Midsize employers can benefit by following the lead of large HR departments, colleges and government agencies that create annual reports detailing HR’s goals and accomplishments.
Annual reports help you and your HR team set clear objectives and analyze metrics, rather than simply float by from year to year. Just as important, the reports enhance HR’s reputation as strategic planners who help boost the bottom line.
What to include? Focus on key HR initiatives that are the most easily measured, including the initiatives, cost and ROI on topics such as internal and external hiring, training, recruitment, turnover, retention, absences, employee movement (transfers, promotions, etc.),, recognition efforts, wellness, compensation and benefits.
If you’re looking for a template, you can find plenty of HR annual reports of large employers by googling “HR annual report.”
Use the following seven tips to produce reports that increase HR’s influence:
- Avoid lengthy reports. The first one is typically the most time-consuming so don’t try to cover every area of HR. Also, long reports may go unread.
- Detail accomplishments. Update ongoing programs that haven’t reached goals and explain how HR will meet them. Describe why some initiatives failed and propose further action.
- Set goals for the next year. Tie the targets to organizational objectives. Example: Hiring includes plans to increase the sales staff by 15% to meet the company’s goal of increasing revenue by 8%.
- Include key political, economic, industry and other factors outside the company that could impact HR goals for better or worse. Explain how HR would offset negative factors and benefit from those that are positive.
- Illustrate the department’s financial impact on the organization. Example: “The organization spent $7,000 on print and online job advertisements that resulted in filling 80% of job openings. More than 15% of positions were filled by employee referrals. The company lacks a formal referral program and developing one could cut costs further.”
- Use a reader-friendly format. Write an introduction that summarizes successes. Use separate headings for each topic such as hiring and turnover. End the report with a summary and recommendations for improving results.
- Write clearly. Avoid HR jargon. Use bullet points to highlight results.
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