Don’t worry, don’t worry, the New Year isn’t quite here YET. The closer we get to 2023, though, the more you should be thinking about New Year’s resolutions for your workplace.

Whether you’re the manager of a tight-knit team or the HR director for a large corporate wing, your goal should be to boost employee engagement and thereby improve overall performance. After all, an actively engaged employee is 125% more productive than one who is merely satisfied.

We know employee engagement isn’t the only concern for a people manager – juggling responsibilities is all part of the job, and deciding what to prioritize can be a challenge. We’re here to help by ranking our Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for HR Teams!

10. Amenities and Perks

A few of your employees might have “Start going to the gym” as one of their New Year’s resolutions, so why don’t you bring the gym to them?

Introducing amenities to the office like gym equipment, ping pong tables, or expanded kitchens are a simple and effective way to get your team excited about coming into work. It’s an intangible that ends up paying dividends; when your staff enjoys their office environment, they’ll be happier and more engaged, resulting in better work.

Have a squad that works from home? You can get creative with their amenities, such as giving them free subscriptions to streaming services or UberEats gift cards.

It’s also an underrated recruitment strategy! When upcoming talent is interviewing or touring multiple job opportunities, it’s often the surface-level appearance that guides their decision-making. Be the cool new workplace on the block.

9. A Killer Onboarding Plan

Speaking of recruitment, onboarding is actually the most underrated way to boost employee retention in modern companies. You’ve got to master the beginning to stave off the end.

Organizations with a strong onboarding process see new hire retention improve by an average of 82%, saving tons of money and while strengthening culture. Starting young talent off on the right foot is an employee retention strategy that winning companies have been excelling at. People leaders also make the mistake of underestimating the connection between onboarding and future productivity; data suggests the average employee only works at a 25% productivity rate during their first month post-hire, while a strong onboarding process can boost productivity by 70%. 

If you want to know the difference between a good and bad onboarding funnel, check out our E-book on Five Critical Elements of Onboarding here!

8. The Right Budget for Culture

“A lot of people like to put things in terms of dollars, but culture is one that needs to be budget agnostic.” -Focus Technology CFO Chris Caprio

We talked to Chris Caprio last year about tips to improve retention, and as a Chief Financial Officer, he actually believes expanding your culture-building budget will pay off. When a CFO wants to spend more money on something, it must be pretty important.

Company events and incentives/prizes can be an excellent way to engage your team and build culture, but pinching pennies with what fun you allow your employees to have will have the exact opposite effect. We’ve all had disappointing company outings — they don’t motivate you too much, do they?

Speaking financially, the difference between a small prize & a big prize or a field day & a rented-out ballroom is tiny. Give your team a great evening and let them know they’re worth spending a little extra on.

7. Smartphone Capabilities

We can’t fight trends – smartphones are becoming the future of work. Everyone’s job does involve specialized, hands-on tasks that should be done on-site or on specialized software, but part of everyone’s job is also communicating, sending emails, and searching through files. That can – and should – be phone work. The simpler those tasks are, the more you can use your phone for them, and the quicker they become.

When remote employees can use their phones for part of their jobs, it unties them from their desks and enables you to get in touch with them no matter what they’re up to. Not to mention, it feels good to get tasks done from the palm of your hand, which brings us back to having a good attitude and feeling more engaged.

Don’t fight the trends – let your team keep their productivity up on the go.

6. A DEIBA program

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Accessibility are the tenets that make up DEIBA. It’s a common misconception that introducing diversity initiatives into a workplace brings intangible benefits rather than measurable boosts in productivity. If you’ve ever thought that was the case, consider the following:

Companies in the top diversity quartile are 25% more likely to have above-average profits, while companies in the fourth quartile for both gender and ethnic diversity are 27% more likely to underperform on profitability. DEIBA matters as a driver for employee engagement, culture, and financial success. We love all three!

