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Human resource service knowledge article

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: The Importance of Planning

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HR Governance

One of the challenges faced by many companies when it comes to people management is taking the time for reflection and planning. It is easy for senior leaders and managers to become bogged down in the day-to-day execution of transactional HR tasks. In these situations, taking the time to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead can seem like a luxury. However, that may just be the key that separates the businesses who struggle and those that thrive. Taking the time to review the year that was and making adjustments for the year ahead can save significant time in the long run. It will minimizes the potential for making preventable mistakes, which can also save much headache, stress, and money.

Looking Back

Look back over the past year and reflect on any HR challenges your organization faced. What questions were most frequently asked by employees? Oftentimes the most common questions relate to administrative matters such as accrued vacation time, leaves of absence including maternity leave, and questions surrounding individual benefits coverage. Listen to your team. It is likely that they are highlighting bottlenecks and frustrations that can be alleviated. If you can solve the pressing questions on the minds of your employees, you can help them focus and be even more productive.

Also take the time to reflect on other areas of HR improvement for the coming year. Perhaps filling a particular role proved challenging in part due to vague or incomplete job descriptions. A good idea might be the review and update of HR documents to ensure they are still effective.

Besides HR documents, it might be worthwhile to review internal work processes and employee programs. Perhaps turnover metrics were less than desirable. Heed the information in your business reports and take additional steps to conduct deeper investigations. In some companies, it may be revealed that the onboarding program was lacking which led to low employee retention. In other companies, it may be a matter of interpersonal conflicts. For these situations, it might be a good investment to provide training in communication or team building initiatives that can enable people to build closer working relationships with each other. Every company will face different root causes to their problems, the ones that are able to unearth that information are best posed to act upon it. Make notes on what worked and didn’t work, and use that as a starting point for next year’s planning.

Looking Ahead

Consider your HR policies and procedures. Most often you will notice that updates and refinements are necessary. You do not want to skimp on your ground rules, because they can impact the company culture and exhibited employee behaviours. When policies and procedures are clear, it promotes efficiency and helps ensure fair and consistent treatment when situations arise. Some procedures may need to be refined: perhaps a better process for requesting time off can be implemented or refinements made to your employee handbook to ensure everyone has a uniform understanding of key company procedures.

Plan to get HR Help On Board

There will likely come a time when your growing company needs additional HR guidance in order to ensure human resource matters are handled thoroughly and in accordance with local labour laws. If you are starting to think about getting some external HR help on board, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Even if you are not looking for immediate help but anticipate being at that point in the short to medium term, we would love to chat. Planning ahead to add HR resources to your company will help ensure a smooth journey as your company grows. We love seeing our clients succeed, it would be a joy to help you too. It just requires you to take the first step, call us, inform yourself.

Here to Help

Would you like more information on HR planning? We can be reached for a free confidential consultation at +1-403-470-5350 or [email protected].

For further details on how Honiva helps businesses build great HR programs, please view our service offerings.

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Further Reading

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