New Year's Resolutions

As Christmas becomes a dim memory and gym memberships peak, why not welcome 2012 with some resolutions designed to improve more than your waistline.

Here's our top five resolutions that every employer, large or small, would benefit from adopting.

1.  Out With The Old, In With The New

Paperwork is an employer's best friend.  Make sure that yours is up to date.  Do your contracts still refer to the default retirement age?  Does your grievance policy still include a "modified procedure".  A review of your contracts, policies and procedures may seen arduous, but it really does pay for itself in the long run.  If there's one resolution you stick to, make it this one.

2.  New Year, New You

Data Protection is one of those areas that many employers and HR professionals do their best to think of as "somebody else's problem".  It's not.  Take control of the data you hold.  One of the most important rules of data protection is making sure that the information you hold is accurate and up to date.  This is easy for employers to achieve.  Once a year (how about now?!) send out to every employee a "personal details" form.  Destroy the old records and replace with the new. 

3.  Spring Cleaning

Every company has a tendency to sweep certain issues under the carpet: the "problem" employee being a perfect example.  Difficult employees get moved from department to department and role to role, all the while accruing longer service.  Make a resolution that in 2012 you will face difficult employment issues head on.  Like any spring cleaning, it's tough at first, but the results are well worth it.

4.  Give Up Bad Habits

The biggest problem that we encounter with any employment situation, is where the employer has not kept proper notes.  Is it time-consuming and frustrating to document every conversation with an employee?  Yes.  Will it one day win you an Employment Tribunal?  Yes.  Not making notes is the best bad habit for employers to give up.

5.  Personnel Training

Why is training your employees on employment issues a good idea?  It'll trim down your risk of Tribunals and improve your chances of defending claims.  It will even improve working relations.  And the best part?  It only takes a couple of hours a year.

Can you think of other New Year's Resolutions for employers?  We'd love to hear what you have to say.

Happy New Year and here's to a successful 2012.