The New Year is Approaching- Plan it Well!

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    As the New Year approaches in less than two weeks, it is a great time to review and reflect the previous year while preparing for the year to come. This is a ritual in which I have participated since my early career days in retail management. It was motivating to reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year, review the challenges and outcomes, and prepare for year to come with a new set of goals. As this year comes to an end, I would encourage all of you to do the same. And for you HR professionals who have not moved past determining your success on smiles sheets and the success of the holiday party, make that your first goal of the year. Here is a list I would recommend for 2011.

    1. Determine how to measure your HR programs in terms of business impact. This doesn’t mean you have to have a long drawn out ROI on every single program. However, you should know the expected results to any program and how it can be measured in business terms prior to its launch.
    2. Know the organization’s priorities and plan your time and programs around those. You should be spending your time on developing, measuring, and implementing programs that are aligned with business needs and priorities. Failing to align in this way, will keep your seat at the table taken by other departments that get this very point.
    3. Keep updated and informed on pending legislation and its effects on your business. Not only do you need to keep up to date on federal legislation, make sure you are missing changes in local and state laws. Also, find reliable sources for pending legislation as well. A good example for background screening is the website of EmployeeScreenIQ who recently released the 2011 List of Background Screening Trends. You may also find a lawyer in your state who blogs about changes and as always consult your own attorneys.
    4. Review your policies to ensure they are compliant with EEOC guidelines and Wage and Hour laws. In 2010, the EEOC and the Department of Labor have increased focus on employee discrimination and wage and hour violations. Don’t assume the policies you have had for years, are compliant. Have an attorney review your policies and conduct an audit to ensure you are not in violation.
    5. Plan your Professional Development. Learning, developing and growing is a lifelong process. Don’t wait for your boss to tell you in what areas your need development. Review yourself, pick an opportunity for growth and develop it!

    What can you add to the list? Your thoughts are always encouraged!

    For more resources, See the Human Resources library.

    Sheri Mazurek is a training and human resource professional with over 16 years of management experience, and is skilled in all areas of employee management and human resource functions, with a specialty in learning and development. She is available to help you with your Human Resources and Training needs on a contract basis. For more information send an email to or visit Follow me on twitter @Sherimaz.