5 Things Your Company Should Do to Prepare for the New Year (Checklist)

Published December 7th, 2017 - 01:53 GMT
Here are some of the key things your company should do at this time of the year. (Pexels)
Here are some of the key things your company should do at this time of the year. (Pexels)

It’s that time of year again! Stress levels are running high, everyone is busy and working against the clock, there are many last minute tasks and projects that need to be finished, more people are requesting time off, and – of course – there’s so much planning for next year.

With all of that in mind, many managers might start feeling a little overwhelmed with what they need to do and how to best support their employees at this time of the year, so we’re here to help!

Here are some of the main things your company should do, and why it will help greatly:

1. Performance reviews

One of the staples of any successful business is their employee performance reviews, during which employees are evaluated against an agreed upon set of goals and targets. Factors that play into these reviews can be anything from quality of work and efficiency, to alignment with the company vision and values. Performance reviews (also called appraisals) are an irreplaceable part of managing a business or a team; it ensures that your employees are on track, know what is expected of them moving forward, and have a clear idea of their plan for the upcoming year.

To make these reviews easier, quicker and more effective, always make sure you set realistic timelines. Appraisals and reviews are time consuming, so don’t expect your employees to fill them out in 10 minutes. Send them questionnaires ahead of time and give them at least a week or two to fill them out, before sitting with them for a discussion.

Read more: How to Make 2018 the Biggest CSR Year for Your Company

Always ensure that you create a non-threatening environment for the discussion, where everyone communicates openly and honestly, exchanges feedback, and understands what needs to be improved in their performance without feeling like their position might be jeopardized as a result of this review.

Once you are done reviewing the year that just ended, be sure to set goals for the upcoming one, to which your employee also agrees and commits. Adjust these targets to ensure that you are enabling your employee to grow and learn new skills, while also incorporating their career aspirations and goals and contributing towards the company’s success.

Always end the review on a positive note, mention the things you appreciate the most about your employee’s attitude, work and ethics and show gratitude to them for their contributions and dedication.

2. Bonuses

End of year bonuses give employees something to look forward to and encourage them for the next year. It’s a nice way of showing gratitude and boosting your team’s morale on a regular basis.

You should make sure though that these bonuses are always tied to a clear target or performance metric. A company should never hand out bonuses to everyone randomly. Put a plan in place. Create an incentive system with a clear method to calculate how much each employee gets as a bonus, depending on their performance during the year. Make it an “award” rather than a “gift” with clear reasoning so that your team knows what to focus on and what to improve in the coming years.

Also be sure to keep your salaries within reasonable ranges by understanding the market averages for your industry, location, job roles, etc. You can easily obtain this information from Bayt.com Salaries.  

3. Holiday parties

Here at Bayt.com, we always advocate for office events and celebrations. There’s nothing more important for the success of your business than your employees’ morale, inter-team relationships, and the happiness and satisfaction of each employee. Keep your teams engaged and happy by celebrating the end of the year together. Not only is this fun, but it’s a great enhancement for your company culture. During the party, you can reward top performing employees and celebrate significant company achievements. Your employees are your most important asset, and if your company saw success this year, you definitely owe them a thank you! What better way to do this than at a party.

Worried about cost? You don’t have to go overboard. Eliminate food costs by celebrating with a potluck. Do it in your office rather than at a venue. Find some volunteers to build a “party team”, who can organize as well as decorate. DIY decorations are a quick, easy and cheap way of sprucing up the office a bit. It’s a good time for everyone, so don’t skip the party!

4. Gifts

What if you can’t give a cash bonus this year? The economy is not always on our side, and sometimes it’s just too tough to dole out even more money to all of your staff. This is especially true at the end of the year, when you’re planning your fiscal budgets for the next year and closing out your books for the current one. This is where gifts come in!

Read more: How to Find a Job as an Expat in the Middle East

Though monetary bonuses are generally appreciated and well received, there are other options that you can give your employees that they would probably like just as much. For an example, how about offering them flex-time? This means they get to choose the hours they want to work during, depending on their lifestyle. You can also give them an additional few days off during the next year. Everyone loves an extra vacation! Or how about giving them the option of choosing their own benefits? Instead of setting specific benefits, set a budget for benefits and have your employees choose what they would like to use that for, again depending on their own lifestyle.

Luckily, there are many non-cash bonuses you can offer your employees that will show just as much gratitude as a monetary one.

5. Preparing for the New Year

Lastly, and most importantly, you need to think about what comes next. Not only does this apply to the company as a whole, but also for each employee. Start working on setting clear goals and targets for the upcoming year, so your teams know what to expect, what to look forward to, and what to focus their efforts on.

Make sure that you also have a clear idea of your employees’ career and growth aspirations and that you accommodate for them. You should enable your employees to grow and develop their skills within their position, to further encourage them and show them appreciation for their hard work and dedication. You could do this by sharing with them their potential career options at the company, a potential succession plan, and the upcoming training and career development opportunities you are planning to offer.

Remember, as long as you communicate with your employees, this should all be a piece of cake!

Next year, to make this whole process even easier and smoother, you could start doing monthly reviews. This way, when the end of the year comes crawling in, you will be way ahead of it and have less to worry about and more time to focus on other things (like the party).  

By Sara Al Sakkal

This article originally appeared in Bayt.com. This article and all other intellectual property on Bayt.com is the property of Bayt.com. Reproduction of this article in any form is only permissible with written permission from Bayt.com


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