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The Importance of Human Resources and Critical End-of-Year Action Items

The Importance of Human Resources and Critical End-of-Year Action Items Human Resources (HR) is often underestimated, overlooked, and sometimes even dismissed as a mere support function in an organization. Yet, it’s the HR department that enables a company to effectively recruit, manage, engage, and retain the employees who ultimately create value for the business. As the year draws to a close, HR professionals need to ensure that various tasks are completed to facilitate a smooth transition into the New Year.

Why is HR Important?

Regulatory Compliance HR professionals ensure that the company adheres to labor laws and other relevant regulations, thereby minimizing the risk of legal issues that could negatively impact the business.

Talent Management From hiring and onboarding to career development and succession planning, HR plays an indispensable role in finding and nurturing the talent that fuels a company's success.

Employee Engagement Engaged employees are more productive, loyal, and contribute positively to company culture. HR programs can boost employee engagement through recognition, training, and performance reviews.

Conflict Resolution Interpersonal conflicts can drastically affect a team’s performance and morale. HR specialists are trained in conflict resolution techniques that can quickly and fairly address issues, ensuring a more harmonious work environment.

Critical End-of-Year Action Items As the year comes to an end, HR departments should focus on the following action items:

Performance Reviews The end of the year is the ideal time for annual performance reviews. Feedback should be constructive and linked to objectives for the next year. Use this time to identify high performers who may be ripe for advancement, as well as areas where teams or individuals might need additional support or training.

Benefits Enrollment End-of-year is usually the period for open enrollment in healthcare and other benefits programs. Make sure employees have the necessary information and deadlines to make informed choices for the year ahead.

Salary and Bonus Planning If salary revisions and bonuses are annual occurrences at your company, the end of the year is the time to finalize these. This requires budget reviews and possibly board or senior management approval.

Talent Retention Analysis Review turnover rates and feedback from exit interviews to identify any systemic issues that could be causing valuable employees to leave. Use this data to improve retention strategies for the coming year.

Compliance Check Review all employment contracts, policies, and procedures to ensure that they are up-to-date with current laws and regulations. Update them as needed.

Record-keeping and Documentation Make sure that all employee records are updated, including personal details, job descriptions, and emergency contact information. File any outstanding paperwork and ensure that digital records are backed up securely.

Training Programs Evaluate the effectiveness of the year’s training programs and identify skill gaps that need to be filled in the coming year. Plan and budget for any training or development programs that are needed.

Employee Recognition End the year on a positive note by recognizing employee contributions. Whether through an awards ceremony, bonuses, or a simple thank-you note, acknowledging hard work goes a long way in building a strong company culture.

Conclusion HR is not merely a support function; it is a strategic partner that significantly influences a company's success. And as one year transitions into the next, completing these critical end-of-year action items can set the foundation for a more effective and harmonious workplace in the year to come.

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