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Human Resources
Dec 14, 2018

Make People Plans for 2019

Sponsored Content provided by Lisa Leath - SHRM-SCP, President, Leath HR Group

After performance reviews are wrapped up, merit increases are realized, and budget season is over, the new year is upon us!  

Your team enjoyed the bonuses and the holiday party, but are you planning for your people in 2019? The labor market remains tight going into the new year, so a key strategy in your business plan should include a human resources operations plan to address attracting, developing and retaining talent.

As you set your organization’s standards for people in 2019, consider these questions:

  • Did I put the right people in the right seats at the right time last year?  Why or why not?
  • Did I take actionable steps to develop the high flyers in my organization and did we invest in others appropriately?
  • Do I know what keeps the staff engaged?
  • Are we building our employment brand appropriately?
Most organizations see the value in addressing these questions but end up flying by the seat of their pants when it comes to people plans.  Just like other functions of the business, HR requires vision, strategy, resources and execution. 

Here are some tips to plan your people processes well in 2019:


Reflect, Benchmark and Plan

  • Calendar a planning session where key team members can reflect on people-focused objectives in 2018, then discuss plans for the new year.  
  • Set goals for key indicators and bonus metrics.
  • Discuss organizational survey outputs and associated actions and status.  If you didn’t do a survey, consider one for 2019 to continue organizational development.
  • Talk about exit interview feedback and any associated actions.  
  • Stage SMART objectives that address feedback, recognition, manager effectiveness and analytic capabilities.


Plan to Attract the Right Talent

  • Set goals for the year’s organizational structure and talk with finance about additions.
  • Look for ways to streamline the recruiting process.
  • Review your hiring process with a focus on candidate experience.
  • Consider culture and job fit with assessments that are validated.


Plan for Development

  • Take the opportunity to reconnect with the team by having a team building event.  Consider a third-party facilitator so you can participate.
  • Formally discuss top talent’s wants and needs for their career. Calibrate with the business needs and set actionable plans.
  • Talk with your team regularly. Walk the floor, have lunch with them, call a team meeting and tell them how the business is doing.  Human interactions across the organization naturally builds rapport.
  • Calendar training for individuals and the team at the beginning of the year so costs can be accrued. Think about what’s required and what’s impactful at your organization to make training intentional.  14 states are now requiring or strongly encouraging employers to provide sexual harassment training once per year.  That might be a good place to start!


Retain the Good Ones

  • Tell the best employees what they are good at and why it has high impact on the business and the bottom line.  It will make them feel good and Pavlov Dog Theory says they’ll want to do more of it.
  • Have a recognition budget and ask employees how they like to be recognized.  Track who you’re spending the money on.  Use the budget to thank employees in meaningful ways to them!
  • Give high potential talent access to leaders. Coordinate dedicated time, even as a group, then don’t miss it. 
  • Allow and encourage employees to be brand ambassadors in the community.  Call the United Way and set up a volunteer day with your team. Encourage employees to speak at seminars or get involved with a social group. Ask them to wear a company name tag or sponsor an event and let them lead. Build pride in your company through ambassadorship.
Planning people processes for the new year will set you apart from your competition for positive business impact. 

"The secret of success is to do the common thing uncommonly well."- John D. Rockefeller Jr.

After graduating from the School of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State, Lisa gained generalist and benefits experience at an intellectual property law firm in Manhattan. From there, she changed industries to both non-union and union large manufacturing facilities with a Fortune 300 company at multiple plants across North Carolina in lead Labor Relations and HR Manager roles. After eight great years, she moved on to lead and transform a HR function at an international pharmaceutical organization with seven global locations.  Most recently, Lisa has been spending time working as an outsourced HR leader with pharmaceutical companies, healthcare, technology companies, start-ups and non-profits. No matter the business or industry, the approach over her career in Human Resources has remained consistent – use bench-marked best practices to tailor pragmatic HR solutions to specific industries or situations.  She has a reputation for building great HR processes and strategic direction for businesses and demanding clients. Lisa is a Senior Certified Professional through the Society of Human Resource Management.

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