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5 New Year's Resolutions for HR Departments

Many New Year’s resolutions circling the office are the same as last year’s, but several resolutions exist that HR professionals can employ to have significant impacts on your organization.

These five resolutions are “SMART” – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely – and they can lead to more money in both your and your organization’s pockets.

1. Specific

Of the dozens of New Year’s resolutions I’ve overheard this last week, most ignore this very important first point. Resounding from cubicle to cubicle are statements like, “I am going to live each day to the fullest!” and “I will be more outgoing!”

While these are wonderful pursuits, they lack the detail to go the distance. Dial in on your resolutions and make them more specific.

For example:

  • “I am going to live each day to the fullest by finding more volunteering opportunities for our employees and present them once a quarter.”
  • “I will be more outgoing by scheduling meetings with my CFO about the analytics I possess and how we can use them to improve HR strategies.”

Forcing specificity in your resolutions will enhance your chance of success and help you grow both personally and professionally.

2. Measurable

According to, the No. 1 New Year’s resolution made for 2014 was to lose weight, yet only 8 percent accomplished their goal. Again, this is an excellent resolution, but it is doomed to fail because it’s neither specific nor measurable.

Make it easier by setting a clear-cut, quantitative goal your team can work toward throughout the year. HR professionals have numerous responsibilities, so it is important to find strategic, time-saving ways to get work done. Measure the time it takes to complete HR-related tasks and then strive to make them more efficient. Knowing the time or number of tasks you need to beat is crucial to success.

3. Attainable

Although setting the bar high is important, be careful not to discourage your process by overshooting your ability. Putting a lot on your plate is admirable, but it also decreases your chance of success.

A good rule of thumb: If you can surpass your goal, it wasn’t set properly. There is no such thing as 110 percent. A good goal is never passed, only met.

4. Realistic

The reason SMART resolutions can be successful is because each step is dependent on its predecessor; therefore, your 2015 resolution has to be attainable before it can be realistic. On the flip side, if a resolution is unattainable, you know it is unrealistic.

A realistic resolution will stretch your abilities to the limit, but enable you to see progress. For example, it is unrealistic to rally your employees to support a new charity every week. Instead, notify your organization of ways they can contribute toward a single cause per quarter.

5. Timely

This one is easy: You have one year to complete your SMART resolutions – not a day more and not a day less.Statistic Brain notes that 25 percent of resolutions do not last more than a week. This is because many resolutions are not aligned with the above criteria.

Good news: The first week is over; only 51 to go! It is a new year; will your HR department be more efficient?