Happy HR Holidays: Are You Checking Your To-Do List Twice?

December 14, 2023

Musical collaborators Edward Pola and George Wyle put it best in their holiday classic: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” And while lights are shimmering and holiday cheer is in the air, it can also feel like crunch time for you and your organization as you strive to wrap up 2023 and start thinking about what’s ahead for 2024.

Human Resources is gifted with many responsibilities, and plays a vital role in driving organizational performance and effectiveness, as well as reducing liability by ensuring regulatory compliance. As you prepare for the new year and reflect on the previous one, this is also a great time to review some of those items that can easily get sidelined. 

Our to-do list can get long, so it’s important to check it twice and ensure we’re staying on track. 

1. Update Your Employee Handbook

Employee handbooks are critical for effective employee communication and can help support everyday employment decisions. Written properly, they establish expectations, ensure compliance, and serve as the main guide for employees about your company’s policies and resources. Since laws and regulations are always changing, you should review and update your handbook at least once every year. You need to ensure that your policies align with any changes or new regulations that have been passed. 

Don’t stop there though. Take it a step further, and verify that the tone of your handbook reflects your company’s values. Does it provide a welcoming feel or one that is more directive? Is the language inclusive? Also, is it accessible to all? (i.e. large-font option, translated versions, etc.) Something else to consider – with AI (such as ChatGPT) growing in popularity it’s important to have a policy in place regarding its usage.

2. Create and Share Your HR Annual Report

I know it might feel like just one more thing for your endless to-do list, but creating an annual report is a terrific way to highlight your department's 2023 achievements, and inform stakeholders of your plans for the upcoming year. While HR has made great strides in many organizations and is seen as a strategic business partner, continuing to educate other departments on the beneficial results of your work is a great way to build credibility and trust among leadership in your organization. 

Use data and statistics to demonstrate your achievements. If you’re wondering where to start, check out this article from AIHR: Annual HR Report: 15 HR Metrics To Include - AIHR

3. Perform a Compensation Review

Employee retention remains a hot topic in HR. According to a Gallup survey, the four most common themes that contributed to an employee leaving in 2022 were culture, wellbeing/work-life balance, pay and benefits, and leadership. Remaining competitive in the compensation arena in this employee-driven market will help keep your current employees satisfied and attract new, quality candidates. 

How do you know where your wages stand compared to your competition? While Indeed and Glassdoor might seem like a good place to start, these sites will only give you a rough estimate which may not be the most accurate portrayal. If you want a current and relevant snapshot for your industry and location, I highly recommend partnering with an HR consulting firm that has the latest resources and technology to assist with a detailed (and accurate) compensation review.

4. Review your Job Descriptions 

Job descriptions are much more than an ornamental list of job duties; used properly, they influence many other areas of HR including recruitment, employee relations, performance evaluations, compensation, and more. They serve as a vital document when making hiring, termination, and accommodation decisions. Since these documents have so much impact, it's critical to take the time to review your positions and ensure the job descriptions provide an accurate representation of the role. 

Did you know that job descriptions are typically considered legal documents? Outdated or vague job descriptions can lead to legal complexities and financial loss. If you want to learn more about the importance of job descriptions, take a look at this post on Recruitment Marketing. Need help crafting meaningful, updated, and compliant job descriptions? Herbein HR Consulting would love to help you! 

5. Prepare for Upcoming HR Initiatives

Lastly, this is a great time to start setting some goals for 2024. Do some research on the upcoming trends or think about some pain points for your organization. Consider sending a pulse survey out to your employees and your leaders – see what they value, what they feel is lacking, ask for their suggestions, etc. Use that feedback to shape your 2024 initiatives. Most importantly, as you set these goals, it’s important to think about how they will contribute to the overall success and mission of your organization. Remember, the impact you make as a HR professional is vital and the objectives you strive for can truly make a difference throughout your organization. 


Personally, and professionally, this is the time of year for reflection and resolutions. HR plays a crucial role in the growth and success of an organization, and this time of year provides a fantastic opportunity to shine lights on past achievements, review documents and items you’ve set on the back burner, and plan for the year ahead.

What are your HR resolutions for 2024? We want to hear from you! Share your responses in the “Contact the Author” form below. 

If your organization is looking for advice or assistance with some of these initiatives, please contact Herbein HR Consulting. Our mission is to provide top-quality HR guidance and support, while consistently prioritizing the genuine needs of your organization. We have a passionate team with a variety of strengths and expertise who would love to assist and help you achieve your 2024 goals!


Article contributed by Jessica Keck