Implementing a fully fledged DEIBA program is a great way to fight subconscious discrimination, but we know not every company has it in their budget. If you’re looking to do it internally, remember one thing: it’s not as simple as checking off boxes and filling a gender/race ratio. To learn more, check out our DEIBA e-book here.

5. Learning Management Systems

Employee development is crucial to leading an engaged team. In this context, development is defined as teaching your employees essential information and preparing them for tasks and positions that lie ahead. Education is a higher priority for the national workforce than you might think; 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn.

That’s why learning management systems are so important to a company’s success. Not only do they increase employee knowledge and confidence, but they actually engage teams enough to keep them working at the same place. Learning management systems are like digital classrooms that integrate with your employee retention platform to bring customizable lessons and content right to your team. Employees can take them at their own pace, and your retention platform will allow you to track their progress to see what lessons they’ve been certified in.

It’s proven to be effective! One 2017 study showed that even tiny investments in learning and development among sales companies resulted in win-rate increases as high as 46%. When your company excels at continued education, it becomes a talent destination for the top minds of any industry. 

4. A New Performance Review Strategy

We’re not here to tell you your performance review method is bad, per se… we just want to suggest a new way to look at it. Are your reviews annual or quarterly? Casual or professional? Building goals or treading water?

Not everyone is confident in their process – according to a poll we conducted of HR professionals in our HelloTeam Slack channel, 28% of people leaders are prioritizing performance reviews and one-on-ones for the upcoming year. They’re key to improving communication, trust, and productivity.

There’s far too much information we need to tell you about best performance review practices to fit here, so we recommend you check out our E-book on the subject!

3. An Employee Incentive Program

We just can’t seem to stop mentioning incentive programs in our articles, can we? That’s because they tie in with everything HR departments should prioritize, like engagement, culture and retention.

If you aren’t caught up, incentive programs help managers reward their teams with bonuses, gifts, or events for putting in exceptional effort on the job. Whether given to one worker or a whole department, the presence of distinct incentives will motivate your staff to go above and beyond to both gain recognition and receive that “something special” that’s waiting for them.

The #1 reason most people leave their jobs is a lack of recognition, according to Gallup. Recognition isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity whose absence could damage your organization’s retention rates.

Studies have shown that incentive programs boost productivity by 25-44% while simultaneously solidifying employee retention and engagement. Give your teams what they deserve while giving your company the high employee retention rates it deserves.

2. Standardized Communication

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in a hybrid workforce (and occasionally in an on-site workforce) is inconsistency in communication. A manager might ask someone for an update when they see each other in the break room, then send an email to a remote employee requesting a file, then make a recommendation in a task force group chat. It’s confusing to manage and can result in misunderstandings that compile over time.

That’s why you should unify communication on one robust messaging system like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or even Discord. Along with simplifying channels, this enables all workers to get to know each other a bit more, to all have access to the same messages and news, and even to blur the lines between the at-home team and the on-site team.

It’s a rare HR strategy that boosts engagement, productivity and culture simultaneously! There’s only one other New Year’s resolution that can do the same thing, and that’s…

1. An Online Workplace Community

According to business analytics platform CB Insights, HR software is projected to become a $43 billion dollar industry by 2026. The social workplace community is undoubtedly the HR industry’s biggest New Year’s resolution. 

What does a great piece of HR software include? Employee profiles, tools for goals, surveys, & meetings, peer recognition, rewards, and more. Think of it like a productive version of social media – and what makes today’s most popular social networks so engaging? Constant online access, engaging content, connections to people with similar interests, and most importantly, a fun user experience designed with the users themselves in mind. That can be available to every employee, via desktop or a mobile app, specifically for your workplace!

What makes social workplace community software such a great driver of employee retention is the fact that it’s specifically crafted to appeal to the employee just as much as – or more than- management. Too many HR platforms are designed to make the management team’s life easier by forwarding assignments more quickly, while features like rewards and peer recognition make these platforms for your people instead.

As the New Year approaches, get ahead of the competition by making some changes and fixing some painpoints. When your culture flourishes, your profits will follow!

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