The Year-End Checklist & Making HR a Partner in the Process


Year-end tasks for companies can be a consuming plethora of financial, administrative, and operational chores. These activities are a must and if done so in a strategic manner can really become a useful tool for evaluating company successes and planning for new year goals. From financial statements and taxes to budget reconciliation and audits, this time of year can bring about a damper towards motivation and employee engagement.

While these tasks are an absolute necessity to business operations; incorporating a strategic HR partnership can take these dull and stressful tasks to an area of opportunity. This time of year can prove tense, especially with fears of budget cuts and economic instability. However, if looked at as an opportunity, this time of year can be time for engagement check-ins, strategic hiring, and optimizing your existing resources.

Employee engagement check-ins are a useful tool to gauge how employees are feeling and what they need to ensure their resilience and adaptability to be successful in the current state of their role. This check-in can be an opportunity to foster trust, offer support, and boost morale, as well as bring ease to uncertain circumstances.

During these check-ins, make sure they are regularly scheduled, have a clear agenda or desired outcome, and provide a recap that includes areas still to be confirmed, mutual goals, and next steps. Use this opportunity for goal alignment both confirming individual goals as well as alignment to company gotals. This is also an excellent time to offer performance feedback and/or recognition. Offer constructive feedback with a goal to improve with clear directives, accessibility, and the tools and resources to be successful. In addition to feedback, recognition should also be included. Acknowledge employee achievements, offer praise and recognition to continue the desired outcomes through positive reinforcement. Lastly, these check-ins are useful in confirming the future time-off needs of your employees to ensure proper staffing.

Tailoring these check-ins with your team can go a long way in boosting engagement and improving productivity.

Strategic hiring involves intentional recruiting and candidate selection that aligns with the company goals for the new year. Understand the specific knowledge, skills, and experience needed for the role and align these traits with the company’s overall strategy and goal. Ensure the job posting and descriptions offer a realistic preview into the opportunity by providing accurate and detailed responsibilities, expectations, day-to-day activities, long-term goals, and what’s in it for the right candidate, (compensation, benefits, growth opportunities, culture, recognition, and more).

Engage others in the interview and selection process, including those from other departments to ensure a solid cultural fit. Make sure when the offer is extended and accepted that a plan is set to offer a solid onboarding experience to ensure the ability to be successful sooner rather than later, especially for a high-need role. Ensure ongoing communication in the beginning of onboarding, offer additional resources and individuals that can help avoid delays in learning and make sure they are given just as stated above proper feedback and recognition.

Lastly, a strategic HR partnership can offer a hand in ensuring the right tools and technology are being used properly to ensure the utmost optimization of these company resources.

Optimizing company resources involves maximizing efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness in utilizing various tools within the organization. It is wise to check in on how the tools are working, what the ongoing cost is and if worth renewing, or check in with the team to confirm the other ideas they may have to achieve results. Begin by analyzing and prioritizing where these resources are allocated, (by department or team, or if used companywide). If there is a possibility of deciding on renewing a contract or canceling, focus on the resources that offer the highest return on investment or align most closely with the company’s goals.

If new tools and technology are purchased ensure a smooth implementation and training plan to enhance efficiency. If unsure of the direction you will take on a specific tool or resource, use data-driven insights and cost-to-value insights to make informed decisions; don’t forget to include the front-end user’s opinions before you make a change.

By continually assessing and refining how tools and technology are utilized, the company can operate more efficiently, reduce expenses, and ensure long-term growth and sustainability through automation and optimizing your resources.

A strategic HR partnership with year-end activities can provide realistic insight into company performance and aid in the development and execution of future goals. Year-end is busy for most departments, from completing tasks and closing the books to planning next year goals; these activities can be supported with an engaging approach, strategic decision making and optimizing existing to continue a trajectory for growth, engagement, and employee satisfaction.


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