Businesses of all sizes often have the “HR Health Check” as a to-do which never quite gets completed. While any time is a good time to get your house in order, the start of a new year presents a real opportunity to review and refresh your people practices and documentation.
For many New Zealand workers and small business owners, we come back from the summer shutdown feeling relaxed and revived. Even those of us in industries that don’t shut down appreciate the slower pace over Christmas and New Year's.
I sometimes hear comments from employers like “This crazy phenomenon only happens in NZ!” or “The rest of the world don’t shut down like this”. To which I respectively respond with: “Good job and so what?!”
As Kiwis, we celebrate our uniqueness in many ways and we punch well above our weight in many areas. Perhaps part of our unique cultural recipe includes this ability to walk away from work for 2-4 weeks and come back together refreshed (though I'm pretty sure most of the western world does the same).
There is an urgency before the Christmas break to get things done. Followed by a wind-down that sparks a shared sigh of relief.
Eating a weird combination of NZ summer foods and English winter foods. Searching for good weather that tends to arrive a few weeks late. Then, returning reinvigorated, ready to kick off a new year. Focussed again… by about early February.
So, what has all this got to do with your people processes?
Many of the people I speak to acknowledge their business is long overdue for a “HR Health Check” - a full review of their employment documents, practices, agreements, policies, contracts, job descriptions, pay rates, performance reviews etc. But somehow other things can take priority and before you know it, it's April.
So, now is the time! Fresh back from holiday, equipped with New Year’s resolutions, it’s never been easier to tick those boxes.
Tips to ensure your HR is in good shape
Start by answering these 10 questions:
- Do all your employees have a signed employment agreement?
- Have you reviewed the employment agreement content in the last 12 months?
- Do you have company policies? If you do, have you relied upon or referenced all of them in the past 12 months? If you don’t, have you been able to deal with all issues adequately without referencing a policy?
- Are you retaining all your best people?
- Are you conducting regular performance reviews for key people?
- Are you satisfied that your leave management (calculations, accruals etc) is 100% accurate?
- Are you confident when managing employment processes such as restructures and disciplinary?
- Do you feel comfortable that you are up-to-date with the Health and Safety at Work Act?
- Do you always get the best results from your recruitment campaigns?
- Do your people have the right skills to recruit effectively?
If you answer “no” to any questions, you cannot afford to wait. Make it happen, seize the day!