Five time saving hacks for HR Managers

There’s no denying it, a HR manager’s time is most certainly of the essence. There’s a million and one jobs that require your time and attention and everybody wants something yesterday. Whichever way you look at it, the days just aren’t long enough. In addition, the role of a HR manager is incredibly varied, and can see you work both independently, as well as alongside a number of other departments, often involved in a wide variety of tasks, which vary from day to day. Despite all these pressures, how can HR managers ensure they remain productive when there are ever increasing tasks to complete and with everything moving at such a rapid pace?

Fail to plan, plan to fail

There’s little doubt you will have heard this saying before, namely from school teachers who were always trying to drum in the importance of revision ahead of an exam. But however much we don’t want to admit it, there is some truth in their wise words.

It’s an obvious one, but it’s also easy to neglect. Yet spending time looking ahead can actually save you time in the long run. Throughout the year there are a number of key events: summer holidays, Easter holidays, Christmas breaks, and that’s before you look specifically at the industry you work in, For example, HR managers who work in companies that have seasonal peaks and troughs may identify increased activity around specific periods. These events are often accompanied by an increase in workload, and so by spending some time and planning ahead HR managers can ensure they are equipped to stay productive even throughout the busiest times of the year.

Make every minute count

Long term planning is all well and good, but attention must also be given to the here and now too to prevent HR managers from drowning in their workload. Take some time to look at the present, taking tasks and breaking them down into smaller more manageable chunks which you can tackle day by day.

Effective scheduling can see HR managers allocate their time more efficiently. One great way to do this is to spend 10 minutes at the end of the day creating an action list for the following day or week. To be most effective, the action list should note any task you are currently working on, and include a status update – is the task awaiting input from another colleague or department, for example, which will impact on delivery deadlines? By gaining an oversight of your activities and assigning a time frame for completion, you can ensure that your tasks are completed efficiently, and even ahead of deadlines. It is perhaps also worthwhile sharing this document with your team so they know the status of your current activities, which may even reduce the amount of times you are asked ‘where are we with….’ question, further boosting your productivity.

Don’t be like Pavlov’s Dog

When it comes to emails, most of us are conditioned to respond to that ping in our Inbox. And just like it is impossible to ignore a ringing telephone, suddenly you are caught up in responding to the steady stream of incoming emails and find yourself distracted from the task at hand. It’s well known that it can then take you several minutes to regain your focus. If this is happening all day, every day, just imagine how much productive time you are losing.

With a detailed action list to hand, HR managers can begin to effectively prioritize their workload. However, It can be easy to get caught up in the ongoing email trails, and small jobs that shouldn’t take more than five minutes, but somehow consume most of your day. Before you know it that task you needed to complete has once again been pushed further down your to do list. A simple, but effective way to ensure you remain focused on the task in hand is to limit the time you spend checking emails. It may seem a bizarre concept to the ever busy HR manager, but it really allows HR managers to streamline their day. A good rule of thumb here is to spend 30 minutes each morning, followed by 30 minutes at lunch, and then a final 30 minutes at the end of the day catching up with and replying to emails. Try it, it might surprise you.

There’s no ‘I’ in team

Why is it when it comes to delegating tasks, we would rather do them ourselves? And it’s a hard one to overcome. You know the situation. You are working to deadlines that have already passed, and then your boss comes in with an urgent last minute job. You’re already struggling but happily take on the work, instantly rebuffing the thought of asking for help!

Often managers also struggle to ‘let go’ of their workload, instead, believing that in the time it takes to delegate a task, they could have completed it themselves. Yet, delegating your workload offers a multitude of benefits to both yourself and your team, and you don’t have to struggle on doing things alone. Delegating tasks to your team according to their own strengths is a great way to empower a sense of teamwork amongst your colleagues, but can also see your team build on their existing skill set, helping them to grow and discover new skills, what’s more it frees up your time to get on with other tasks that require your attention.

Invest in dedicated HR software

We know what you’re thinking, your time is already massively stretched and you couldn’t even consider dedicating additional time to investing in HR software. However, the task need not be as daunting as you might think. Effective HR software, such as Equator HR, offers HR managers a range of benefits from better time management to increased levels of productivity as a result of automating a number of HR tasks such as time and attendance through to payroll. Of course, there will be an investment in time initially, but this is soon recouped once your software is up and running, allowing HR managers to get on with the tasks they need to, safe in the knowledge their HR software is supporting both them and the business.

Want to know more about the savings you could make from investing in comprehensive HR software? Why not take a look at this case study from one of our customers, leading healthcare manufacturer, Millbrook Industries, which is saving one day a week thanks to Equator HR.