I started this thread back in November because of an article I had been asked to write about New Year’s Resolutions for HR. Well, the article is written, but here is a sneak preview for blog readers!

New year, fresh start and an opportunity to look forward to the future with your HR all in order, legally compliant and working for you. Sam Swinstead at vivoHR urges us all to make our New Year’s Resolutions when it comes to employing our staff, and she offers a few suggestions to get you started.

1. Spend some time to plan. It is time well spent but it is often a “luxury” that we don’t allow ourselves. It will enable you to succession plan for business critical job roles, be strategic in recruitment decisions, identify cost savings and minimise any potential need for redundancies, short time working or lay-offs.

2. Get some legal expertise. Ensure you know the relevant employment law before you make any major decisions or take actions that may have legal repercussions – going to tribunal is costly, time consuming, and often wholly avoidable if you check the law out first.

3. Make this the year that you review your HR policies and procedures. Is this job on your “to do” list forever lurking near the bottom as something you know you “should do “? Make time to check they are all up to date, following best practice and legally compliant – it gives you peace of mind and ensures your staff know both their rights and their responsibilities.

4. And while you are at it, review those personnel files. Do you know what has been filed away in that personnel cabinet or would you prefer not to think about it? Make it a priority to review every employee’s file, ensuring that it contains everything it should…and nothing it shouldn’t!

5. Communicate, communicate, communicate! In the tough times we think we’ll be facing ahead, being honest and transparent, keeping staff up to date and in the know will increase their trust in you and keep their loyalty to the business…just when you need it most

6. Commit to developing your staff. We know it’s tough to think about spending money on training when there are so many other things that the budget could be spent on. Remember that your staff are your greatest asset when they perform at their optimum, but they are your greatest cost if they don’t have the skills, knowledge or confidence to do what you need them to.

We think these are a great start for most businesses with employees, so you might add some of them to your own New Year’s Resolution List….along with plans for developing new products and services, increasing sales, reducing costs, minimising your environmental impact and anything else you have identified as important to you, your business and your success.

We take this opportunity to wish you all a lovely Christmas and a great start to 2012 as the next couple of weeks look busy and then I’m taking a (well earned in my opinion!) break until early January. Until such time…

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