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Ensure your business gets off on the right foot for the New Year

Many businesses center their New Year planning around sales and growth objectives. However, human resource issues, particularly around maintaining compliance with the law, can create major hurdles to meeting those goals. Take special care not to neglect your HR department at the start of the year by attending to the following advice.


Do introduce a training calendar

Many trainings are mandated by state and federal laws. Add mandatory training such as sexual harassment, safety, and a review of company policies and procedures - be sure to update these as necessary and do you best to make them fun so your team stays engaged. Start off with an overview of the New Year and what to expect during your January meeting.

Do update information on file

Not only is it critical to conduct performance reviews so everyone can get off on the right foot, it’s also a good time to have your team update their contact information.

Do review the law

It’s in your best interest to get up to speed on all new laws or changes to existing laws for both federal and your state. Because changes in the law occur so often for small business owners, it’s important to review past, current and new policies to ensure that your business will remain in compliance with the law.

Do update policies and procedures

All company policies and procedures should be reviewed and revised at the end of every calendar year. This is the perfect time to add new policies as well as make sure the policies that are in place are effective and current. Before the new year hits, make sure that your policies and procedures are communicated to all employees and that they have accepted them in writing.

Do hold a new year office meeting

This is a great chance to make sure your team and you are on the same page for the new year. Review your policies and procedures, remind employees of certification expirations, and go over all of your expectations for the new year. Make this meeting a mandatory one so that no employee is left in the dark.


Do not forget to renew licenses and certifications

When licenses and certifications lapse, companies risk fines by governing agencies while also opening themselves up to civil and criminal liabilities. Create a calendar of all expiration dates that also sends alerts to employees both 60 days and 3 days prior. Outlook is a great tool for this. Let the employee know via their renewal reminder that if their license or certification expires or lapses they will not be able to work until they are current.

Do not take the IRS lightly

Those initials make every business owner shudder. Miss or incorrectly prepare W-2‘s and you may be penalized up to $75,000 for a small business per year. Also, be sure to prepare all needed audit or compliance reports such as payroll for tax purposes.

Do not delay any company changes

If you are planning on changing service providers for things such as payroll or benefits the beginning of the year is the best time to make these changes. Begin vetting potential candidates before the New Year hits so you can make a smooth transition.

Do not drag last year’s problems into the new year

Take this time to make any changes that may have been problems last year. Maybe your company has been operating short of staff. Gear up for the new year by adding staff to accommodate your business. This will ease stress on other employees as well as yourself and create a more effective team.

Do not forget to thank your employees

Always remember that your staff is what has helped you create a successful business so don’t forget to show them your gratitude. The new year is a great time to implement an employee appreciation program.

Jumping cartoon

It’s much easier to prevent fires, than put them out, so prepare ahead of time by incorporating HR into your 2014 planning. Sit down and outline what worked for 2013 and carry that into the new year. If something missed the mark and didn’t work, eliminate it or create a way for it to be successful. Your business depends on you and your staff success, so make to grow your human resource structure as your company grows.

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Photo Credits: © Sergey Nivens -; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

Dean WattersPresident of EverNext HR

As the President of EverNext HR, Dean Watters encompasses over 20 years’ experience in business solutions, outsourcing and the insurance industry. Dean gained his extensive experience while working for various Fortune 500 companies such as ADP, ...

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