We are firm believers that HR pros have to be constantly seeking ways to both improve their businesses AND themselves, these post focuses on concrete tips for making 2015 the year you enhance your workspace and your company’s HR Function.

Up to date information on the new FLSA Changes

Up to date information on the Healthcare Reform Act

Up to date information on the ever changing HR World

Tip #1. Make sure you’re keeping abreast of legal changes/trends. Seems like a no-brainer, but it can be hard to keep track of all the rules and regulations that affect your business, and it might be tempting to not even try. However, a good HR practitioner is in the know about these things.

If you haven’t already, find a few good HR blogs or websites you like and read them daily. I recommend something basic, like SHRM.com, workforce.com, or blr.com; one legal website by someone fun like Donna Ballman (Screw You Guys, I’m Going Home) or Eric Meyer (The Employer Handbook); and something from an HR pro with a strong and credible point of view like John Whitaker (HR Hardball) or Suzanne Lucas (Evil HR Lady). Honestly, there are hundreds of sources I could have named. The point is, you won’t know what’s happening if you don’t make it a priority to find out.

Tip #2. Conduct an HR audit. An audit of HR processes and procedures (e.g., compensation policies, recruitment procedures, onboarding procedures, and so on) will reveal gaps costing your business both time and money. Of course, your job isn’t done when you find the leaks; you’ll need to develop effective methods for plugging them, too.

Tip #3. Get to know your business better. Think about a specific action you could take that would give you greater insight into the business. Are there employees whose brains you could pick? (Offer to pay for lunch or coffee in return.) Is there a meeting you normally don’t attend that you could begin attending? What about an internal report you don’t normally read that you could begin reading? Go for it.

Tip #4. Schedule a meeting with your boss. Ironically, the annual performance review can be the worst time to talk with your manager about your career goals. So, if regular feedback isn’t a part of your relationship (and for most employees it isn’t), why not schedule an “off cycle” discussion with the boss touch to base on what’s important to you? What initiatives would you like to undertake? What assignments are you hoping to get? What skills would you like to develop? If you don’t ask you probably won’t get.

HR’s reputation could maybe use some work, but there are many ways for a pro to distinguish him- or herself from the pack. What better time than the beginning of the new year to do it?

It’s often hard to know how your human resources function “stacks up” compared to other similar companies or even to the practices required by law. KJT HR Concepts has developed the Quik HR Check-up as our way of quickly scanning your current HR policies and procedures to make a high level assessment of your legal compliance as well as determine if you are functioning in an efficient and effective manner. We conduct this mini-assessment using the same methodologies employed in our more extensive HR Audit. We look at the seven key areas we have identified as being integral to the HR Strategy and determine how your organization is functioning within these areas.