Your 2021 HR Spring Cleaning Checklist
It’s that time of year again - the sun is shining brighter, the days are getting warmer, and there’s a fresh buzz in the air after months of bleak winter weather.
That’s right, Spring has officially sprung and it’s time to dust away the cobwebs, reorganise those cupboards, declutter your wardrobe, and maybe even fung shui the living room - but it shouldn’t stop there!
Much like our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to get caught up with more pressing matters at work and fall behind on the many tasks that often get put on the backburner as a result.
This year especially, it’s been quite a juggling act to keep things in order during the pandemic, so to help you stay on top of things moving forward, we’ve created an HR spring cleaning checklist to get your business organised and feeling fresh.
Your Spring Cleaning Checklist
Item #1: Health & Safety
It goes without saying that health and safety became a major priority in 2021 - more so than it ever has before - forcing HR teams to reevaluate what proper health and safety measures look like at work under ever-changing circumstances.
At their core, health and safety cover occupational programs, training, and guidelines that should be in place to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of every employee. When this is done effectively and employees are properly trained to understand the correct procedures, this helps HR with their aim to prevent and manage illness, accidents, or injuries at work.
To help you narrow down this broad item, here are some health and safety checklist elements you may want to pay close attention to in 2021:
- Ensuring your workplace Health & Safety program, training and documents are up to date with COVID-19 laws and regulations.
- That the names and contact information of your Health & Safety committee are shared and displayed both in-office and online.
- That your Health & Safety workplace inspections are carried out and well documented in order to protect staff, customers, and visitors if your business is open to the public.
- Ensuring that all remote workers are properly supported, as HR and employers have equal responsibility for the protection of these individuals as any other.
The CIPD also provides brilliant COVID-specific checklist forms and support materials for businesses, courtesy of HR-inform, should you be worried that you’re missing anything.
Item #2: Policy & Procedure
Equally as important as health and safety are workplace policies and procedures. Updating and reviewing this checklist item is crucial to the success of any organisation as it keeps businesses and employees safe and in the know while assuring they’re acting in alignment with workplace compliance.
Not to mention, when HR manages these expectations effectively, it ultimately leads to stronger workplace relationships and an all-around better reputation for your business.
Some workplace policy & procedures (aside from health and safety) to consider reviewing include:
- The workplace Code of Conduct
- Your current Recruitment policy
- Internet, email, and social policies
- Updated software policies & procedures
- Current Anti-Discrimination and Harassment policies
- Current Grievance Handling procedures
- Discipline and Termination policies
- The Employee Handbook
As you review these documents, make sure that each policy and procedure comes with a brief overview as well as a description of how it works. It might also come in handy to provide examples of existing policies in action and even include a section that explains how the policy links to other internal policies and procedures.
Item #3: Employee Records
As a people professional, the employees you help manage are an integral part of your job, so making sure you’re periodically dusting off and updating their employment records is especially important.
For this item, make sure to:
- Check that your employee file management system is working and up-to-date
- Review all employee classifications (i.e. full-time or part-time)
- Update status of full-time, part-time, and temporary employees (if their status has changed)
- Update the necessary addresses, phone numbers, and emergency contact information
- Review payroll and holiday allotments
- Review employee benefits and contributions
- Have all appraisals, promotion, or disciplinary letters on file
Without accurate employee records, it can be downright impossible to monitor performance and productivity levels efficiently, ultimately hindering the growth of not only the employees but the business as well - so don’t overlook this one!
Item #4: Onboarding, Training & Development
HR teams are partially responsible for their organisation’s staff onboarding, training, and career development needs. This means that, alongside your L&D team, you should be on top of onboarding and training staff effectively, all while encouraging team building and personal development along the way.
To make sure this is being done right, first consider your onboarding process, as this is essential in starting new employees on the right track. For example, you should know:
- Whether your orientation process working, and if not, what plans there are in place to turn it around (especially during the pandemic)
- Whether all new members of staff have the tools they need to get started
- The regulatory training in place for new hires, including job-specific employee training
As time goes on and employees get comfortable in their new roles, you’ll also need to determine:
- Whether employees are up-to-date on the regulatory job training, including ‘refresher’ training sessions
- Whether employee training and development records are current (and that your team has effective tracking methods)
- Employee skills development and the next steps for their career growth
Item #5: Performance Management
Performance management is essential to every organisation, helping to align organisations and their employees to meet both short-term and long-term objectives.
The reason this is a spring cleaning item for HR is that these objectives are often updated or tweaked to reflect quarterly or annual outcomes, and it’s your job as an HR professional to be a means of communication between senior leaders and their employees in support of achieving strategic targets. This also means helping manage and document employee performance.
To manage performance effectively, you should:
- Ensure that you have a performance management system in place (one that works!)
- That the company goals are clear, attainable, and communicated thoroughly to staff
- Have informal check-ins as well as performance reviews with employees
- Ensure that there are employee rewards and recognition incentives in place to drive positive and lasting results
Item #6: Actual Cleaning
It might come as a shock that one of your HR spring cleaning checklist items is to actually clean, but of course we wouldn’t dare keep it off the list!
We’re sure that like anyone else, your desk and the surrounding area isn’t always as tidy as you’d like it to be, so now is your chance to:
- File any loose documents
- Purge the unnecessary documents
- Discard those flimsy sticky notes around your computer screen
- Readjust your computer chair
- Reorganise your drawers
- Wipe down absolutely everything (keyboard, mouse, and desk nic nacs included)
We also recommend cracking open a window if it’s a warm enough day to let in that fresh Spring breeze with a smile.
We hope that our HR spring cleaning checklist will prove helpful in getting you organised this season and all the rest, making your job and your life that much easier.
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