We are closing in on the last weeks of December and it is time to prepare a great start of 2018.

In my years in HR in corporations I’ve tried to plan as many things I could before Christmas vacations, but fortunately the work is still there when I’ve returned on January 2nd.

Below is my list of things that I like to have up-dated and prepared for the new year and No I’ve not managed to get everything done before the 24th of December, but I’ve planned how I will get it done.

Maybe my list can help you?

HR Processes

Do you have any ongoing processes in need of a facelift or just a simple alignment check? Maybe you have new managers on board who does not, yet, know how you recruit and/or onboard?

Recruitment Process

Starter and Leaver Processes, etc.

Core Data

Make sure that employee data is updated e.g.

–      Addresses

–      Telephone numbers

–      In Case of Emergency Persons, etc.


Review Contracts

–      Do we have all new contracts signed, scanned and saved electronically?


–      Do you need to make any amendments and appendices to contracts?

–      Investigate the legal impact and prepare changes with the direct manager.

Salary Review Process

If it’s this time of the year (maybe you’ve already started the process)

–      Research Market Data and prepare documentation

–      Align with other decision makers

–      Get the percentage increase approved and locked

–      Depending on your process plan the below:

  • sit down with managers and discuss their employees’ performance.
  • If you still have a Performance Review Process make sure that the ‘Scores’ are handed in after personal meetings.
  • If you have a Calibration within your management team e.g. 9 BOX assessment, call in for the meeting.
  • Carry out the process: prepare individual letters and inform payroll

Communication Plan

Prepare and/or Up-date

–      Do you have a yearly cycle describing when, how and what you communicate with and to your employees?

–      Prepare the calendar and up-date your own personal calendar with deadlines, if you are responsible.

I would normally include: Email News such as news from the CEO, Newsletters, HR Communication, Engagement Activities, etc.

Social Media Plan

Right up there with the Communication plan (sometimes it’s a sub-plan to the overall Communication Plan)

–      When, How and What do you communicate?

–      Which channels to use for what and when (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…)

–      Any special celebrations throughout the year?

–      Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter special announcements

–      New employee announcements, etc.

Personally I prefer to have just an overall plan in a yearly cycle and then make a detailed plan month by month, but maybe you like to prepare a quarter at a time or 1 week at a time.

HR Strategy

Before Christmas or right after New Year I would gather my team for a brainstorming session.

What are our special focus areas in HR in the coming year?

What are givens e.g. Salary Review, Employee Development Interviews, New Hires?

What are our development opportunities?

Any new HR projects?

When do we have peak periods in the organizations and in HR? (not necessarily at the same time)

HR Budget

In my organizations it’s always come way before year-end, but nevertheless a good time to review when the need for funds are throughout the year.

Engagement Activities

If you are in charge of engagement activities and planning parties, my advice is to get it into a yearly cycle calendar with personal calendar entries if you need to start planning in advance.

Do you have a summer party? A Christmas Party? Seminars for employees? APV?

Gifts, Christmas Cards, other items

Do you need to order gifts, Christmas cards, employee activities merchandise, get it into your yearly cycle and in your personal calendar.


As part of American organizations I’ve been holding a variety of trainings.

When do we need to schedule said trainings? Ethics, Safety, etc.

Again make it part of your yearly cycle and put it in your calendar.


Those of you who know me well also know that I’m no fan of reporting. I’ve spend endless hours updating and reporting instead of focusing on employees and development, which it ought to be about.

But I’ll briefly say that some reporting makes sense:

–      KPI’s can be a good compass for setting direction and measuring how well you are doing what you said you would do.

  • Do you have a happiness barometer?
  • How good are you at closing recruitments?
  • How is the age, gender distribution in your organization any unbalance?
  • How well do you onboard new employees?
  • How well do you develop employees?

Development Programs

Any special development programs to initiate throughout the year?

Plan the timing, content and involve managers and employees?

Employee Development Interviews

Do you have a cycle?

Would you like to review it?

Is it going as planned?

Any improvements you would like to make?

Make it part of your yearly cycle?

Holiday Planning

Inform employees about left over holidays and new holidays?

–      Plan and agree on how you as an employer need your resources throughout the year.

–      Communicate in due time to employees.

Was it a long list?

Maybe! But having the above things in a yearly cycle and plan as well as in your personal calendars will help you upfront with a yearly structure. You will now be able to see when your peak periods are, when you have time to take on other projects and how to focus your time.