Are you ready for the New Year? Don’t let you and your Human Resources people be caught unprepared!
With the start of a New Year, companies need to gear up for new tax laws and regulations. Don’t be fooled; changes in regulations are frustrating for every employee—especially those in HR.
In times of corporate change, HR pros are called on to serve many masters, from serving as agents of change in the culture, listening to and supporting the employees who get frustrated and stressed from new rules.
The most effective HR managers keep a steadfast presence through any transitions, tasked with keeping HR guidelines up-to-date, and remain consistent with the company’s vision.
It may seem easy, but it is certainly not! Three tips that can help you stay focused in the difficult changes coming in the New Year:
Know the company’s long-term strategy:
Many companies will develop a three to five-year tactical plan which is the structure of organizational growth. Knowing the long-term strategy will make any adjustment easier, since you can specify the motives behind the changes and how they will actually fill a need. You are more than an employee, you become a strategic partner.
An example: a spot opens up in the organization, for which you are to announce. Understanding technological changes that are on the horizon, and which ones are priorities of the company’s strategic plan, you recommend the job announcement be modified to reflect the upcoming needs of the company.
The advertised job may no longer be relevant to the company’s needs, and you push for updating the job requirements, so the company remains current.
The focus is on people:
They essential component of the HR professional is people skills. When significant changes occur, these skills are most pertinent. HR should be staffed with people who can listen impartially and analyze both sides of a disagreement.
Concerns about co-workers are best addressed by listening to both parties, and then consider the concerns of the company. All decisions should address the company’s main interests. Rarely are employee disputes a clear case of right or wrong, but which result aligns better with the company.
Expertise with policies and goals makes you the best trained staff member to resolve disputes, making sure all employees are on board with business objectives.
Outsourcing some duties to a professional human resources provider can free you to achieve your most basic function—answering employee questions and bolstering morale.
Create effective policies and procedures:
The bottom line? Your actions should always encourage your company’s long-term vision — when changes occur, the policies should change along with them. Regularly review policies have a system to review and updating both internal and external records to remain true in times of change.
Use your knowledge of the company’s strategic plan to craft policies that reflect those goals. However, your responsibilities do not stop there. Creating effective policies are only a fraction of the job. Regular feedback is required to ensure that new policies appropriately reflect any new direction.
When you are in the process of updating policies, utilize workshops and meetings as a way to describe changes to all staff members. Be available and accessible to questions. It is common for a sense of dissatisfaction to set in, especially when things change quickly or with short notice.
What is the secret to weathering change? Communication! In times of change or uncertainty, connect with all parties frequently, with a clear message. Having a serious, unshakable appearance will improve compliance with the new policies and reinforces commitment.
Your main goal when communicating new policies and procedures, whether it is for growing in a new sector, changes in the law or improved customer service, should always be to frame the policies in the best light possible.