5 New Year's HR resolutions

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The new year is the perfect time to take stock and set goals for the year ahead. You may have plans to improve your health, exercise more frequently, or finally take that trip to Hawaii you’ve been dreaming about forever.

For business owners, making New Year’s resolutions can help align and focus their efforts and energy. Here are 5 new year’s resolutions for business owners in 2020.

1- Create or eliminate policies

We guarantee that you have at least one bad policy in your company. Worse, you may not have any formal policies at all. Whatever it is, January is a great time to take inventory. If you don’t have any written policies, there is no better time to start. Having clear policies will eliminate the constant, repetitive questions from your employees.

If you already have policies, January is also a good time to review them and amend accordingly. Perhaps you require in-depth reference checks on job candidates, but only confirm titles and dates of service for your former staff. Whatever it is, time to do some clean-up!

2- Alleviate common risks associated with having employees

People aren’t perfect, so it is critical that you maintain practices to mitigate the risks associated with human imperfection. During the hiring process, faithfully conduct background checks. Insist on professional references, not merely family or friends.

To prevent litigation, conduct diversity training, harassment training and salary surveys, and ensure that policies and standards are applied equally to all employees.

Document your employees’ performance, even more so if there are problems. Doing this can also save you a lot of money and headaches, in case of termination.

3- Create and implement an employee development plan

Most business owners are concerned about the here and now. You need to be concerned about the company’s future. Most employees aren’t interested in staying in the same job for eternity, so you better make plans for developing people, or you’ll lose them to your competitors.

This doesn’t have to be a labor intensive endeavor . You can ask your employees to consider where they want to go and then help them figure out how your company can help them achieve their goals. Just make sure you don’t put a huge burden on your staff and your bank account in getting this together.

4- Put some employees on performance improvement plans (PIPs)

This sounds harsh—getting people placed on Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs). The thing is, it’s not mean. It’s nice. Why? You have low performers and their managers -or yourself- are ignoring them, hoping that the problem will just go away. Unfortunately, what’s more likely to happen is that your good employees will get fed up with their slacker co-workers and leave first.

You want to identify the low performers and develop plans for improvement. A good person who is struggling will benefit from direct instruction on what he/she needs to do to improve. An inveterate slacker will continue to slack, but you’ll have the documentation needed to terminate, and replace him or her with someone who cares about performance. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

5- Create an employment brand that attracts exceptional talent and enhances employee engagement.

“Branding 101” teaches that a strong brand helps attract buyers and build consumer loyalty. The same is true of a company’s “employment brand.” Human Resources plays a pivotal role in helping a company establish a first-class employment brand.

By promoting an attractive corporate culture and offering competitive compensation and flexible benefits, your company will be perceived as an employer of choice in the markets where you operate.

Before you reject the hype around New Year’s Resolutions, look around your company and think about what changes you’d like to see. No reason you can’t start today. Of course, if you need help, feel free to contact us or visit our website for more info.

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