It is worthwhile considering some dos and don'ts of the holiday season to avoid the pitfalls.
- Prepare in advance for salary reviews by bench marking internal salaries and bonus arrangements against the market norm. Ibec’s Economic Indicators for HR managers should also be useful in getting up to speed with wage trends, inflation and cost of living indicators.
- Remember to review the rules of your bonus scheme to take account of whether employees absent on protective leave or sick leave along with those who joined the organisation during the year qualify for some or all of the bonus.
- Circulate any corporate gifts policy that applies in the organisation.
- Brief everyone about shutdown and working days in advance. If the business plans to close over the Christmas period and employees are required to take holidays at certain times, this should already have been communicated.
- If some staff are required to work over the Christmas break, make sure to have set up a fair system for who is required to work.
- Ensure that you calculate your employees’ entitlements to public holiday benefits over Christmas and New Year correctly.
- Strike the right balance for Christmas Corporate Social Events. Ensure that employees feel rewarded for their contribution to the company throughout the year but be sure to remind them at the planning stage of the standards expected and the type of behaviour that is unacceptable.
- Make sure that images and footage from the Christmas party don’t go viral for all the wrong reasons by reminding employees that an employer must give their consent to the posting of a photograph or image on intranet an internet sites and this logic extends to social networking sites and posting of work related photographs or footage by colleagues.
- Let year end performance appraisals slip off the agenda just because one or other party isn’t motivated to do the appraisal. HR may need to drive the process to ensure meetings happen and development plans are produced.
- Forget to re-schedule performance appraisals for absent workers – including those on protective leave to take place on their return to the workplace.
- Forget to be vigilant about the employment rights of any seasonal workers and young persons hired to cover the Christmas period or January Sales.
- Communicate any bad news relating to change, re-structuring or downsizing that can wait a few weeks. Employee reaction is certain to be greater in the run up to Christmas.
- Schedule tasks that might be finished just as well if not better in the New Year without the time pressure of a December deadline.
Thursday, 16 November 2017