder will ensure that you keep these mandated personnel forms for as long as is legally required.
Unify your HR systems.
One of the most difficult organizational challenges is maintaining accurate employee data when it resides in multiple, disparate technology systems. For instance, if your recruiting and onboarding software is disconnected from your payroll system, you cannot be sure that the information entered by the employee when they were hired is properly feeding into payroll.
Disjointed systems mean multiple chances for data entry errors and overall difficulty in accessing the proper information when you need it. Further, updating personnel information can be very time consuming when you are required to make the chances across multiple systems.
By utilizing a seamlessly integrated human capital management system that incorporates all HR modules, you can store everything in a central location, avoid errors that come with entering data multiple times and expedite your HR processes.
Optimize your online calendar.
Your online calendar can serve as an invaluable way to leave mental breadcrumbs for yourself throughout the day. Though you might ordinarily trust your brain to remember your regularly occurring events, mental recall becomes a lot more difficult as your HR responsibilities grow.
Online calendars, especially those integrated with your email client, can serve as a valuable organization tool for your work week. You can set up reminder notifications for daily tasks, weekly meetings and monthly deadlines. These alerts are also available on your smartphone or tablet, so you won’t lose track of what you are supposed to be doing--even if you are working on-the-go.
Organize your email.
As you receive hundreds of emails a week, it is hard not to get overwhelmed. To keep your sanity and to prevent missing important emails, it is necessary to come up with a system of organization for managing your inbox. One great way to get started is to utilize the automated “rules” feature in your email.
You can use rules to automatically sort emails that are sent from a specific email, sent to a specific email address or contain a specific keyword into corresponding folders. This allows you to access emails related to a specific project or sent by your boss with ease.
Another way to tackle your inbox is to use the “flagging” feature. This feature allows you to manually flag each email that comes in that requires follow up. Once flagged, you can set up reminders and alerts to follow up within the date range that you specify. By using flagging, you can differentiate which emails require action and can prioritize the order of importance.
Establish morning prep time and an end-of-day review.
In any busy profession, much of your day ends up devoted to tackling whatever tasks come up throughout the day. These constant distractions can take you away from your main priorities and allow small tasks to override major project goals. One way to keep on top of deadlines is to conduct a morning prep session and end your day with a review.
Your morning preparation session is used to decide your main priorities for the day. You can use this time to construct your to-do list for the day, prioritize each task and determine which resources you need to accomplish your goals. You can mentally allot the estimated time it will take to complete each task and segment your day based on that allotment.
Conducting an end-of-day review session is essential in keeping yourself accountable for your daily productivity. You should use this time to review your morning to-do list and see how successful you were in accomplishing your daily goals.
If you are struggling to meet your goals, it’s important to be honest with yourself and decide if you are taking on more tasks than you can actually tackle. By staying on top of these two routines, you should have better control of deadlines and ensure that your projects are moving along as needed.
By integrating these organizational tips into your daily routine, you can become a more focused and productive human resource manager.
Jordann Donskey is the Senior Marketing Coordinator at EPAY Systems is a leading SaaS provider of seamless human capital management technology and services designed to help medium to large businesses manage their workforce in a lot less time and with a lot less work.