The New Year is beckoning even as the lights go up in preparation for the Christmas festivities. Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition that dates back to the Babylonians about 4000 years ago. During a ceremony known as Akitu which coincided with the crop planting season in mid-March, they would make promises to the gods to pay debts and be on their best behavior in the New Year. Romans had a similar ceremony at the beginning of the year. It was based on the belief that Janus, the two-faced god after whom January is named had links to the future and insight into the past.
Many of us look back and wonder why we made New Year’s resolutions in the first place because we have nothing to show for it. Some of us quit before we fulfilled our resolutions. Others are proud of the milestones made after making their resolutions. Regardless of your take on resolutions at a personal level, every organization that is keen on growing and sustaining its growth must make resolutions. Your talent strategy must be carefully considered as you make your resolutions at an organizational level. You do not have to wait for January to consider your resolutions when it comes to talent.
Having worked with hundreds of successful organizations over the past year, we have identified a few of key resolutions that organizations need to make and keep in the New Year:
Resolution#1: Review and update your employee handbook
This may seem trivial at first but it is not. If you have an employee handbook, now would be a good time to carefully review it and consider what needs to be revised or updated. During the review, consider any changes that have been made to the laws or regulations in the course of the year. Work with your legal counsel during the process.
Do you have flexible working arrangements for some of your employees? Include it in your employee handbook.
Do you have guidelines on how your employees need to use social media platforms? Let it be clearly articulated in your employee handbook.
Do the policies and guidelines in your employee handbook support your recruitment and employee retention efforts? The employee handbook should have them.
Are you clueless about what you need to include or exclude in your employee handbook? Talk to us today.
Resolution #2: Foster a learning culture
Are your employees keeping up with emerging trends? Successful organizations encourage their employees to learn continuously and come up with innovative ways of doing their work. Encourage the employees who have been working for the organization for long to acquire new skills or upgrade their skills. Provide them with opportunities to learn about new technologies in their field. Provide new employees with opportunities to up-skill or work in other areas of the organization in order to enhance their skills. These efforts will boost the morale of the employees, promote productivity and business growth.
Resolution#3: Avoid delays in acting on employee performance
Delays in acting on employee performance are a result of a variety of factors. Sometimes, the organization wants to find a replacement before firing an employee.
In other instances, the organization might not have the financial muscle to compensate an employee after giving him or her a promotion. Regardless of the reasons for the delay, organizations end up retaining underperforming employees for longer periods than they should. In other instances, organizations lose their talent to competitors because they failed to provide them with career development opportunities. This does not mean that the decision to terminate or promote an employee should be rushed. However, the decision should not be delayed as long as there is sufficient information.
Resolution#4: Review your benefits program
Millennials are looking for more than a salary. They are seeking opportunities to grow and develop in their careers, advance in their education and work in an environment that supports work-rest balance.
Are you content in offering traditional benefits such as retirement, health insurance and annual leave? It is time to reconsider the benefits you can offer to your employees.
There are other benefits that help in retaining employees such as flexible working schedule, training and friendly maternity and paternity leave packages. An organization could reap immense benefits from its employees by including some of these benefits in its benefits program.
Resolution #5: Review your annual appraisal process
In most organizations, annual appraisals are considered mundane tasks that everyone simply wants to get over and done with. As a result of this attitude, most organizations miss out on opportunities to get feedback from their employees and to give feedback that will help them become more productive. Resolve to ensure that employees do not only hear about their good performance or areas of improvement during the annual appraisal at your organization. Effective managers have regular discussions with their team members about their good performance and areas of improvement. This can be done on a monthly or quarterly basis. The performance appraisal tool should be shared with the employee prior to the appraisal. This will enable the employee to understand what he or she is expected to do in order to be considered a performing employee. Develop a 360-degree feedback mechanism by obtaining feedback about the employee from his or her colleagues or immediate boss.