New Year’s Resolutions for Employers

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Checklist for New Year's resolution. Employers are ending another year of COVID work-from-home practices and facing down another year of uncertainties. Accordingly, savvy human resources departments and employment counsel alike are resolving to create stronger workforces in 2022. While employer resolutions may sound a bit silly, many employers use the new year to evaluate past successes and set goals for the coming year.

At Smithey Law Group LLC, we have extensive experience helping employers evaluate their employment procedures, policies, and programs. We work with employers and employees to create a culture of respect and success within your company. We’ll walk you through some New Year’s resolution ideas for employers to get your company’s year started off on the right foot.

Evaluate Your Past Success

Each year is unique, especially these years of hybrid work-at-the-office employees, work-at-home employees, and intermittent lock-downs. A great way to create New Year’s resolution ideas for your workplace or team is to look back at how your company adapted to the demands of the last year. What changes worked and which ones didn’t? This could mean evaluating how new hires performed in a hybrid work environment. It could mean assessing how your sales team met targets without being able to attend in-person conventions.

Crafting New Year’s resolutions for work is a perfect way to gather feedback from employees on what worked and what didn’t. Some ways to gather employee feedback include:

  • Sending out employee surveys;
  • Holding employee focus groups;
  • Interviewing individual employees; and
  • Polling employees anonymously.

Any or all of these strategies can be adapted to your workplace to gather information about your successes. Your employees will likely tell you what worked and what you can work on to improve in the future.

Update Your Company’s Goals for the New Year

One way to create New Year’s Resolutions for employers is to consider SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals. Setting these kinds of goals can help you put the feedback you get from employees into action. Take into consideration what employees say were last year’s successes. If your work-from-home environment was a success, what are some SMART goals that could make it even better? What policies could you revise to help further those goals?

Review Your Company’s Key Policies

When crafting New Year’s resolutions for employers, consider using this as an opportunity to review your company’s key policies as well. Employer resolutions sometimes fail to account for how important employment policies and procedures really are. Don’t let that happen to your company!

Employee Handbook

Consider putting “Review Employee Handbook” at the top of your list of New Year’s resolutions for work. Is it up to date with the current laws in every jurisdiction in which you operate? Do you still have enough employees to cross benefit eligibility thresholds that your policies now must account for? The new year is a great time to make sure that your handbook is current and relevant. Partnering with an experienced employment legal matters attorney can make this process a breeze.

Job Descriptions

Another great New Year’s resolution for employers is to review employee job descriptions. Do they still accurately describe the essential job functions and expectations for each position in your company? Do all positions described still exist, or have new ones been added?

And while evaluating job descriptions, make sure that all employees are treated as non-exempt for overtime purposes unless they fit into a recognized overtime exemption. You should also review the Internal Revenue Service and state tax or revenue office guidance about the use of independent contractors. Speaking with an experienced employment legal matters lawyer can help you navigate this process more easily and quickly.

Social Media

If you don’t already have a social media policy, using your workplace New Year’s resolutions as a way to implement one could be a great idea. Social media is constantly evolving, and the law often struggles to catch up. Confirm that your policy addresses your company’s expectations for how employees use internal and external social media. Tell employees whether they are allowed to mention where they work in their social media profiles. Be sure to include any restrictions on using the company’s name in their personal social media posts.

Additionally, make sure your social media policy addresses topics like harassment and confidential information. Ensure that employees understand the difference between personal communications and corporate communications. Train managers and human resources staff on your social media policies, and include “review social media policy” on your list of New Year’s resolution ideas for next year.

Privacy Policies

Depending on what your business does, handling data could be critical to your success. How well are you handling customer privacy? How well are you dealing with employee privacy? New Year’s resolutions for employers can include crafting or reviewing internal and external privacy policies. This sets your company up for success with employees and customers while preventing the costs and hassle of a major data disaster.

Create Opportunities for Employee Development

Resolving to develop your employees is perhaps the best New Year’s resolution you can make. All the best New Year’s resolutions and policy reviews will get you nowhere if you’re unable to develop and retain your people. Get to know your employees’ professional goals and resolve to help them to become better employees. New Year’s resolution ideas to facilitate this can include:

  • Implementing regular 360-degree reviews;
  • Recognizing employee accomplishments;
  • Crafting a mentoring program; and
  • Paying for employees’ outside educational opportunities.

By resolving to develop your team, you’re also investing back into your business. The time and money spent on understanding your employees’ goals will provide better feedback for setting next year’s SMART goals. It will also likely provide you with happier, longer-tenured employees!

The Smithey Law Group LLC Advantage

The Smithey Law Group LLC team has extensive experience in helping employers and employees handle complex employment law issues. As you prepare to set your goals and resolutions for the new year, contact us for a consultation. We can help your business achieve maximum success.

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Joyce Smithey, a seasoned employment and labor law attorney, has over 22 years of experience representing both employers and employees in Maryland and D.C. Her practice, rooted in a deep understanding of employment law, spans administrative hearings to federal litigation. Joyce's approach is comprehensive, focusing on protecting client interests while ensuring legal compliance. A Harvard graduate, her career began in Fortune 500 companies, transitioning to law after a degree from Boston University School of Law. Joyce's expertise is recognized by numerous awards, including Maryland’s Top 100 Women. At Smithey Law Group LLC, which she founded in 2018, Joyce continues to champion employment rights, drawing on her rich background in law and business.

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