Dice rolling from 2023 to 2024

HR Tips on Closing Out the Year

by Becki Leonard, PHR, SHRM-CP, on October 01, 2023
If you’re like me, you’re saying “It can’t already be the fourth quarter!”  Yet, here we are, and before we know it, we will be knee-deep in end-of-year activities. To keep you sane this year, we’ve compiled several tips:
Holidays and Mental Health
According to a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), 44% of women and 31% of men report an increase in stress around the holidays. On top of that, 64% of those who already suffer from mental illness report that their conditions worsen around the holidays.   

This would be a great time to remind your staff that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can provide them with the support they need to more easily navigate the emotional landmines that the holidays can bring. Each employee and their immediate family members may utilize up to three (3) free counseling sessions through our EAP provider, Behavioral Health Systems, which can be reached at (800) 245-1150.
Holiday Party Guidelines
In a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 59% of HR professionals said that their workplaces would be serving alcohol at their holiday parties. Where there is alcohol, there is risk. Here are some tips to better mitigate that risk:
  1. Remind your staff well in advance of the workplace conduct that is expected at your holiday parties.
  2. Cancel the open bar. A cash bar or limited drink tickets will naturally lower the alcohol intake.
  3. Offer beer or wine instead of hard liquor.
  4. Offer “mocktails” so that those who don’t want to drink feel included.
  5. Stop serving alcohol well before the party is scheduled to end.
  6. Serve plenty of food so that alcohol is not being consumed on an empty stomach.
  7. Consider holding your parties earlier in the day when people are less likely to drink.
  8. Provide free rides home to those who may feel it necessary.
  9. Hold your party at a restaurant or hire a professional caterer/bartender.
  10. Designate company representatives to be on the lookout for any potential intoxication.
Year-End FSA and Deductible Reminders
You may not have notified employees to spend their FSA dollars, so now is a good time for that reminder as sniffles season starts in earnest and the end-of-year deductibles come into play.
Holiday Vacation and PTO Planning
As the end of the year looms, vacation and PTO requests can become a hot topic. Start reminding employees early of existing time off request policies and encouraging them to use PTO. Another option is to send reminders to managers to begin soliciting and planning for staff schedule changes. If your organization is open on a religious holiday and if your company has floating holiday policies, remind employees about their options. Remember, failure to work with your employees that wish to participate in those holidays may be considered religious discrimination. Early planning is key to avoiding bigger concerns.

Becki Leonard, PHR, SHRM-CP

Becki has over 25 years of Human Resources experience and holds a business degree with a concentration in HR. She is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) and a Certified Professional through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP). She also holds her SHRM People Analytics Specialty Credential. At LandrumHR, Becki has worked with the staffing, PEO, and consulting divisions of the company. She currently holds the position of Managing Consultant for hrQ, their national Human Capital Consulting firm. Becki is passionate about helping organizations best manage their greatest resource – their people. A teacher at heart, Becki focuses on helping business leaders understand the “why” behind the “what” so they can move forward with confidence in their decisions.

View more blogs by Becki Leonard, PHR, SHRM-CP