A new year brings New Year’s Resolutions…..

The most common personal resolutions are to be more health conscious, work out more, and spend more time with friends and family. But what about your professional life?

After all the mince pies and Christmas cheer, it is a good time to reflect on your business’s progress during 2018 and decide where you want to take it in 2019.  As business professionals, there are many aspects of the workplace that you are responsible for. HR is constantly growing and becoming more important to organisations. In keeping with this growth, the New Year creates a great reason to do better this year than the last for not only your people but the organisation as a whole. Here are a few practices to consider.

If you haven’t already started, plan now for 2019 recruitment

Many businesses will start the recruiting process in January – but one of the tricks to ensure this runs smoothly is to start planning your hiring strategy before Christmas.
Planning early will ensure your recruitment strategy is in line with your business plan, for instance having the right team to meet your goals and the budgets to make the process run smoothly.
If you want to take on employees and kick off the New Year in the best way possible, seek help with recruiting and onboarding your staff.  Be ready for any new hires.  Streamline your new hire paperwork, update your employee induction presentation.  Ensure you are fully health and safety compliant and be ready to welcome them on their first day

Employee engagement is for life..…not just for Christmas.

It’s easy to foster team spirit before Christmas: the office party, Secret Santa and general good will. But what about the rest of the year? Good morale is good for business. Poor morale leads to employee churn. And according to a study by Oxford Economics, this costs a business on average as much as £30K per position – principally in lost productivity. That would certainly make it seem worth allocating funds for employee engagement.

What are your employees’ New Year resolutions?

Knowing these – and helping with them – could be a powerful management tool. Aside from the rapport it builds, you may well find their interests are aligned with the company’s.

For instance, the old cliché: “I want to get healthier!” Achieving this could obviously lead to fewer sick days being taken and a more energised and productive workforce. There are simple measures you can take to facilitate this.

How about stocking fruit-bowls? It discourages less healthy snacking and brightens up the office. Subsidised gym membership is another idea. And some businesses we know bring in an in-office massage therapist to help ease work tensions!

How is your staff morale and motivation?

One New Year resolution especially popular is pledging to find a new job! In fact, more than one in three people have this in their sights –OK, you may be glad to wave some staff goodbye, but for others it could be a disaster. A knowledge gap. Short-staffing issues. An employee walking off to a competitor with your customer list.
How can you handle this proactively?
Surveys regularly cite “More opportunity for progression”, “Better pay”, and “A more interesting job” as the top reasons for leaving a company. All things normally within your control. So why not survey your own staff and find out what they want from their role before they start looking elsewhere? It could be as simple as more recognition for a job well done, or perhaps more training and development. This is a great way to make your employees feel like they have a voice within the company.   There is real scope to use this to grow the company as well as improve staff satisfaction.

Give employees positive feedback on a regular basis

Don’t wait for their performance review.  This one is critical. Though a financial reward is great, many employees are looking for positive reinforcement when they do something well and are more likely to do good work if it gets noticed and recognised. Make sure the feedback is timely, appropriate, and genuine. This will go a long way with the employee and makes for a more positive work environment overall.

Address your employees’ training needs

So you completed your appraisal process, and your team advised you about the support they need in order to do their jobs better.  What did you do with that information? Make sure that you review those Appraisal forms and do a training needs analysis. Training is a great way to develop your team and to make them feel valued, as well as seeing the outcomes of the training in the improved performance.  Maybe you would like to get all of your managers together for a workshop on Management Skills? Maybe there are several people with the same needs and a cost-effective solution can be found.

Review your HR policies and procedures.

It’s important to be consistently up-to-date with all of the changes that happen in employment law.  If your employee asks you a question about maternity are you sure that your internal guidance is up to date? If an employee asks about how you handle their personal data, are you confident that your processes are GDPR compliant? Updating your employee handbook and policies will help everyone, as it’s an easy go-to place for your employees to get answers to their questions and ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your people practices.

On a final note, the entire team at People Business would like to say thank you for your support over the last year and to wish you a wonderful Christmas and health and prosperity in the coming year.  Should you need help in refreshing your people practices for a new year, please do not hesitate to call.