My friends in HR and leadership, you have been through a lot the past couple years. When the pandemic hit, you were asked to do more work with less resources than ever before.
And then, you were required to do more reporting and preventive control than you most likely have experienced in your career.
Just in the past year, you have dealt with record hiring and countless changes with your workforce. This introduced you to what many now call, the new normal. And you did that, all on top of your ever-growing to-do list. Whew, that’s a lot!
Now look at you. You are on the verge of wrapping up another calendar year. How are you feeling?
It’s safe to say that your task list is filled with a mountain of to-dos before the end of the year. If you are in HR, you may be rushing to remind your employees to get all their benefit activities completed. Do you have countless emails with guides and checklists reminding you of all the compliance items that need to be completed before 12/31? As if you needed a reminder, right?
There may be some of you working to make sure your employees are taking their PTO by the end of the year and managing that the work gets done while they are out. Speaking of PTO, have you taken yours?
Take a breath, my friend. I’ve got a few ideas that may not have been on those end of year checklists.
These items are things you can be doing to approach the end of the year a little calmer.
I’m hoping these ideas will help you wrap up 2022 with a smile, and a sigh of relief and peace.
This seems pretty simple, right? With all that you have been required to share, you may feel like your communication cup is full. Here are a few ideas to get the most impact out of what you are communicating at this time of year.
- Remind your employees that they are your #1 customer. You are here for THEM! By sending out reminders and notices you are helping to be more proactive, rather than you needing to be a fixer later.
- Lean on your benefit advisors for support. Chances are your benefit advisor has already prepared information, tips or recommendations for items that need to be done by the end of the year in a format that you could pass along to your employees.
- When communicating, do it clearly and often. Just like your inbox is full, so are your employees’ inboxes. Make multiple attempts to share information in a variety of formats so that it’s relatable and understood.
An HR or Leadership seat can feel lonely, but I bet your network is a lot bigger than you think.
- Need to bounce an idea or see what others in the market are doing? Reach out to others in your networking groups, Facebook groups, or LinkedIn.
- Keep in mind your network is not limited to those in a role similar to yours. If you are in HR, reach out to someone in a role outside of HR but in your industry. You may learn valuable ideas and connect with others in a different profession.
- When in doubt, feel free to connect with me!
You may have a growing to-do list, but are they all crossing that bridge to get done? Sure, you can carry items over to the next day but are you zoning in on what is most important? As the year is coming to an end, and that to-do list isn’t going anywhere, try these ideas.
- Lean on your organizational skills. Prioritize your to-do list based on the impact they have on your organization and consider upcoming deadlines.
- Utilize technology. HR systems and IT tools are there to help you. Select the one that works best for you and be consistent. You’ll be thankful for the results!
- Build in a buffer. Despite your best efforts to plan, changes may happen. Allow extra time for those last-minute unexpected occurrences.
4. It’s OK if you do not have all the answers
How’s that for a weight lifted off your shoulders? You may feel like a dart board right now with all the questions coming at you in rapid fire. You will be more respected by those around you if you are honest rather than quick to answer.
- When questions are presented to you, chances are your employees need an answer quickly. They are making end-of-year benefit enrollment decisions, retirement plan considerations, exemption changes, just to name a few. And I bet you are even getting questions that make you immediately say to yourself, “Hmmm, I’ve never been asked that before.”
- You want to provide exceptional service to your organization. You want to be able to address questions and concerns as quickly as possible. But I encourage you to consider this…Your employees don’t expect you to have to know ALL the answers. They do however count on you to know WHERE to find the answers.
- Acknowledge the questions your employees have asked, commit to getting a response, and get back with them in a reasonable time period.
5. Focus on your plan
Chances are likely that your organization has already determined the 2023 strategic goals. In fact, they may have set the strategic direction for the next 5 years.
- Have you set your HR goals? If you have, great! Revisit those goals and make sure what you have planned supports the direction of your organization. If you have not planned your goals, now is the time to do so.
- Put on your calendar to have a planning meeting with yourself. I know, you are super busy getting all those end-of-year tasks done but trust me, this is important.
- Making sure your initiatives are focused on supporting the direction of your organization ensures you are demonstrating your impact.
6. Pat yourself on the back
As you are evaluating how your HR goals are progressing, consider all that you have already accomplished this year, both personally and professionally.
- If there was a significant goal you had planned to reach this year, and you make progress towards that, take time to celebrate.
- If you didn’t reach all that you had hoped for this year, give yourself grace. Look into 2023 and think about what you want to do again, what you want to do differently and how you will get closer and closer to what you want to reach in the upcoming year.
- Allow for progress over perfection. Rather than seeing a missed goal as a failure, look at what you have learned, what progress you have made and be thankful for those.
7. Relax and Recharge
This time of year can be stressful and we don’t always show up as our best self. Remember, your actions help set the stage for others’ reactions.
- Before making a quick decision such as hitting ‘send’ on that email or before responding to a serious or stressful question….relax. Take a breath and gather your thoughts first.
- Your employees are looking up to you in your role to see how you will respond. Your team may also be looking to you to see how you react. This is your chance to be an example setter.
- Take time for YOU to relax over the holidays. Recharge so that you can bring your best self forward at the start of the new year.
8. Take care of you
You hear it when you travel – put on your oxygen mask first. Why? So that you can be in your best condition to support those around you. If we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we take care of those we support?
- Do you have PTO that you haven’t taken yet? Be sure to schedule those days off. You earned them!
- Reach out to your support system and your network. They are here for you. Sometimes having someone lend an ear can do wonders.
- Thank yourself! You have accomplished a lot this year and should be very proud. Celebrate what you have done, learned and become.
Remind yourself…You do great things! You should be very proud of all that you do!
These are a lot of ideas. I invite you to take at least one to put into action and see how they have helped you. I’d love to hear from you regarding how one of these ideas helped you get through the crazy end of year chaos. Email me and tell me how it went, email@example.com.