April is traditionally a month to refresh, especially after the often-frenetic pace of Q1. Get the most out of this unique time of year by making a spring cleaning checklist for your talent operations. If you take a morning or day now to step back, examine and recalibrate your processes, you can put your department on the fast track for your deliverables for the rest of 2017.
Here are a few checklist ideas:
- Do an environment scan. Your talent ops may be best-practice driven, but these practices can’t be as effective as possible if they aren’t aligned with what’s happening around you and your team. What’s changed within your unit or organization within the last few months? Are there changes on the horizon? Also, look at external conditions or market changes that could impact your clients, and eventually, the way your organization does business.
- Re-examine your tasks and activities. As business objectives are adjusted over time and members of management change, so do your priorities. You can ensure you’re still allocating time and effort where it is most strategically important by dividing daily activities and longer-term tasks according to author Stephen Covey’s time management matrix:
- Rank tasks and activities you consider very important and also very urgent a “1”
- Rank those considered important but not urgent a “2”
- Rank those considered urgent but not important a “3”
- Rank those considered not important and not urgent a “4”
- Recalibrate your resources. Activities and tasks in groups 1 and 2 will be those doing the most good to advance your talent operations goals. Consider your current resources in these areas, and decide if more energy is required. Then, examine groups 3 and 4 to see what could be minimized, or even eliminated, to free up your team.
- Streamline with an audit of your time. If you are short on time for spring cleaning, another approach is an audit of the way you and your team spend the work day. Ask them to keep track of their activities on a timesheet for a week, and be clear that the exercise is aimed at uncovering opportunities to streamline. Then, ask them to identify areas that require lots of time spent but are low on business value. Together, you may find areas individually or department-wide that could be made more efficient or reduced in priority and resources.
- Streamline with an audit of your technology. Involve your team in a discussion of the technologies you use. Are they able to use them efficiently, or would some additional training be valuable? What technologies are no longer so useful? Is there a new technology that could make a significant difference in meeting your objectives? Your team will appreciate your interest in their ideas and opinions, and they may be more engaged in changes you decide to make with your tech strategy.
- Standardize your spring clean. After you’ve completed some of these checklist items, consider what actions delivered the most value for the time spent. These are the items you could schedule on a quarterly or semiannual basis. By spring cleaning more often, you’re more likely to stay as efficient and productive toward your work goals as possible.