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Tips for tracking HR priorities?

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Question: "I’m new to HR and feeling a little overwhelmed. Between hiring, compliance, benefits, performance management and all the other aspects of the job, I’m having a hard time prioritizing. Can experienced HR people suggest any tips, tools or resources to help me keep track of what needs to be done and what to focus on first?"  -- J.A., Florida


I live and die by MS Outlook. I found it's really worth becoming a power user, so you can tie in your to-do list with your calendar, build a folder hierarchy to keep e-mails organized, and keep detailed contact info on everyone I deal with.

I hope this isn't considers spam, but I've found there's a lot of good advice on Microsoft's web site. I look at this site pretty regularly:

It has many tips I find useful.

Dear J.A.,

I was in your shoes about 5 years ago. We have 193 associates and I am the whole HR department. The only way I can get anything done is to stay organized. I could not live without my Microsoft Outlook. I plan my whole year by it. Another thing that helps is stackable bins. Do not let everything stay in your in box. You will never see the bottom of it. I have different locations for new hires, insurance, workers comp, etc. This way I can grab things in a moments notice. We all know how our priorities change in a matter of minutes. I wish you the best of luck and just remember that you will get organized and you will never be bored.

K.V., New Hampshire

Welcome to the wonderful world of HR - I know how you feel and Outlook is an absolute to prioritize. If you have a chance I would look at outsourcing as much as you can. There are companies that can handle some of your HR responsibilites that will free you up for other HR duties. Take a look at what you are doing and try to outsource some of them.

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