With the past year in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start focusing on the new year. For many of us, that means making a few resolutions. Now, this isn’t a post about how you should eat better, move more, and dust off the old gym pass. Rather, we’re going to focus on a few New Year’s resolutions to help your business get organized and grow in 2019.
This year, it’s time to finally develop a system for storing your employee files. Whether it’s a dedicated filing cabinet or a fancy-schmancy online system, it needs to check all the boxes. It needs to be secure, it needs to be accessible, it needs to be compliant (meaning that it can store all the information that you need it to store for as long as you need to store it), and most importantly it needs to work for your business.
Roll on with Payroll
Following on from the idea of making life easier, this should also be the year that you really get your payroll system in order. In order to be prepared for tax season (which, sadly, is right around the corner), you need to make sure your W2s are up to snuff, which means ensuring employee information is accurate by having workers review their payroll information. Ask them to complete new forms if anything has changed. As an annual housekeeping measure, you should also be reconciling payroll accounts and begin preparing to file Form 940, the Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return, that is due at the end of January.
Get on the Training Train
If you’ve spent the better part of this past year putting off all the training that your staff so desperately needs and deserves. It’s time to make this year your year. First, establish what your company goal is going to be for the next year to 18 months and map out a strategic plan to reach it. Review your current employees, noting their strengths and weaknesses. Work with your employees to establish a list of all the training and development they need or want to meet the overall strategic company goals and develop an implementation plan to deliver them with accountability measures to ensure completion.
Ok, it might not be a matter of safety first in terms of the task that you tackle first in the new year, but ensuring that your employees are working in a safe environment is a priority. As a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), we have a safety manager on staff who can come on-site to your workplace and not only identify the risks (or just areas for improvement) but also offer solutions to these problems.
It does seem a little crazy to suggest that you read up on any recent big employment or industry-related laws that have been enacted that may impact your business, but it’s equally crazy to suggest that this is a job that should only be done once a year! The reality is that HR laws change frequently and often with very little heads up – staying apprised of what’s going on at the state, federal, and industry-specific level is crucial to your ongoing compliance. In particular, be sure to take a look at minimum wage, health insurance mandates, and tax reporting laws. You also need to update your employee handbook to reflect any significant changes accordingly and communicate those changes to employees.
It wouldn’t be a New Year’s resolution list if this if we didn’t talk about setting goals again. Planning is instrumental to success, which means that as the new year begins, you need to start thinking about your goals for the next year and beyond. This includes thinking about the direction that you want your company to go in and setting a series of smaller goals that will help you to accomplish the overarching strategic goals. When developing your goals, think SMART-specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. It’s important to be specific, such as “I want to recruit six new clients,” instead of “I want to grow my business.” Specifics set you up to measure your goals to ensure you are on the path to attaining them. Measuring also keeps you accountable and looking at new ways to improve to meet the goals.
A PEO can help you meet all these resolutions to make next year your best one yet. Resolve to download our savvy guide to human resources for small businesses and set up a time to talk with us.