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The end-of-year can be a busy time for a lot of businesses, but it’s important to plan ahead to ensure that the beginning of 2018 is strong. Take a look at our HR end-of-year checklist!

The end-of-the-year can be some of the busiest months for many Human Resources departments. There are a lot of things to think about: learning and development, payroll and benefits, recruiting, performance reviews, and much more. How can you prepare for the end-of-the-year with all of your competing priorities? Take a look at our HR end-of-year checklist to help you get started. Here are 8 things you definitely need to do before January 1:

Conduct surveys to collect metrics on employee engagement and satisfaction.

The end-of-the-year is when many people begin to plan for the year ahead, and, for some employees, that might mean looking for a new job if they aren’t currently engaged or satisfied with their work. With 50% of people quitting their jobs because of a bad manager, it’s crucial to check in with your employees to ensure they are engaged with their teams.

Review the effectiveness of learning and development programs.

Learning and development look different at every company. For some, it might be supplying a robust employee training budget to individuals while other companies invest in sending employees to prestigious and expensive conferences. Whatever L&D looks like at your company, it’s important to review the effectiveness of these programs and see if your initiatives are meeting desired outcomes. Looking at new methods of training like blended learning could help you increase the effectiveness and decrease the cost of your training program.

Schedule end-of-year performance reviews.

The end-of-year is the perfect time to give employees valuable feedback. While it can be hard to give difficult feedback, it is essential to schedule times to review an employee’s performance, so that they can brainstorm ways to improve and change their behavior in the new year. Be sure you aren’t just singing everyone’s praises during their reviews and prepare goals and objectives for your reviews beforehand.

Create opportunities for employees to give feedback to leadership.

While it’s important for employees to receive feedback through performance reviews, it’s also crucial to create opportunities for employees to give feedback to leadership. HR can help facilitate this by encouraging managers to have one-on-ones with all of their team members and by setting up feedback sessions with executives. This can create open lines of communication and increase transparency within a company’s culture.

Set annual goals and review the past year’s goals.

Hold employees accountable by reviewing the past year’s goals with them. This is an opportunity to evaluate 2017’s triumphs and failures while preparing for the year ahead. With these things in mind, begin to set annual goals for 2018 and create action plans to help individuals, teams, and departments have a successful year.

Evaluate facilities and equipment needs.

Whether you saw massive growth or downsizing of your company, the end-of-year is the perfect time to review your facilities and equipment needs. You might see opportunities to save some money or invest in new facilities and equipment that could improve the performance or morale of your team.

Look over employees’ salaries.

For many HR departments, the end-of-year is when salaries get evaluated and bonuses are given out. Be sure to make time to evaluate your payroll and benefits programs as well. Ensure that employees are being compensated fairly and competitively for their responsibilities and are rewarded for their performance.

Show gratitude to your employees.

Even though your employees get paid for their work, it still feels nice to be appreciated. Show gratitude for your employees by thanking them at the end of the year (and throughout the year as well). You can show your appreciation by giving out holiday gifts, throwing a holiday party, or by sending personalized thank you notes. It’s important for your employees to know that you care about them.

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At Verb, we understand that your HR department needs tools and resources to keep your workforce engaged and developed. Verb focuses on developing leaders at your company through skill development, mentorship, and social impact opportunities. See what Verb can do for you.

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