You’ve just been hired or promoted to HR manager. Congratulations! You’ve been entrusted with overseeing your company’s HR team, and for that, you can be proud.
But taking the reins of your HR department can come with more than a little anxiety. Right off the bat, you want to prove your company made the right choice by putting you in charge.
And it’s not just company leadership you want to impress — as the head of HR, you also serve your company’s employees. You want them to feel like your department has their back at work and in life.
In short, you want to shine.
How can you make an impact in your first year as HR manager, earning admiration from both the C-suite and the rank and file? Here are three unique pointers to help you get ahead:
1. Nail Open Enrollment
If there’s one time of year when everyone’s eyes are on the HR department, it’s open enrollment.
Company leadership is looking to you to lead a smooth rollout while steering employees toward money-saving, high-quality options (like the oft-misunderstood HDHPs). Meanwhile, employees hate researching benefits and just want to get through open enrollment with as little aggravation as possible — but they still want great benefits.
Finding a way to satisfy everyone during open enrollment will put you on a short path toward legendary status.
We’ve extensively covered different ways to improve open enrollment on this blog, so click through each link to learn more. But just briefly, here are a few ways to make your first open enrollment as an HR manager an event to remember:
- Simplify the research and enrollment process (for employees) and boost HDHP enrollment (for management) using a decision-support tool.
- Swap your company’s tired, poorly-attended, space-wasting benefits fair for an always-accessible virtual benefits fair.
- Put all the essential OE documents, deadlines, and guides where employees can find them easily on a benefits portal or microsite.
- Use video to demystify confusing benefits topics.
2. Streamline Onboarding
With employees coming and going at record levels nowadays, onboarding is one area where the right HR manager can make a significant difference. If you can help new hires settle in quickly, you can seriously impact your company’s bottom line — which leadership will undoubtedly notice.
One of the keys to better onboarding is starting early before new hires begin work at your organization. During this “pre-boarding” period, you can help new hires get a jump on their first-day to-do list by providing them with an onboarding portal where they can complete their documentation, learn about company policies, and even meet their soon-to-be colleagues.
When the first day arrives, you can help employees get oriented by working with their supervisors to set SMART goals, attainable, relevant objectives meant to help employees focus and progress.
If your company is like most, a significant portion of your employees work from home at least part of the time. Don’t neglect to tailor your onboarding program for remote employees. Here are five remote worker-friendly onboarding tips.
3. Try Some New Communication Channels
The job of imparting critical information to employees — announcing an updated benefits slate, sharing a new mission statement, or letting employees know that the office will be closed due to bad weather — often falls to the HR department.
Unfortunately, the message doesn’t always get across. The typical employee receives so many emails that it’s easy for an HR message to fall to the bottom of a crowded inbox, forgotten and unread.
But email isn’t the only way to communicate with employees (and there are ways to up your email game, as well). As a new HR manager, you can impress leadership and reach more employees by experimenting with some alternative communication channels:
- Mass texting (or SMS). Just be sure to brush up on texting regulations first.
- Digital postcards, which use visual flair, video, and interactivity to stand out in employee inboxes.
- Microsites, let your employees find the information they need, when they need it, from any location and device.
It’s also a good idea to keep the information flowing year-round so that employees aren’t caught off guard when important events like open enrollment occur. If you’re unsure what to share with employees each month, use our free 2023 Benefits Communications Calendar as a model.