Working as a human resource manager today is no easy feat. Between managing people processes, recruitment efforts, and staying up to date on employment laws, many HR leaders feel stretched too thin. Before long, tasks start to accumulate, and the HR manager is required to work long hours to get caught up. How can an HR manager get a break?
The secret to saving time and being more efficient in HR is to set up systems that combine HR technology tools with good time management habits. Below, find our recommended time-saving tips for HR pros.
Most working adults have to fight to maintain some level of attention while they go about their daily tasks. From emails to text messages, it can be difficult to reduce distractions. This takes a lot of discipline to stop, but it becomes easier over time. Simply select a time each day to switch your phone to Airplane mode, step away from the email, and get a task done. Close your office door to cut down on colleague walk-ins when you are in task mode.
Manage emails with folders
Set up folders for each incoming email, using general tasks to assign folder names. Then as emails come in, move them into the folders to be reviewed later. The theory is that you will use your smaller work sessions to read through emails, most of which are not going to impact the business in any way.
Allocate more often
Multi-tasking is not a good practice to be in. You don’t have to do everything all the time. Consider some of the junior HR colleagues who may be looking for a chance to build their portfolios. As HR managers, we can get into the mindset of being in control when really that is just another way to isolate. Instead, evaluate the skillsets of your team and allocate tasks to them.
Make a running To-do list
In order to prioritize tasks and set enough time to get them done, create a calendar that acts like a To-do list. Set the time for each project and add the breakdown of tasks as dates on your calendar. Set up reminders, and do not ignore them. You’ll find this helpful with deadline-oriented matters like compliance updates, OSHA reporting, and more.
The notion that everyone needs an hour to complete a meeting is out of date. So too are in-person meetings. Instead, try quick stand-up meetings at the start of the day to make sure everyone is on the same page, using a virtual meeting or telephone conference system. Save face-to-face meetings for critical matters.
Maintain a neat workspace
Several workplace studies have shown that people who keep tidy desks also tend to be highly productive. How can anyone work with a big pile of junk on the desk? Minimize, organize, and purge for a better and more efficient workday.
Learn to say “No”
It’s natural to want to be a people-pleaser in the role of HR, but it also uses your energy up on projects and activities that you don’t need in your life. Instead, be more selective about what you take on and learn to use the word “No” more often when responding to requests.
Work during your peaks
Everyone has portions of the day when they feel most productive. Figure out what yours are and make the most of them with uninterrupted work sessions. Use the Pomodoro method to work in 25-minute sessions with 5-minute breaks in between, and watch those projects fly off your desk.
Get direct with others
Email chains are a big waste of time in the office. Instead of the back-and-forths, pick up the phone and get the information you need directly from the person who has it. If you want proof, send a quick summarization of the conversation after the call.
Take care of your needs
When we are not feeling well, overtired, or not taking care of our basic needs, it can reduce our ability as HR managers to be effective. Take an inventory of how you feel and take steps if you need a day off to recuperate or deal with a personal or health matter.
By using the above tips, it will be possible to get a better handle on your time, and you will be more efficient in your work as an HR manager.