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HR’s Tips for Ending the Year on a High

Closing in on the final few weeks of 2022, many of us are ready to wind down and enjoy a well-deserved break. But before we log off for the festive ...

HR’s Tips for Ending the Year on a High

Closing in on the final few weeks of 2022, many of us are ready to wind down and enjoy a well-deserved break. But before we log off for the festive period, there are a few key tasks still on the to-do list. 

December is a crucial time in the HR calendar. It’s an opportunity for organisations to look back on the successes and learnings of the past 12 months, as well as bolster engagement for the year ahead. For many companies, it’s also the time for end-of-year parties and celebrations before their annual shutdown.

In this blog, ELMO’s HR Generalist, Emily Johnston, shares her tips to prepare employees for a safe festive season and set them up for success in the New Year.

Celebrate safely

It’s easy for end-of-year parties to get out of hand, especially if alcohol is involved. Employees could be waking up with more than just a sore head if their behaviour at the Christmas party crosses the line, causing repercussions that could follow them into the New Year or even jeopardize their role at the company

That’s why December is a key time to refresh your employees’ memory of the company policies that are designed to keep staff safe. Policies may include guidelines on acceptable behaviour at work functions, rules against bullying, harassment, and appropriate use of corporate credit cards.

“We want people to be safe and have a good time, but we’re always thinking about the contingencies so it’s important to have those policies and precautions in place to make sure employees know what’s expected of them when they’re out celebrating,” Emily says. 

For organisations using paper or email-based methods to distribute and acknowledge company policies, this can be a seriously time-consuming task. Manual processes make it especially difficult to track who has read the policy and who has missed the email altogether. ELMO Learning Management takes the hassle out of policy acknowledgements, automating notifications and providing easy-to-use dashboards to track compliance.

Check-in on performance

With the mid-year point approaching, now is the perfect time for managers to check in with their employees and find out how they’re tracking against their annual goals. Leaving performance reviews to a once-a-year cadence creates a risk of employees veering away from their goals through a lack of visibility and clarity.

Emily says: “In terms of performance reviews here at ELMO, December-January is the second checkpoint of the financial year. 

“The mid-year checkpoint is really a time for managers to ask: ‘How are you tracking against the goals that were set and what support do you need from me to move forward?’”

As managers and employees re-assess the goals and aims for the next six months, Emily says it’s important for the review to be a two-way conversation. Employees should be encouraged to share what support or guidance they require to achieve those goals over the remainder of the financial year.

Take a quick pulse check

The December period is a great time for managers to conduct a pulse check among their team and get a sense of employee sentiment. 

“An engagement or a pulse survey is a really good indicator leading into the New Year to understand how people are feeling,” Emily says. “For example, if a company is launching a new strategy in the New Year, how are employees feeling about it and what support do they need from their managers?”

It’s also worth checking in with employee wellbeing. Are staff members feeling burnt out or struggling with their workloads? Are they still feeling a sense of connection to their colleagues if they’re working from home? For more on measuring employee sentiment, download Finger on the Pulse: The Easy Guide to Pulse Surveys.

These insights can be crucial in the New Year to ensure managers are in touch with their teams and resolve any issues in a timely manner before they become a bigger problem.

Make time for career conversations

Aside from performance reviews, Emily urges managers to make time for career conversations with employees before they log-off for the festive break or when they return in January. Even if those conversations take place in the New Year, it’s important to make sure employees know their career development is top of mind.

For many employees, the festive break is a time to reflect on their jobs and whether it aligns with their personal goals. If employees are left wondering about their career paths with their current company, they may return in January with one foot out the door. 

“Every organisation struggles with the January and February period when employees decide to move on because they want a fresh start,” Emily says. “That’s why that performance piece and particularly the career conversations are so important.

“Also remember that an employee’s personal goal might have changed, so it’s important for managers and HR to be flexible.

“Ultimately, most employees want feedback. They want to know what they need to achieve. That’s why it’s so important that we have the metrics in place so people know what they need to be doing to get to the next stage in their career.”

Using a performance management tool offers greater visibility over both organisational and personal career goals. It also automates the time-consuming elements of manual performance reviews, saving precious time for managers, employees and HR.

ELMO Performance Management streamlines the employee appraisal process by offering a range of pre-built goals and development objectives, as well as 360 reviews to develop a performance culture that reduces employee turnover.

As we countdown the final few weeks of the calendar year, it’s also a great time for HR professionals to reflect on the past 12 months and the priorities for the year ahead. It’s sure to be another rollercoaster year and as always, HR professionals will be at the forefront in supporting their people. To stay one step ahead, download ELMO’s 2023 HR Trends eBook to read about the top priorities for the industry next year. 

ELMO Software is a cloud-based solution that helps thousands of organisations across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to effectively manage their people, process and pay. ELMO solutions span the entire employee lifecycle from ‘hire to retire’. They can be used together or stand-alone, and are configurable according to an organisation’s unique processes and workflows. Automate and streamline your operations to reduce costs, increase efficiency and bolster productivity. For further information, contact us.