As you plan for 2013 we recommend considering the following:
- What are we doing well?
- Where can we improve processes? What would we like to do better?
- Are our regulatory requirements up to par?
- Do our current company policies reflect actual practices and our company culture?
- Do we like our company culture or do we want something different? How can we get there?
- Are we certain that our employees understand what is expected of them?
- Have we planned for retirements or sudden resignations?
Here are several areas that if focused on could benefit your company immensely.
- Are your company policies in writing and do they reflect actual practices? Documenting employee policies helps to ensure you haven’t unintentionally set any precedents that could result in an unfair labor practice charge. Many employers think they can do whatever they want as long as they don’t write it down. This is not the case. Having written policies ensures each employee is treated consistently, which will help in a legal dispute and also decreases time spent answering frequently asked employee questions.
- When was the last time you put your job descriptions and employees’ actual duties to the test? Could they pass a Department of Labor (DOL) Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) audit? Surprise DOL audits are becoming more common, so it may be a good time for a review. Often when new positions are added, the responsibilities of existing employees shift. This can affect how the job is legally categorized (exempt versus non-exempt from overtime). If you have added positions or had turnover, it is important to revisit this classification in order to keep yourself out of trouble.
- Are your employee records up to date with the correct information maintained in the correct files? There are regulating agency file requirements that you must adhere to. Creating time and space for an annual check of employee files will put you ahead of the game and give you confidence in an audit situation.
- Performance Management
- Succession Planning
The end of year marks an excellent time to prepare for performance reviews and plan your goals and objectives for the year ahead. Performance reviews are useful whether you need to recognize a great contributor or transition a poor performer to better performance.
Unfortunately, the annual review process is often looked at as a burden when it could be a valuable tool to inform, coach and motivate. Perhaps your process needs some tweaking to make it less burdensome and more of an asset to the business. Concentrate on the competencies that drive corporate objectives forward, such as technical competence, decision-making and staff development. Defining, communicating and measuring against these competencies will reap rewards for your business and lessen performance frustration between colleagues.
Some questions to consider include:
- Are any of your employees approaching retirement?
- Have you developed a succession plan to move current promising employees up in your company?
- Do you know whether or not you already have the needed skills internally during employment and economy shifts?
- Are you providing leadership coaching to those who may be moving up?
Start the process early and be ready for changes in the marketplace. This type of planning also allows new employees important training time with the person who is either leaving the company or moving on to a new position. Have a pipeline of internal candidates to select from when you need them. Be your own “just in time” recruiting source.
Have you taken the time to determine the cost to the company for every hour you aren’t spending on achieving core business objectives? If you are expecting to hire new employees in 2013, it might make sense to break down the steps of the recruiting process and determine which aspects make the most sense to focus your expertise. Obtaining outside recruiting resources may be the least expensive option. Experienced recruiters can often do things faster and more efficiently because recruiting is their core business. This can translate into dollars saved for you in hard recruiting costs and decreased organizational downtime while the position is being developed and filled. Some recruiting resources charge a percent of base salary and others operate on an hourly basis so it important to explore these options with your HR partner.
Contact us for help evaluating your company’s HR needs!