The year’s end is fast approaching, but there are still several HR-related things you need to do before everyone clocks off for the summer break. To help, we’ve created this checklist of the six things you should do to get your HR function right before 2023 arrives.

1. Take stock

With limited time left between now and the end of the year, you should map out exactly what needs to be done. That means, of course, factoring in routine HR tasks such as payroll. But it shouldn’t just be about doing the bare minimum. There’s still probably enough time to get other, more strategic things done too. That could include things like developing recruitment and training plans, working on employee engagement strategies (it’s going to continue to be one of the biggest issues next year) and other important HR tasks.  

2. Prioritise

That said, you’re unlikely to get absolutely everything you want to complete before the break, so work out what your main priorities are and what you need to do to make them happen. Use the tried and trusted technique of ranking each task as ‘Urgent/Non-urgent’, ‘Important/Not important’, and focus on those that are urgent or important. 

If some of your big picture stuff is important but can wait until the New Year, work out what you can realistically do this year to progress it, so that you don’t have a mountain of work to come back to once the holidays end.

3. Communicate

This can be an unproductive time in some workplaces as people get that ‘end of term’ feeling. But, as a business owner or manager, you can’t afford to let things slide. So let people know your expectations between now and the end of the year. Don’t be oppressive about it – you want people to be happy AND productive But you need to make sure they also get through the work that has to be done. You should also let people know your expectations around the holiday period. Are you closing down for a while? Do you expect people to take leave? If so, let them know. 

Over-communicating is always better than under-communicating. 

4. Throw a party

You’ve probably organised your workplace party by now. But if you haven’t, there’s still time to do something. No matter how small your workplace, or busy you are, celebrating the end of year is an important point in the calendar and something your people deserve. 

Even if it’s just a lunch or some informal drinks, make sure you get people together before the holidays start to reflect on, and celebrate, the year that was.

5. Say thank you

Speaking of which, this is the time of year you need to say thanks (and your office party/lunch is an important part of that). For many of us, 2022 has been another trying year, and it’s important you let people know they’re appreciated. 

Saying thank you is important for your workplace culture, as well as for employee productivity and wellbeing. 

It’s also important for you as a manager or owner, because it boosts your productivity and wellbeing too. As the Harvard Business Review notes, “Gratitude is good for you.” 

So compile a list of the highlights of the past year, who’s been involved in them. And celebrate them either at the end-of-year function or in a company-wide communication. (Or both.) Just be sure to thank everyone for their efforts this year.

6. Get your HR ready for 2023

Finally, it’s worth remembering that while the year may change, the work goes on. There’s nothing worse than arriving back from holidays with a pile of work on the proverbial desk. So, going back to step one above, gear up for what lies ahead by drawing up a list of what needs to be done in 2023. 

Make headway into it now if you can, before you go on leave. And plan out what you can’t get through so that you don’t place yourself under unnecessary stress when you arrive back in the new year.

Want more?

Have a great holidays. If you’d like to know more about HR strategies for the rundown to the end of 2022, get in touch. 

The lead up to Christmas may be a magical time of year for some. But for many of us, it’s much more about increased workloads, stress and trying to stay organised. In some cases, the anxiety that this time of year induces can lead to a full-blown burnout. So, what can you do to avoid suffering that fate in this year’s Christmas busy period?   

Am I suffering from employee burnout?

We all experience a lack of energy from time-to-time. However, in most cases, a bit of relaxation or time away from work can fix it. However, burnout is a kind of lethargy that isn’t cured by a meditation session or a weekend in Byron Bay.

Have you ever become so exhausted or demotivated that you forget what you’re doing or what you’re saying? Are your enthusiasm levels plummeting to where you can’t face getting out of bed in the morning? Maybe you’re feeling angry and frustrated or you’re eating or drinking way more than normal? Now you know what a burnout feels like.

“Burnout can be defined as the loss of meaning in one’s work, coupled with mental, emotional, or physical exhaustion as the result of long term, unresolved stress,” is how one US-based mental health expert puts it. 

If you’re an employee, entrepreneur, business owner or manager, and your work no longer has meaning, that’s a serious issue. So, if you find yourself afflicted by these feelings at Christmas time, what can you do? We’ve got some helpful HR strategies you can implement in the countdown to the holidays.

Be realistic about what you can achieve at work

Although positive workplace culture can increase at Christmas, as business owners and busy managers, we still tend to burn out. That can sometimes be a good thing – it’s probably part of what got you where you are. But it’s a very bad thing at this time of year. Especially when work starts piling up and the deadline of Christmas is in front of you.

The first step in avoiding burnout is to be realistic about workload between now and when you take leave. This means working normal days, not 18-hour ones.  

To do this, write down everything you have to do or goals to achieve by the end of the year. Then work out what really, absolutely needs to be done by then and what can wait until 2020. Even split your tasks or goals into ‘essential’, ‘nice to have ticked off’ and ‘not necessary’. Then tell yourself it really is only the essentials that need to be completed. 

Limiting what you need to achieve this way can help clear the mind and immediately start the process of de-stressing you.

Clean up your office space

Now that you know exactly what needs to be achieved by Christmas, it’s time to organise yourself and your work area towards achieving it. 

Go through your files, your emails and all the paper on your desk and organise everything in line with what you intend to accomplish by the end of 2019.

If something isn’t needed, get rid of it. When something needs to be acted on to complete your essential work, put it in your ‘to do’ bucket. If something is in the ‘nice to have ticked off’ or ‘unnecessary’ bucket, put it to the side. And, file what you can away. If someone else can do it, delegate it. 

And if something can be knocked over right now, clear your mind by acting on it.

By getting everything cleaned up and out of the way, you’ll help limit the intrusions and hopefully become better focused on doing just what needs to be done by the holidays.

Stop saying yes to more work

With Christmas coming up, you’re likely to start getting more requests than normal – whether that’s from customers or clients who want their work finished by the end of the year, or staff or managers pressing you to complete it. But if you want to keep your mental health in check and avoid a burnout, you’re going to have to start saying no. 

After all, you’ve seen your list of what needs to get done and you’re focused on achieving it. Do you really have time to take on any more? 

Set realistic deadlines

For anything you can’t get done in the lead up to Christmas, tell people when they can expect you to deliver. That shouldn’t be your first week back at the desk after holidays either. Otherwise, you’ll just be deferring your burnout until January when you arrive back with a mountain of work on your desk. Tell them to expect it in February if you can. 

If that sounds uncomfortable, remember that under promising and over-delivering is always a better strategy than over promising and then damaging your health to deliver it. 

Leave your work at work

One of the hardest things for any business owner or manager to do is to actually leave the business. But again, if you want to get a proper break and avoid burnout both in the lead-up to Christmas and when you come back to the office, you’re really going to have to.

So, go on, write that out of office message and activate it on your email account before you go on leave. Change the voicemail message on your phone and stop picking up calls from work-related numbers or numbers you don’t recognise. Let them leave a voicemail. 

If you must check-in with work over your break, limit it to a certain time each day and let people know when that will be.  

Prevent your burnout

There’s little doubt you’ll need to work hard in the lead up to the holidays – and chances are you may have to work much harder than normal. But that hard work shouldn’t come at the expense of your health.  

By setting parameters, you’ll be in a much better position to stay energised and focused in 2020.   

If you’d like to discuss strategies for de-stressing your workplace in the lead up to Christmas and avoid a burnout, get in touch with the Catalina Consultants team.