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Preparing for the Grand Finale!

Preparing for the Grand Finale!

As we bid farewell to another (dare we say) fantastic year, it's crucial to ensure that your employee relations strategy is not just wrapping up projects, but tying a big, shiny bow around the overall well-being and satisfaction of your workforce. So, grab your elf hat and gather 'round, because today, we're diving into an End-of-Year -Preparing for the Grand Finale -Employee Relations Checklist, your passport to a more productive workplace and a smooth transition into the new year.

1. The Appreciation Avalanche

Start by spreading the joy! Now is the perfect time of year to shower your team with genuine and thought-out appreciation. Recognize your employees for their efforts – big and small – this past year. Consider personalized thank-you notes, a virtual shout-out meeting, or even a surprise holiday treat. After all, who doesn't love a little extra cheer?

One important item to remember if your little extra cheer involves a little extra cash to be sure to include that in their taxable income for W2 purposes. Missing or incorrect numbers could end up costing you, the employer, some cash for fines/penalties for providing the wrong year end information.

2. Review & Reflect

Take a stroll down memory lane and think about your projects and initiatives. What worked well this year? What could have used some extra tender loving care? Reflect on the wins and challenges to set the stage for your new year initiatives.

Be sure to confirm your year-end bonuses if you offer those. We all know how the cost containment initiative of Clark Griswold’s employer failed to meet expectations, so communicate openly with your team to reset expectations, if needed prior to any big surprise occurring.

3. Launch an Employee Feedback Survey

Engage your employees to share their thoughts. Recent studies have shown that employers who survey their employees has increased from 62% to almost 80%. Those employers have discovered that these efforts not only help with continuous improvement but will also provide great insight as you review and reflect. Conduct feedback surveys, hold town hall meetings, or set up one-on-ones or team meetings.

Approximately 63% of employees state they would like their employer to provide more opportunities for purpose in their day-to-day work. Employers who provide opportunities to support employees in their personal goals reach envious retention levels. So, if you have the ability, take this opportunity to include personal goal planning for your employees as part of your feedback. Return the commitment they show each day by helping them become the best they can be in the upcoming year.

4. Conduct a Compliance Check

Ensure that all your HR ducks are in a row. Review your Employee Handbook and company policies. Make the necessary updates and confirm that your workplace practices are aligned with the latest regulations. Ensure your benefit/retirement plans & contributions don’t provide any unwanted surprises at year end. Do you have employees who work from home or out of state? It’s worth verifying that all proper state taxes have been withheld. In addition, if you don’t verify, then you may run into an employee having to file multiple tax returns in the upcoming year. Make your list and check it twice - as a compliant workplace is a happy and secure workplace!

5. Tech Tune-Up

Do your HR technology platforms need a little love? Update software, ensure your systems are streamlined, and explore any new tools that could make your team's life easier in the coming year. Make sure to also verify that your system providers are up to date regarding new/revised annual rates within the appropriate tax and benefit programs.

6. Auld Lang Syne

What headaches did you have this year that leave vivid memories in your mind?? Costly practices that really shouldn’t have been started? If nothing comes to mind, then review exit interviews or feedback from terminated employees. Put plans in place to remove those practices before closing out the year. One important item to remember, if there are any changes involving pay rates there may be written notification requirements to consider.

There you have it – your End-of-Year Employee Relations Checklist for a workplace that's not just running smoothly but thriving. Because let's face it, happy employees make for a happy workplace, and a happy workplace is a powerhouse of productivity!

As always, stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and HR magic. Until then, happy holidays and here's to a fantastic year ahead!

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