It’s almost the new year and in between holiday parties and gorging on sugary treats there really is something rather important all HR pros out there need to be doing. It’s something that you’ve probably been ignoring all year while you’ve been running around putting out fires but that doesn’t make it any less important. It’s not hard, just time consuming, but it can go a long way to making sure that you start 2014 off on the right foot. That’s right, it’s time to get your HR house in order.
More than once I have come into an HR shop and found complete and total disarray. No organization, messed up files, half finished or never started projects due to a lack of accountability, and inaccurate or downright misleading information in supposedly trusted databases. Yeah, it’s all kinds of a compliance nightmare.
Sometimes it’s those little things that are so easy to put off or ignore that become the most important. It’s harder because it happens so gradually. At first it’s just forgetting to put that file away or auditing that new hire paperwork. But the next thing you know you are in a DOL audit and can’t find anything you need.
So what can you do?
1. Filing and scanning paperwork. Gah, I hate filing. I always get paper cuts. But having stacks of papers sitting in bins is ridiculous. You can’t trust the info you have in the employees file because you don’t know what you really have. That goes for both the paper filled and paperless offices. If you are paperless than scan those documents and get rid of them!
2. Audit for compliance and retention. When was the last time you audited your I-9’s? Spot checked your employee files to make sure everything was up to date, accurate, and consistent? Do all your employees have the current training or certifications they need? Are you holding on to old paperwork/files/invoices that you should get rid of? Don’t wait for an external audit to find any errors you could have corrected now.
3. Review and update policies and practices. When was the last time you actually took a critical look at the policies and practices you have in place? What steps have gotten redundant or unnecessary? What can you do better or make easier for others? What might you need to revise, automate, or are missing?
4. Set goals. Never mind new year’s resolutions, take the time now to set some solid goals for yourself in 2014 to address how to do better going forward. If you stick with it, next year this whole process will go a lot faster and smoother.
I know it’s not glamorous or exciting, but what else are you going to do when half the office staff is on vacation? So go throw on some headphones, roll up your sleeves, and knock it out for a better 2014 and beyond!