The holiday season can be a challenging period to find motivation or time for work in between company parties and vacation time. Human resources teams can especially feel busy this time of year as they are tasked with end-of-year responsibilities like bonuses, vacation time, and maintaining company morale and company culture. That being said, somewhere in between the holiday season and New Years might be exactly the right time to get a jump start on the year ahead.
Take advantage of the lull
In nearly every industry HR professionals will inevitably experience a lull in workload during the holiday season. Employees take time off around the end of December and the beginning of January, and clients are less likely to be making major purchases or changes in the beginning of the year. Thus, there is a small pocket of quiet that can be found in the midst of all the holiday cheer. Set aside sometime each day during this period to look at the calendar for the year ahead. Brainstorm with your team various goals you’d like to achieve and set dates for them. Look strategically at dates and build an outline for the upcoming year. Returning to work after the holidays with a strong base and knowledge of what goals and projects lie ahead for your team, will allow the HR team to hit the ground running.
The year in review
Was 2017 a particularly stressful year? Did your human resources team feel understaffed? Do you have ideas about how you can your team can improve next quarter? Now is the time to be reflective about your team’s performance the past year. Consider what your team was able to achieve and how. By setting aside some time to look critically on the HR team’s performance the past year, you will be able to coherently voice concerns and objectives in early January meetings.
Just as it’s important to understand your strengths and weaknesses in the past year, it’s also important to consider what new technologies or opportunities you and your team can utilize in the new year to get ahead. With a little research you might find a great new applicant tracking system perfect for your needs, or even a service like Recruiters LineUp that helps human resource professionals get matched with recruiters at no cost, can be seemingly small tools that can make a massive impact on the HR team’s functionality and daily resources. As fast as technology is changing so too are the tools that human resource professionals can use to their advantage. Blogs, Facebook groups, and networking on LinkedIn are incredible resources to chat with peers from around the world about best HR practices.
Go to that holiday happy hour
The human resources team operates in an often difficult position that is situated between management and employees. Payroll, vacation days, and hiring are tasks with the ability to make employees feel a little alienated from the HR team. Encourage your peers to go to that holiday happy hour and mingle with everyone involved in your organization-- branch out and get to know other departments and put faces to the names of all the people your work impacts. And most importantly- enjoy. Some of the best creatively come from removing ourselves from daily routines of work and mingling with others. And hey- you deserve to celebrate your hard work!
Happy holidays, and here’s to a great 2018.