After a few not-so-typical holiday seasons thanks to COVID, it finally feels like we’re getting back to the traditional holiday sequence. Actively encourage employees to take a break, enjoy time with family and friends, and set expectations for 2023. This way, they will be mentally rejuvenated and ready to hit Q1 in a good rhythm. Here are some best practices on how to refocus for the coming year.
Look back at the previous year
It’s a great time to express appreciation and gratitude for employees and leaders who contributed to the company’s success the past year. A personal message from leadership can go a long way. Say thank you.
- Create and share a year in review that highlights company accomplishments, referencing tangible goals and benchmarks. Be transparent with employees so they feel invested in the company’s achievements.
- Celebrate company milestones.
- Don’t shy away from the misses. Be transparent about what did and didn’t work, and what was learned from both.
- Consider individual discussions about professional growth and development. This may or may not be part of an annual performance review process.
■ Survey employees on company strategy. Find out what they think worked and didn’t work. They’re executing your business strategy and may have insights management hasn’t considered.
Look to the future
Let employees know what to expect for 2023. People are nervous about economic uncertainty and rising costs. Be transparent as to what you expect and what role you expect employees to play.
- Set specific goals and targets for the new year — things the company will focus on in each department, capital improvements, etc.
- Address predicted 2023 barriers to success from a big picture/industry standpoint.
- Reinforce core values, brand, culture and organizational goals. Ask what employees aspire to do within the company Opportunities for growth help with retention.
- Revisit employees’ development goals throughout the year so you are accountable for their goals.
Don’t forget housekeeping items
Include ways to thank your team for their hard work, whether it be get-togethers, scheduled time off, flex time, or additional compensation.
- Send the holiday schedule for the coming year, including any important dates.
- Clearly communicate benefit enrollment periods, which typically occur at year-end.
- Make sure employees are aware of year 401(k,) IRA, HAS and FSA limits and who to contact to make changes.
- Address W-2 information changes.
Success hinges on communication. Communicate internally at all levels regularly. Even if you’re working on plans for the coming year, if you don’t communicate with your team, they’ll be nervous about what’s to come.
Employees who are not satisfied with their jobs will start looking elsewhere in Q1, especially if they haven’t been reassured about what the future holds for the company. Ramp up communication. Share what you’re worried about and what you’re confident in. Clear and honest communication goes a long way. It’ll reassure employees, so they can take a breather at year-end and get excited for what’s to come. ●
Mark D’Agostino is President of ConnectedHR