January 02.2019, 9.51am

5 HR Resolutions to Kick Start 2019

The New Year offers HR teams a new start and even the best in the industry are seizing the opportunity to work more efficiently.

Brexit and increased competition for talent are some of the big challenges facing companies in 2019 – and they’re likely to have an impact both for employers and employees. Businesses will need to undergo an HR transformation to ensure that they’re doing all they can to keep their staff happy and engaged with their work.

Sharon Looney, CoreHR Chief Human Resources Office, shares her thoughts on the five must-have resolutions that every HR leader should be making in 2019.

1. Sharpen up your SMART talent optimisation strategy

HR has welcomed analytics with open arms, allowing teams to drastically reinvent the way they work. In 2019, businesses should capitalise on the transformation by using SMART goals to get the most out of their talent strategies.

“SMART goals help HR teams put their analytics in perspective and find ways to capitalise on any gaps,” Sharon says.

SMART goals offer a proven framework that allows HR teams to better leverage the analytics platforms that they use on a daily basis. By creating a specific and measurable goal – reducing turnover, for example – organisations can refine how they’ll achieve it and what its qualitative and quantitative impact on the company is.

Setting it as a time-based objective lets the business compare historical results.

Use your analytics to see which strategies are working and which aren’t. Then in 2019, use SMART goals to define exactly how you’ll improve those situations. This will help you optimise your talent strategies by weeding out the nonsense and focusing on projects that are proven to help employees.

2. Shout from the mountaintops about HR’s success

We all know that HR plays an invaluable role in modern organisations, but some companies don’t fully recognise it. In 2019, it’s time to make sure they know exactly what HR brings to the table.

Sharing the department wins or milestones with the wider company helps everyone to see the impact HR has. A great place to start is with the investments that HR has made into its digital tools.

HR software has a host of benefits:

  • Saving time on daily tasks like rostering by automating them.
  • Giving the team greater control over recruitment and the talent landscape.
  • Pinpointing which training courses are the best fit for each individual employee.
  • Creating digital onboarding classes to support a seamless transition for new team members.
  • Streamlining expense report management.

Many of these tasks are done in the background, but they generate real value for the business. Bring them out of the shadows by using data to prove just how valuable they are to the company, and share that at quarterly meetings or use the reports to back up your budget proposals.

3. Get rid of the work that doesn’t add value

A new year is a new chance to clean up old habits. Inefficient and ineffective routines can lead to stress, distraction and ultimately turn into a waste of time. Use 2019 as the starting point for getting rid of the work that doesn’t add value and adopt strategies that make your day-to-day easier.

“The role of the HR manager has evolved so much over the past few years,” Sharon says. “Organisations need to rethink the role of their HR leaders and recognise the value of shifting them from being a service function to designers of employee success programs and engineers of performance optimization initiatives.”

Take the time to sit down and figure out which tasks take the most time out of your day, but more importantly why they take the most time. Cutting the source of frustration off at its head could make life much easier. For example, Integer, a global leader in medical device manufacturing, was able to cut the time spent on weekly reporting from four hours to 10 minutes with the right processes in place.

4. Make HR more personalised

Each employee has different goals, strengths and weakness – so it makes sense to tailor the process to them when it comes to training, promotions or corporate benefits.

Move away from blanket strategies and try to deliver HR on a personal level in 2019. Recruitment, onboarding, employee engagement and leadership can all be personalised to create an individualised experience for each team member.

“Using employee engagement surveys, HR managers can truly figure out what makes each person in the company tick and develop plans to address it,” Sharon says. “Extending that personalisation is the next step in enhancing their experience at the company.”

5. Ramp up the frequency of employee reviews

Employees want more control over their careers than ever before and HR is in a position to deliver. Annual reviews are outdated and can lead to stagnation in the workforce, which then contributes to a higher turnover rate.

Commit to ongoing evaluations that take multiple forms: one-to-one conversations, peer recognition and a real-time list of the certifications or requirements needed to move up in the company.

“Many HR managers have yet to truly tap into the tools and solutions that are making the annual review more frequent,” Sharon says. “Giving employees all the tools to succeed relies on making a steady stream of feedback available, and doing so can have a major positive impact on employee engagement.”

Make it a goal this year to reinvent the way your business looks at employee reviews because it could mean the difference between high performers leaving or staying in 2019.

Deirdre PluckBy Deirdre Pluck

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