Year-End Checklist for Your HR Department

Nov 11, 2021

Welcome to Life Designers, your trusted partner in business and consumer services. As 2020 approaches, it's crucial to ensure that your HR department is ready for the upcoming year. In this comprehensive year-end checklist, we will guide you through essential steps to optimize your HR processes and enhance overall organizational efficiency.

Why is a Year-End Checklist Important for Your HR Department?

As the year comes to a close, it's essential to review and analyze your HR practices to identify areas for improvement and ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. An effective year-end checklist allows your HR department to proactively address any existing issues and implement strategies for a successful year ahead.

Review and Update HR Policies

Start by reviewing your current HR policies and procedures. Identify any gaps or outdated information and make the necessary updates. Ensure that all policies align with the latest legal requirements and industry best practices.

Employee Handbook

  • Review and revise your employee handbook to reflect any changes in employment laws.
  • Include comprehensive sections on code of conduct, anti-discrimination policies, and harassment prevention.
  • Clearly outline employee benefits, leave policies, and performance management procedures.

Job Descriptions

  • Review and update job descriptions to accurately reflect current roles and responsibilities.
  • Align job descriptions with your organization's long-term goals and strategic objectives.
  • Ensure that job descriptions are free from discriminatory language and promote diversity and inclusion.

Performance Review and Goal Setting

Conduct comprehensive performance reviews to evaluate employee performance and set goals for the upcoming year. Effective performance management is essential for employee development and overall organizational success.

Performance Evaluation Process

  • Develop a structured performance evaluation process, including clear criteria and timelines.
  • Train managers on how to conduct fair and objective performance evaluations.
  • Provide constructive feedback and set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals for employees.

Goal Setting

  • Collaboratively set individual and team goals aligned with the organization's strategic objectives.
  • Ensure that goals are challenging yet attainable, and contribute to employee growth and development.
  • Regularly monitor progress and provide ongoing feedback to support employees in achieving their goals.

Compliance and Legal Obligations

Staying compliant with employment laws and regulations is crucial to protect your organization from potential legal issues. Review and update your HR practices to ensure full compliance.

Employee Classification

  • Review employee classifications (exempt vs. non-exempt) to ensure compliance with overtime laws.
  • Ensure that proper records are maintained for all employees, including payroll and timesheets.

Employment Contracts and Agreements

  • Review and update employment contracts to reflect any changes in employment laws or organizational policies.
  • Ensure that all contracts are legally sound and protect both the employee and the organization.

Employee Development and Training

Investing in employee development is crucial to enhance skills, boost morale, and retain top talent. Incorporate comprehensive employee development and training strategies into your year-end HR checklist.

Training Needs Analysis

  • Conduct a training needs analysis to identify skill gaps and training requirements across different departments.
  • Develop comprehensive training programs that cater to the specific needs of your employees.
  • Offer a mix of internal and external training opportunities to broaden employee skill sets.

Leadership Development

  • Identify high-potential employees for leadership development programs to prepare them for future leadership roles.
  • Provide mentoring and coaching opportunities to develop leadership competencies.
  • Create succession plans to ensure smooth transitions in key leadership positions.

Optimizing HR Technology

Take this opportunity to assess and optimize your HR technology systems to streamline processes, improve data accuracy, and enhance employee experiences.

HRIS (Human Resources Information System)

  • Conduct a thorough review of your HRIS to ensure it meets your current and future needs.
  • Integrate data analytics capabilities to gain insights into workforce trends and make informed decisions.
  • Explore automation opportunities to reduce administrative workload and improve efficiency.

Employee Self-Service Portals

  • Enhance employee self-service portals to allow employees to access their information and perform HR-related tasks easily.
  • Integrate functionalities such as leave management, benefits enrollment, and performance tracking.


As 2020 approaches, ensure that your HR department is ready to navigate the challenges and leverage opportunities. Life Designers, a leading consulting and coaching company specializing in business and consumer services, is here to support you in optimizing your HR practices. By following this comprehensive year-end checklist, you can position your HR department for success in the upcoming year.