12 Resolutions for HR Leaders

Posted in Best Practice Research Thoughts & Culture

Well, it’s that time of year again – the time when everyone is busy declaring their New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions … only to give up on them a few weeks later. 🤦‍♂️

(The second Friday in January has actually been dubbed “Quitters Day” after the fitness app Strava determined that approximately 80% of the 800 million users they tracked gave up on their resolutions around this time.)

So, why do so many people fail?

Because the difficulty with keeping our resolutions has much more to do with our resolution-keeping strategy and much less about the difficulty of the resolution itself.

As Inc.com points out, the key to resolution-keeping is:

    • Turning your resolution into a specific, measurable goal
    • Building on current habits
    • Creating a conducive environment
    • Measuring your progress, and
    • Not sweating the bad days

So, we’ve carefully created and curated this list of 12 HR resolutions – along with specific deliverables and goals – to help ensure you can easily keep all 12 and make this year your year of connection in the workplace.

(Why is connection so important in the workplace? Click here to find out!)

To help keep things organized, we divided these 12 resolutions into six areas that commonly fall under HR’s purview (so don’t forget to share these with your colleagues and HR friends!).
Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Talent and Onboarding

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According to SHRM, 20% of new hires leave within their first 7 weeks, but 69% of employees say that they’re likely to stay at a company for at least 3 years if they have a structured onboarding process.

Our own research found that connected employees were almost half as likely to leave a company within one year and 15% more likely to stay longer than five years.

With the cost to replace an employee being anywhere from 50 to 200% of their annual salary, it’s important that we invest in our people to ensure that we retain the quality talent we acquire.

Here are our first two resolutions related to talent and onboarding:

1) Refresh your onboarding checklist.

Schedule an hour within the next week to create or refresh your onboarding checklist. Note what additional materials need to be provided or what processes may have been changed. Also, make sure it adequately accounts for the needs of your remote and hybrid workforce as well as your in-office employees and update/refresh where possible.

2) Be proactive with your new hires.

Create a list of which new hires are going to start in the next three months and send a notice to their hiring manager encouraging them to proactively reach out to their potential hire to check in before they officially start.

Here’s a hint for a little inspiration from something fun we do at Enboarder:

Before a new hire starts, we have the hiring manager reach out and ask them what their favorite “3 p.m. snack” is.

Then we make sure to have the snack waiting for them on their desk their first day!

Set a monthly reminder on your calendar to repeat this process every month.

Career and Performance

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Fifty-four percent of immediate retention is associated with an employee’s belief that their company contributes to their development, and 94% of employees say they’d stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.

On top of pure employee retention, Gallup found that people with strong work friendships are 7x more likely to be engaged in their work, are better at engaging customers, and produce higher-quality work.

With that in mind, here are your next two resolutions:

3) Create a 1:1 meeting template.

Schedule time this month to meet with each of your managers and review their 1:1 meeting schedule templates. Ensure there are allotted times to give recognition and discuss career development, so their meetings don’t become overly tactical and neglect these vital components.

Also, ensure public employee recognition time is built into each team’s weekly meeting schedule.

4) Check in and check up.

Create at least two scheduled prompts your people managers can use to check in on their people (This is especially important for remote workers, 70% of which report feeling left out at the workplace).

Set up a recurring calendar invite for them to reach out to their teams or set up a workflow in Enboarder with the prompts already loaded, so they just have to click send!

Employee Experience

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Per the Gallup 2022 State of the Global Workplace Report, a whopping 60% of people report being emotionally detached at work and 19% even considered themselves miserable.

With more of the workforce working in distributed or even fully-remote arrangements, if we don’t focus on all aspects of our employee’s health and well-being, the greater employee experience can begin to suffer.

Here are two resolutions designed to help your employees feel more connected and cared for:

5) Establish cross-organizational mentorship.

Take some time over the next week to think of at least one event you could host that would help encourage cross-organizational connection and mentorship between different teams within the organization. It doesn’t have to be fancy or in-person, but it should be fun!

