As the New Year approaches, sports networks, magazines and other media have aired, printed and posted their perspectives on the major sports events of 2013. I have already watched a good number of these reviews and they tend to follow a similar pattern, highlighting amazing plays, last-second on-field heroics, scandals, notable terminations, lawsuits, championships won and lives lost. No matter how many I have seen, I find it difficult to change the channel when I come across one. Maybe I like these reviews because I am amazed by the number of things I have forgotten. Just when I think a “year in review” program has nothing new to show me, I have an “Oh yeah, I forgot about that” moment. I forgot, for example, Adam Scott winning the Masters in sudden death; Novak Djokavic’s Australian Open win; the name of Manti Teo’s fictional girlfriend; and all the attention surrounding Lance Armstrong’s public relations demise at the beginning of the year. I come away struck by how the facts of what happened during the year can differ from what I remembered. From a human resources perspective, the end of the year is a good time to conduct a “year in review” of your organization. Thoughtful reflection of positive and negative events can be helpful in guiding you to a successful 2014. More specifically:
- Think about the successes the company experienced and what led to them.
- Recall the good and/or bad hiring decisions that impacted your year. Consider whether you need to change your interview and screening processes. Do you need to conduct background checks? If you conduct background checks are they compliant with EEOC guidelines and the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
- Review your workforce’s strengths and weaknesses. Do you have the right team and depth to drive growth and success?
- Analyze the reasons why an EEOC Charge of Discrimination may have been filed or why a Department of Labor investigation was launched.
- Think about what you need to change to make sure you win the next unemployment hearing.
- Review your policies and procedures and make changes where necessary to be compliant with workplace laws and/or address the loopholes that may have been discovered the hard way.
- Implement or modify restrictive covenant agreements to protect your business from unfair competition.
In work, as in sports, a lot happens in a year. As the year winds down, reflect on the events that have shaped your organization’s performance over the course of the prior 12 months. You may recall something important that needs to be addressed.