4 Essential Weekly Tasks to Make HR Easier

April 29, 2014

4 Essential Weekly Tasks to Make HR Easier

“So much to do, so little time”. If you feel like that every day, you probably work in HR. But don’t worry, we’re not here to add to your task list. In fact, using our suggestions below will actually cut down on the number of HR issues you’re facing daily, and will make your working day more productive, more fulfilling and more fun.

1. Say Thanks

You probably know already that one of the key ingredients to HR success is a happy workforce. But did you know that this can be achieved in just one word?

Showing your people they’re valued creates immense ripples of morale and productivity across your entire workforce, and it’s one of the easiest tools in your arsenal. In fact, research shows that employers who thank their staff have a significantly lower turnover (i.e. less people leaving), and their staff tend to be super-engaged and mega-productive.

Top Tip: Make a note of everything you think deserves a “Thank You”, and send a personal note of ‘Thanks’ to everyone on your list at the end of the week – or, if you want to start the week on a positive note, send out your thanks for the previous week every Monday! Either way, don’t let hard work go unnoticed.

What to avoid: Empty thanks don’t work; the most effective “Thank You” is one given for a specific activity or achievement.

2. Well-Being Initiatives

According to the ONS, 131 million days are lost every year due to sickness. That’s a staggering figure! Imagine what you could do with all those days…

Yet despite us seeing record illness statistics (not to mention the growing trend of ‘pulling a sickie’), small businesses tend to just put up with it, assuming the only option is to confront their staff – something they don’t want to do. But did you know that engaging your workforce in sickness-prevention initiatives could significantly cut down on the sick days? Not only because there is less illness at work, but also because a happier, healthier workforce is less likely to call in ‘duvet days’.

Top Tip: Introduce a ‘Fresh Fruit Friday’ or a ‘Walk to Work Wednesday’ (steady with this one – especially if your people are out-of-city commuters!) to encourage a healthier staff. You could even organise extra-curricular activities, like a five-a-side football league or even a running club.

Caution: Don’t start something without consulting your staff first – you may find that nobody wants to participate. Why not send out a memo asking for suggestions from your people on what they’d like to do to make work more healthy and more fun?

3. Track Overtime

Have you ever been tempted to let your employees burn the candle at both ends and work un-human amounts of overtime? I think we’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another, but it’s actually a counter-productive trap to fall into.

According to research, productivity drops by a massive 50% per person after 40 hours a week have been worked. And when you factor in that many companies offer ‘time and a half’ for each of these unproductive hours, suddenly you’re paying three times more per each ‘unit’ of productivity. Remember, in supermarkets, buying in bulk is usually better value – but in HR, it’s the opposite.

Top Tip: Create a weekly hour-tracker and aim to cap the maximum number of hours each employee works. Don’t be afraid of hiring more staff – you’ll not only be bringing in more fresh productivity, but you’ll be helping your local community by creating new jobs.

Caution: Everybody is different, and statistics are not a sure-fire method of understanding individual productivity. Some employees might actually stay productive for 50 hours or more, whereas others may burn out after just 30 – if you have the time, you could create custom time-caps for each.

4. Monday Huddles

Not many people like being ‘micro-managed’ – most members of your workforce prefer the freedom to get on with the work they’ve been hired to do without a manager breathing down their neck.

But there’s nothing wrong – in fact, there’s everything right – with getting your team together for a Monday morning ‘huddle’, to share problems, recap goals and inject some fresh motivation for the week to come.

Top Tip: Set a weekly performance target at the beginning of the week, then start your next Monday Huddle by reviewing progress from the last. Rinse and repeat!

Caution: If your huddles are too goal-focused and progress-oriented, they might have the opposite effect. Remember to encourage every person and keep spirits high!

Maybe you’re already doing some of these tips we’ve included above. If you are, then we’d love to hear how they work for you – just drop us a comment below. But if you’re not, then start right now; we know from experience that these four essential weekly tasks can really help to lighten the load and foster a happier, more productive workforce for your company.


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