It is that time of year again…New Year’s Resolution time!
For the regulars at most health clubs, you know over the next few weeks the place will be packed with all those who have resolved to loose weight and get healthy. But we all know, by the end of January, most will revert back to their old ways and the rest of us can finally find an open lane to swim.
It happens in business too. So, rather than suggesting a dozen resolutions to improve your business and workforce, I am going to suggest 4, and encourage you to adopt one or two in the first half of the year and the other two, later. Reasonable?
Here they are:
1. Invest in yourself. So much of your time is spent on improving your business and developing your staff (all good things). But so little time, energy or money is ever invested in you. This year, commit to attending a conference, taking a seminar, or engaging (finally!) an executive coach. Remember, if you don’t manage your own career, no one else will. Take care of your self. It’s good for you and frankly, it’s good for your company too.
2. Update and revise your handbook. Several changes have been made to state and federal law over this past year, requiring changes to your policies. These include restrictions on social media (Maine); earned sick time regulations (MA); extension of parental leave (MA); increase in minimum wages (MA); and the guidance on handbooks issued by the NLRB (federal). These are just some of the changes that took place in 2015. Incorporate them into your handbook and while you’re at it, make sure all your polices reflect both the law and your existing work practices (details of all of these changes can be found in my blog).
3. Prepare for the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed exemption changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The impact of this regulation, now scheduled for the third quarter of this year, is huge. Ill prepared employers who don’t take the time to address these changes, could find themselves in big trouble with the DOL, costing them a bundle in fines. And while you’re preparing for these changes, it is always a good time to look at all your employee classifications and your wage and hour practices to ensure that you are in full compliance and that your supervisors understand and follow them.
4. Get ready for wage increases. For the second straight year, I am projecting that wages will increase by 3%. As I noted in previous advisories and blog posts, certain positions (electrical engineers, IT, nurses) and geographic areas (Northeast, the 128 Belt) can expect higher amounts. Evaluate your wage programs. Make sure your entire compensation system is competitive with the market. With a relatively strong labor market that is making recruitment and retention much more challenging, having a competitive wage program is an absolute must.
Put together a simple plan to schedule and implement these changes. And please, don’t forget yourself.
Here’s hoping that 2016 will be a terrific year for you, your company and staff. As always, I am ready to assist you in any way I can. Just call (207-229-5954) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Happy New Year!
Other posts you may like:
- 2016 Compensation Trends (listen to webinar)
- HR HelpLine: When You Need Expert Advice
- Planning Keeps You On Course