Be sure to engage a sponsor from each of the departments you’d like to participate to get their input and buy-in. Pick a date before next month to have the event. (Setting a deadline helps ensure you’ll follow through!)

6) Monitor employee well-being.

Set up a time in the next week to review your most recent employee well-being survey for low-hanging fruit and then create a small task force to address one of the items that had a low score.

Look for something simple with the potential to make a big impact, create a plan and goals, and then report on your plan and accomplishments when they’re completed to help build momentum to tackle the next one!

Organizational Development

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The spontaneous interactions around the coffeemaker, water cooler, and cafeteria we all used to experience are now happening far less than they used to when we were all back in the office, and some individuals have never even met a single person on their team in person before.

Because of this lack of physical proximity, it can be much harder for employees to feel connected to their teams, let alone the company’s mission, which can have a range of detrimental effects.

Here are your next two resolutions, designed to help your employees feel a sense of connection with your organization:

7) Personalize your mission and values.

Set up a meeting with your managers and department leaders to create or refresh their department’s mission and values in a way that connects their contribution to the overall company’s mission and values.

Encourage them to work on this collaboratively with their teams and help the team celebrate with an official rollout event. Post each team or department’s mission and values in a place that can be seen by anyone across the company.

8) Share the news!

Create or review your company newsletter and ensure all employees are included (especially our hybrid and remote friends who can often be overlooked). Consider giving each department an optional section for updates that may be relevant to the organization and ensure important events are covered as soon as possible to avoid the rumor mill.

Learning and Development

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Fifty-nine percent of L&D professionals have identified upskilling and reskilling as the top priorities of their training programs, and 99% agree that their organizations will be negatively impacted in the coming years if necessary skills gaps aren’t closed.

But the answer isn’t just more training. We need the right kind of training.

While less than half of organizations have instituted peer-to-peer learning programs, our research found that 71% of employees agreed that to learn something new or change their thinking, they need a collaborative learning environment.

Here are two resolutions to help spruce up your L&D efforts:

9) Give an old training a refresh.

Look at your current curriculum and find a course that is widely used but stale or outdated. Work with the course owner to update it with more multimedia and collaborative touches to make it more engaging and effective.

10) Take it beyond the classroom.

Create a manager follow-up worksheet for one of your courses that helps your manager discuss the learning with their employee after the training event. Make the aim of the worksheet to tie the training to useful goals or behavioral changes.

This will help establish the content from the training more solidly in your employee’s mind and help the effects of the training last longer.

(Once this worksheet is released, consider making a similar worksheet for other courses as well!)

HRMS and IT

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Workplace technology is not free.

According to the American Psychological Association, between losses in speed and mental energy, as well as generally causing employees to be more error-prone, switching between tasks can cost employees as much as 40% of someone’s productive time, and research from Pega found that the average employee switched between 35 job-critical applications more than 1,100 times every single day … and that was before the pandemic.

In fact, per our 2021 survey, almost half of hybrid workers reported giving up on a task because they couldn’t remember a password or didn’t have access to a device where a password was saved.

If we’re not efficient with our technology, our employees are the ones who suffer. Here are two resolutions to fix it:

11) Map out your systems.

Set up a task force with a small group of employees, department leaders, and IT to make a chart of all of the different HR systems your employees need to interface with on a day-to-day, weekly, or monthly basis. (You can do this in software like Figma, but you could also do it on a napkin. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective.)

Create ideas to streamline your employee experience across these different programs (either by reducing the number of programs, adopting Single Sign On, or by some other means).

12) Reduce redundancies

With your IT and department leader friends from the last step, audit your current software stack for redundancies and look at usage heat maps if they’re available. Try to identify and eliminate any instances of redundant data entry and uncover any programs that are barely used and see if their functionality can be swallowed up by any of your other systems.

Each redundancy you reduce will scale as it will affect dozens of employees every single day.

Three cheers for resolutions you can keep!

Hey, we know that a list of 12 resolutions can be overwhelming, but you got this!

Just take it nice and slow, only focus on one resolution per month (super easy, right?), and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll start to see positive changes roll in.

Here’s to a great 2023!