Posted on / Updated on / in Blog & Human Resource Professionals /

As 2009 draws to a close, now is a great time for human resources professionals to reflect upon the accomplishments and initiatives implemented over the past twelve months and begin to plan the human resource projects to undertake in 2010.

Below are 5 projects you might want to consider for the New Year:

  1. Conduct an HR audit. When is the last time you truly evaluated your human resources processes and procedures? Are you using up-to-date forms that comply with all of the new legislation? Are you unintentionally discriminating against a protected class? The list of questions goes on and on. Having a human resource consulting firm or other objective third party conduct a thorough audit of your department of human resources helps you see what you are doing right, but more importantly, what you need to correct. It might not seem pertinent now, but if the Department of Labor (DOL) comes knocking, you will be prepared.
  2. Review your employee handbook. While handbooks may just seem like a necessary evil dreamed up by wicked HR professionals, the reality is your employee handbook can be the most valuable weapon in your arsenal. In the event a legal issue arises, being able to refer to the policies in your employee handbook can save you heartaches and headaches.
  3. Update your employee handbook. Do you see a theme yet? It’s great to review your handbook, but you have to make sure you’ve updated your policies (not to mention actually following them, which is a whole other blog!) to address current legislation and trends. For example, does your handbook address blogging and the use of other social media? How about “sexting” or “textual harassment”? These are just a few “hot topic” areas that are affecting today’s workplace and need to be considered.
  4. Examine your compensation strategy. When is the last time you really thought about your compensation philosophy? Would it make more sense for your organization to lower base wages and increase incentives? Does your strategy violate the Fair Labor Standards Act by incorrectly identifying exemption status? Again, being proactive before an issue arises puts you in the driver’s seat versus behind the eight ball.
  5. Focus on teambuilding and other fun activities.  Let’s face it – most employees have had to work harder with less and are probably burned out. Consider having quarterly sessions that allow your employees to take a break and blow off some steam. It could be something as simple as a potluck lunch or something more organized like a departmental weekend retreat. The point is, adding a little bit of levity in the workplace is a great morale booster. And investing employee morale is a win-win for everyone.

Submitted by: Dawn Karrer, PHR; HR Consultant with IntegrityHR, Inc.

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about the author: Amy Letke

Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success.