If you’re an HR Manager in an SME, you’ll know all too well about having a never-ending to-do list and an increasing amount of responsibility. As well as dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s in your organisation, you’re faced with a daily deluge of dealing with people and processes, all while trying to convince managers and directors that the business could be more profitable if they took your suggested changes on board.
In the face of increasing busyness and conflicting demands, it can be hard to be productive. So in this blog, I want to share with you my top 10 tips for HR Leads in SMEs.
10 Top Productivity Tips
1. Start each day with a plan
The adage ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ definitely rings true. Start each day with a list of a few specific and pressing tasks that need doing that day. Remember to concentrate on the tasks that are going to have the most impact.
2. Organise and prioritise
A to-do list can be helpful but if you find that the list keeps growing and you aren’t really getting anywhere, it can feel overwhelming. When you are time-starved and it seems like every task on your to-do list is urgent, take a closer look, then segregate your to-do list into these categories:
• Do – for important and urgent tasks
• Schedule – for tasks that are important but not pressing
• Delegate – for tasks that aren’t important but need doing
• Eliminate – for tasks that aren’t important or urgent and always end up at the bottom of your list
3. Bundle similar tasks together and work through them
You’ll focus better and get more done if you group together similar kinds of tasks that require the same energy and way of thinking than if you try to jump from one type of task to another.
4. Don’t multitask
When you’re busy, it can seem tempting to do a handful of things at once, but all this does is affect your focus, increase your stress levels, and increases the chance of making a mistake. Give all of your time and attention to one task at a time.
You’ll be amazed at how this can give you laser focus on the tasks that add the most value.
5. Don’t endlessly check your emails (or social media)
Responding to a quick email might seem harmless but if you can’t seem to check your inbox without getting side-tracked, bogged down, or feeling pressured to immediately reply, my advice is to choose two periods of time during the day to check your emails. This might be in the first hour of the day, and the final hour. Turn off your notifications to avoid being distracted every time an email pops up.
Social media is a huge thief of your time, so only spend time on it during working hours if it’s part of your job role. If not, leave the scrolling until break times.
6. Think about how much time you spend in meetings
Some meetings are useful, necessary, and relevant, and some definitely aren’t. Look at your scheduled meetings; will attending help you meet your objectives? Do they serve a real purpose? Will you add real value by being there? Your time is precious, so don’t take hours out of your day attending meetings if you don’t have to.
7. Block out time to work
If you find yourself dealing with countless interruptions during your working day, block chunks of time out in your daily schedule where you just get your head down and work. If you have an online diary or calendar, block out the time to show you’re busy, and whether it’s an hour or 90 minutes, give your full attention to the task in hand.
8. Automate what you can
Productivity is not about working harder, it’s about working smarter. What tools do you have available to you to make your life easier? Whether it’s file-sharing tools like Dropbox or project management software, the more you can streamline your processes, the better.
9. Organise your workspace
Staying organised is one of the most important things you can do if you’re a busy, time-starved person with multiple responsibilities. Keep your desk and office free from clutter, and have a system for organising your electronic files. Ideally, everything you need should be easily accessible at all times.
10. And finally, don’t neglect your breaks
If you regularly don’t take your breaks, work through lunch, or feel like you’re too busy to take a holiday, you’ll soon become burned out. This is especially true if all of the responsibility for your organisation’s HR processes rests on you. Instead of trying to press on and feeling like you’re on a treadmill you can’t get off, why not enlist the help of a consultant, who can help you implement coherent HR processes, harness the power of the team, and lead the changes that will take the business to greater profitability and beyond?
Are you a HR Manager in a small to medium business?
Do you feel that change is needed in how people and processes are managed, but you’re the only one pushing for change?
Do you believe that giving employees a voice and harnessing the power of the team is the key to better performance and profitability?
Do you have great ideas about how to turn things around but don’t know which way to turn?
I can help.
My tailored packages and bitesize training and workshops can help you:
• Identify what’s needed for the business to flourish
• Harness the power of a well-supported, confident, and energised team to increase performance and profitability
• Lead change confidently, with everyone on board
I have over 30 years’ experience in operational management and leading teams, and I know it can be a lonely place.
But I also know that realising the power of the collective is the key to increasing business performance and profitability.
With the right tools and training, working environments can become more harmonious, positive, collaborative, and productive.
Book a call to find out how my tailored packages and bite-size training sessions can help you lead and implement the changes that will prime the business for success.