It’s a New Year and in a scaling company there is always lots to do when it comes to People Ops. So here are my top tips for getting sh#t done in 2018!
It’s really easy to be distracted by the little things when you are in a role like People Ops and Human Resources. Not only are we the custodians of a lot of back office infrastructure which, honestly, can be a little monotonous (but essential), we are also horizon seekers. We’re navigators using our skill and experience to look beyond the present to see what lies ahead if we stay on course, change direction or find ourselves drifting.
This is our unique selling point. With access to a variety of data points, such as performance, formal/ informal discussions, the statutory landscape or kitchen chats, we can put together a picture of where our business is going. It’s like figuring out the missing pieces of a puzzle. I should probably mention that sometimes the whole picture can change, but hopefully you get the gist!
So, what happens now? How do you get from data points to action?
Book time to think about where your business will be in 6 to 12 months. Then work your way backwards. See the steps needed to get there. The gaps are your actions, your priority list. Use calendar reminders so actions don’t get lost as the year progresses. Set up a folder called ‘ideas bank’ to house templates, examples, and documents for later use.
The more information I get about where the business is going, and what we want to achieve, the longer my priority list. This can be the small stuff like upcoming parental leave, or hearing about someone moving house. Or the big stuff like our sponsor licence coming up for renewal, a new company handbook, or Brexit policies. Using reminders and one location to keep your ideas is a great way to organise and plan for the changes heading your way for any type of business.
Focus on Meaningful Initiatives
You are not alone in this journey — it is a collaborative exercise where everyone needs to work together to make things happen. You’ve anticipated the necessary changes. Now what is going to be the most effective, valuable and worthwhile? Choose from your list. Then ask your leaders what their top priority is.
When I started at Geckoboard, the biggest challenge was hiring — it still is! But there was also an urgency around assessing performance and with performance comes development needs. So I took an agile-inspired approach to making this initiative meaningful and invited everyone at Geckoboard into the process. You can read more how this took shape here.
Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
Change can be unsettling. Sometimes a company isn’t ready to tackle all the initiatives you’ve raised. Understand you have the experience to challenge and nurture these next steps. If it doesn’t work first time, rework it. Make it available for others in the business to review and edit. Your work cannot be completed in a vacuum — you need to engage other people. If they don’t like it, they won’t follow it. Making your job that much harder.
This month we launched two new policies. One on expenses, the other on absence. Both are open to feedback, comments, and certainly, more iteration. It has to be useful to Geckoboard, not just me. These policies will help build the infrastructure that will support the business as we grow, and at some stage, impact every team member.
Last quarter, after we launched our new performance process, I sought feedback via a Stop-Start-Continue exercise. Just because a process has been completed doesn’t mean the engagement stops there. That feedback will be incorporated in our next review period. This may sound really time consuming, but consider all the time you’re saving yourself in the future by engaging with the issues now.
I love working with people and believe that if you really enjoy what you do, that passion is infectious and helps you deliver great results. Some may think I’m over enthusiastic at times, like when we launched the performance process last October. Not only did we enjoy branded vegan cupcakes, I also had my personal Bitmoji giving regular updates and everyone celebrated when 100% of all self and peer assessments were completed.
What are the biggest takeaways here? In order to get sh#t done in 2018 you need to:
- look at your horizon,
- engage your entire business,
- actively seek feedback, and
- enjoy what you do.
Happy New Year!