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Make it your resolution to review policies and boost staff engagement and retention

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Business analytics. Calculator, financial reports and graphics.

Business analytics. Calculator, financial reports and graphics.

Query: IT'S a new year and I am reviewing my HR checklist for the year ahead. What should I consider?

Answer: The New Year is a great time to check in with your staff in relation to the year ahead.

Employee Policies

It's a good idea to review all HR policies once a year to see if any changes need to be made in line with new legislation to ensure that you remain compliant with employment law. It's also a good opportunity to include anything new which would be relevant to include in your policies documents or handbook - ie details regarding the new clocking system, new expenses system, remote working, etc.

Meet with staff to outline details of the new policies, and after the meeting issue the policies in writing to each staff member for them to sign and return. Staff must be informed that they can speak to management if they have any queries on the new policies before they sign and return the document. Alternatively, you can issue the new employee handbook for revision and sign off.

Appraisals

On an annual or biannual basis a development plan can be put in place for each employee.

This will outline objectives for the employee and the supports available to the employee to achieve these goals. These goals and objectives will be created and agreed by the manager and the employee together. To put this plan in place, it's a good idea to meet staff on an individual basis. Ask them for honest and fair feedback on their performance in 2018.

Clear, relevant and achievable goals should be set for the year ahead. These should be agreed by both parties prior to the meeting concluding.

At least one meeting should take place during the year to review the progress of the goals.

Following the correct process and using the right performance-review forms ensures consistency in the process. Appraisals enable a structured framework to record feedback. It allows the appraiser to receive feedback and to give feedback to the employees on past performance and to set out objectives for the future.

It allows you to identify training needs and to give employees an opportunity to improve. Formal appraisals have positive effects such as improving staff motivation, performance and commitment to the company.

Employee Engagement and Retention

In organisations where employee engagement is evident, there is a positive connection between employees and their organisation.

This connection leads to improved performance, productivity, staff retention, customer service and loyalty. Research has frequently validated the links between how employees are managed, employee attitudes and business performance. It shows that when employers deliver on their commitments, they reinforce employees' sense of fairness and trust in the organisation.

This, in turn, can strengthen the relationship between employer and employee.

  • Ensure that employees have everything they need to do their jobs. Just as the marketplace and needs of customers change often, so do employees' needs;
  • Managers should clearly communicate what is expected of employees - what the company's values and vision are, and how the company defines success;
  • Get to know your employees - what are their goals, what do they think they could be doing better, what do they think the company could be doing better, how do they define success and what direction do they see the business going in. Managers should show an interest in employees' well-being, talk to them on a regular basis and establish what makes them feel fulfilled in their role.
  • Managers should receive regular training in people-management skills such as performance management and talent development. It is important that managers know how to manage and engage their staff.

These skills will teach management how to interact with their employees effectively.

Employee Well-being

Consider how you can improve employee well-being.

  • Culture: Create an open environment for employees to learn about their own well-being and share ideas with their colleagues.
  • Identify and assess: Review the organisational systems, eg material conditions, work, productivity, income levels, stability, etc.

Understand that these elements intertwine with employees' well-being on factors such as autonomy, competence, feeling safe and secure, being connected with others to create happiness at work.

  • Training: Provide training on a number of topics to help reduce stress or to create awareness; time management, assertiveness, company culture awareness, well-being and mental health awareness, dignity and respect in the workplace.

 

  • Caroline McEnery, managing director of The HR Suite is also author of The Art of Asking the Right Questions, a manager's toolkit on all HR-related tips to proactively manage your team.

Sunday Indo Business