Happy New Year! 

With 2011, and the year of the rabbit upon us, this is the time of the year many people make New Year’s resolutions. Many resolutions are aimed at changing or improving our lives in some way. Common resolutions include: getting fit, losing weight, quitting smoking, or others.  New Year’s resolutions are simply goals or commitments that we undertake to improve our lives and the New Year is a convenient time to make changes.

New Year’s can also be a good time for your business or organization to consider some areas of improvement. The following are a few New Year’s resolutions your organization might consider.

Safety

Review your safety plan and performance and commit to the goal of zero workplace injuries in 2011. Start by reviewing all aspects of last year’s safety performance. Is your performance improving? Are there specific areas or departments where safety performance deteriorated? Is your workforce covered by Workers Compensation Board benefits? If so, are your premiums increasing or decreasing? Do you have a comprehensive Return to Work program? Are you ready for changes to the regulations with respect to harassment that will come into effect in February 2011?

Respectful Workplace

Develop and Implement a Respectful Workplace Policy. This will go a long way to increasing employee engagement and commitment. Our workplaces are becoming ever more diverse, and a respectful workplace policy is a necessity and not an organizational luxury. Start by reviewing the makeup of your workplace and the rich diversity represented. Consider issues or concerns that have been noted in your workplace in recent years. Develop your policy or review your existing policy with input from employees from all areas of the workplace. Ensure your policy is effectively communicated and reinforced throughout the entire year. Ensure leaders, managers, employees and others are fully supportive. A key to effectiveness is the extent to which all in leadership roles walk the talk!

Policy Manual 

Mike Cuma

Create a comprehensive employee policy manual and handbook. If you are one of the few organizations that has an existing manual, it is always a good idea to review and amend it to reflect the many changes that have occurred since it was created or last updated. Changes may be needed to reflect new legislation or other factors like the emergence of new communication technology, social media or others.

Continuous Improvement and Performance Management

Make a commitment to the continuous improvement of all aspects of your organization. The “same old same old” won’t cut it in 2011. Competitors in all sectors are truly global. You and your employees can bet competitors are working to increase and improve their business, often at the expense of your market share! Do you have a continuous improvement process in place? If not, how will you make the changes necessary to improve your competitive position?

Communication

Create and implement a comprehensive communications plan. Keeping employees aware of important information like business plans, company goals, customer satisfaction, quality, safety are a few important elements to include in your ongoing communications plan. If there is one regular theme to employee dissatisfaction it is with a perceived lack of effective communications.

Benefits

Review your health, medical and retirement benefits programs and providers. Do you and your employees know the true costs of benefits? Are costs increasing? Is your funding of benefits optimal for your organization and employees? Do your employees understand the benefits coverages available to them? Do they know the value of these benefits? How do you know your organization and its employees are getting the best value for their benefits dollar? 2011 may be a good year to conduct a review of your benefits programs and providers!

Finally, commit to taking a moment in the day to day hustle and bustle to genuinely recognize employees for their efforts and contributions. A sincere thanks for a job well done goes a long way!

About Mike Cuma and Legacy Bowes Group:

Mike A. Cuma is Vice President of Labour Relations and Human Resources consulting with Legacy Bowes Group. He can be reached at  [email protected]  

Local expertise, global reach and a comprehensive, full range of recruitment, retention and HR strategy services – these are among the reasons Legacy Bowes Group has gained its first-class reputation among employers ranging from small owner-operated enterprises to major corporations, in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba.