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Are You Ready? 3 Keys for Kicking off 2018 the Right Way

The new year is here, so let’s kick it off right!  Now is the ideal time to reflect on improving and re-engineering business infrastructures.  Your personal life may include New Year’s resolutions and recommitments, why not use this same approach when managing business?

As we return to the office, let’s all spend time focused on our business frameworks.  Our national unemployment rate (4.1%) is the lowest it has been in 17 years and predictions are that it will fall even lower in the New Year.  With low unemployment, employees may become restless and want to test the market to see what’s out there.  Job definitions, associated compensation and prospective employer relationships will be judged and evaluated.

Are you ready?

Here are 3 areas where Leaders can make renewed commitments:

  1. Refresh job descriptions (or maybe even write them) – All too often, job descriptions are written, then put on a shelf. Instead of being a living document, they become the forgotten communication tool.  Job descriptions are important for communicating essential functions, establishing minimum levels of education and experience, complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act and so much more.  They play pivotal roles in job accommodations, leaves of absence approvals, worker’s compensation claims and litigation.  Job descriptions help identify the right candidate profile and lay the foundation for appropriate compensation.  Jobs change with the ebb and flow of business, so it’s important to keep descriptions current and relevant.


  1. Renew compensation – As jobs evolve, so do compensation structures and plans. Following a job description refresh, new or expanded responsibilities may be uncovered.  The newly defined job should be analyzed against market to determine if a corresponding base pay adjustment is appropriate.  Incorporating variable pay (discretionary compensation contingent on performance or results) is also emerging as a compensation trend.  In a tight labor market, it’s important employers stay competitive by paying market rate for high demand employees and retaining A+ players.
    NOTE:  A compensation best practice promotes the review of compensation information data and structure every 2-3 years.


  1. Revamp feedback – We have fallen into a rut. It’s called the Annual Performance Review.  Rather than talking “at” our employees one time each year, why not instill an ongoing, interactive feedback conversation?  Resolve to have purposeful one-on-one career development sessions.  Talk about performance.  Ask for the employee’s input.  Help prepare them for what’s next.  But remember… if a conversation wasn’t written down, it never happened.  Please document accordingly.

It’s game on, Leaders!  Best wishes for a great 2018!