Three essential tasks in January that will give you enormous return for the rest of the year


Three essential tasks in January that will give you enormous return for the rest of the year

Early January is an ideal time to pause, take stock and consolidate all the good work that was done in the last six months. Before the year gets older and too busy, it will be smart to look into three essential elements of People Management and take some actions. Whether you have 5, 50 or 500 employees, these apply to all. As you tick them off your list, it gives you peace of mind to know that,

  1. The business is under no unnecessary risk
  2. Your valued employees are taken care of
  3. Your business is not losing money from lack of right people in right positions

A Little Housekeeping

When it comes to compliance and risk management issues, most small business owners regard them as difficult and boring. However, not paying attention to them is simply not good management practice, because they have the potential to create serious dents in your budget. Make a checklist now of issues such as:

  • Do all my employees have right contracts?
  • Is there any casual employee working regularly for over 12 months?
  • Is any employee coming towards the end of their probationary period?
  • Is everyone getting paid at right rates? (Till 30 June 2014, the National Minimum Wage for a full time employee is $622.20 per week or $16.37 per hour. This gets pro-rated for part time and casual employees. Casual employees also earn around 25% loading on top of their base rate)
  • Is there a huge accumulation of leave of some employees? Am I keeping proper records of leave taking?
  • Are all my insurance payments up to date?
  • If any of these matters needs to get done or fixed, now is a good time.

A Half-yearly Review of Performance

In an ideal world, a manager is having constant discussions about performance with all their team members and giving constructive feedback and getting the best out of all their employees every day. In real world,discussions on performance, aspirations, improvement and personal development do not take place as regularly as they should. So, the beginning of the second half of the Financial Year will be a great time to review all your organisational goals and objectives with your team.

  • Are all objectives (not just financial) tracking well?
  • How do your team members feel about their goals and performance so far?
  • If they are lagging behind, what can be done to bring them up to speed? Should you reassess their objectives?
  • If they are showing stellar performance, what will it take to keep them motivated at this level?
  • Make sure all your senior managers repeat this cycle with their teams, so that all staff get the opportunity to discuss their goals/performance/development plan with their own managers.

A Resourcing Plan

A few quiet days in January may give you the perfect opportunity to look at your organisation structure and review all the positions, especially the vacancies with fresh eyes.

  • How many critical positions do you have to fill?
  • Do you have a clear idea about the roles that you wish to fill?
  • What knowledge and expertise should these new people bring in to the business?
  • What criteria should they fulfil to fit into the culture?
  • Is there anyone internal who would be ideal to take on any of these roles, even if some training?
  • Are you looking for full time/part time/casual/permanent or temporary employees?
  • Should the work be done in-house or can you outsource some of the work?

A good way to start the process is to prepare a solid job description and specify the type of person you want to bring in to the business. Start the preparation for advertising the roles now, so that you are ready to forge ahead by the end of January.


Mahua Das

Director at Next Gen Teams

I am an HR professional recently started my own consultancy. My preferred area of work is organisational change management. I live in Sydney, love to travel and also am an avid foodie.

Comments (2)
Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Hi Mahua, Great checklist of things to remember. These housekeeping things are usually avoided in small businesses without a HR department, do it's a great reminder for the new year. We are actually in the process of doing a few of these ourselves, it's great to know we're all on the same page!

Mahua Das

Mahua Das, Director at Next Gen Teams

Hi Wendy, good to know that you are following the house keeping rule. Let me know if you need a useful checklist to help you along. Thanks.