HR Internal Audit Planning

At the end of the year, there’s nothing quite like a rousing HR internal audit to make you love your job, right?
:-)

Okay, now that the insincerity is finished, we can be realistic about the often-discussed (yet rarely used) human resource audit. :-) Let’s get the facts straight:

  • Most HR pros have limited time to complete this sort of task.
  • Doing some sort of HR internal audit is a good way to get a grip on what has been accomplished and what has yet to be completed. Sort of like a quick and dirty SWOT analysis.
  • Something most HR pros don’t HR Internal Audit Planningeven consider is doing a physical “audit” of their workspace as well.

My annual catch up plan

I rarely take much, if any, time off at the end of the year. It’s always been my plan to catch up on the activities that have been piling up and to take care of some of the other activities mentioned below. Yes, I take some time off to be with my family, but I also use the time wisely to catch up with lingering actions that won’t get done when everyone else is at work. It’s the week when you get the least email and work-related requests, so take advantage of that!

What you should cover in an HR internal audit

If you decide to audit your HR department, there are some great resources on what to look into. Again, this can be as in depth as you like, but it’s a good idea to do at least some measure of looking into your current HR/recruiting practices. For a few ideas, here are some starting points for what you should focus on with an audit.

Getting your house in order

Make some time to get your desk, office/cube, and (most importantly) your email inbox in working order. Toss, file, or scan/save those stacks of paper that have been on your desk for the past several months. Get your email inbox cleaned out. Whether you’re a “clean desk, clean mind” kind of person or my kind of “if I move it off my desk, I’ll lose it” person, get things cleaned up however you need to in order to stay focused and get your work accomplished with a minimum of wasted effort.

What’s your plan?

Finally, it’s really a chance to look at what you want to do for the coming year. Last year I was in a panic when the year turned over to 2011. It was the first time I actually had to consider what “big” things I wanted to make happen in the new year. This year I’m being more purposeful about the big picture activities the HR function is going to accomplish.

For instance, I’m going to be selecting (after holding off for a long while) a new performance management tool for us to run our appraisals over the web. I’m looking at ways to streamline the recruiting process to save costs and reduce the number of poor hires (the number’s already low, but it doesn’t hurt to improve!). We are looking at partnering with a benefits broker to negotiate lower rates and bundled services.

But these things will never happen if there isn’t a plan and a set of precise steps in place to reach these goals.

Sit down with a yellow legal pad and a pen and think about what your top 2-3 things will be for the coming year. Put down your ideas and start looking at how you can take incremental steps to achieve those goals by the end of the year. It’s all about being purposeful with your planning and actions!

Those are a few steps you can take for a successful end of year HR internal audit. Do you have audits you perform in your job?

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