People teams are busy. Between benefits administration, employee relations, compensation, compliance, payroll, and everything else that falls into your domain, you have a lot going on. You may also be navigating new challenges due to COVID-19, perhaps even with a reduced headcount. 

With so much to do, and so few resources, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Take a step back. Take a deep breath. And try to simplify the complexity of people operations so you can focus on your people; their experience, retention, and an amazing culture. Here are four time saving hacks to guide you through that process:

1. Integrate and automate

Get the most from your HR tech stack by integrating your systems and automating whatever processes you possibly can. For instance, an integration can pull personal data from your ATS into your HRIS, without the need for manual data entry. The right HRIS can even kick off your onboarding and offboarding processes by recommending workflows, profile templates, and documents to apply based on a given team member’s location, department, and employment status.

Dig into your various systems to learn how you may be able to utilize more features to simplify and reduce your tasks. 

2. Build repeatable processes

Consider which of your frequent tasks and processes you could repeat without requiring the same time commitment for each iteration. You may be able to:

  • Create a template for frequently sent email communications, including new hire emails, birthday and milestone alerts, open enrollment announcements, and offboarding emails.
  • Create onboarding groups, rather than onboarding employees one-by-one. Or, record an employee orientation meeting that new employees can watch on their own. You can always host a live Q&A at the end to sync one-on-one.
  • Document HR software training for managers so they can learn at their own pace and have something to reference.

3. Empower and enable others

If your People team doesn’t have the capacity to do all that you want—and need—to do, recruit others in your organization to help out.

Your company’s managers can be a tremendous resource to help you successfully execute your people programs. For instance, if you would normally set up a new hire’s desk with company swag, or mail a swag pack to remote employees, ask your managers to take over. They could even include a personalized note, welcoming their newest report to the team. Or, if you’re currently in a hiring freeze, ask hiring managers to follow up with candidates in the later stages of your hiring process to keep your pipeline warm. Sure, you could send out a mass email, but that’s unlikely to keep candidates engaged.

You may even empower and enable other employees to lend a hand with your People programs. For instance, set up a committee to organize virtual employee events. Or enlist their help to create employer branding content that can be posted on your website and social media channels.

4. Let things go

The Pareto Principle states that 20 percent of your activities account for 80 percent of your results. When you don’t have time to do it all, consider letting go of the things that are offering diminishing returns (so long as they aren’t mission-critical or compliance requirements). 

Try logging your time for a week to see where you’re spending it, and if you’re spending it wisely. If you can’t automate or delegate something that’s not a good use of your time, you should probably let it go. For instance, a program with low adoption rates that requires your time to administrate. Or a perk that requires your time to keep going, that isn’t benefiting many employees. 

Final thoughts on time saving hacks

When time is limited and resources are scarce, it may help to reevaluate the way you meet your goals. Automate and delegate what you can, set processes up to run with minimal intervention from People Ops, and drop programs that aren’t delivering enough value. 

It can be helpful to get feedback from employees and managers during this process, so you can prioritize the programs that matter the most to your team. A survey may reveal your top People programs, so you know where you should be focusing your time and energy. Casual conversations may even uncover hidden interests and talents within the company to implement some grassroots people programs.

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