40 ways to get through year-end with a smile

As the holiday season approaches, many parts of the organization slow down for a bit of a breather before the New Year, but not the Human Resources and Payroll departments. Year-end triggers a flurry of important tasks for HR and Payroll teams. Here’s a quick checklist to help you plan your year-end so you can get through it with confidence.

Put Your Plan Together

  • Communicate vacation policies or restrictions so employees and managers can plan ahead.
  • Remind employees to check and use their vacation balances.
  • Encourage employees to verify and update information such as addresses, and life changes that relate to pay and benefits.
  • Review any HR/Payroll regulatory changes that come into effect in the New Year and identify any impact and required revisions to your people policies or collective bargaining agreements.
  • Prepare for external regulatory audits by making sure your record retention policies and practices are being followed.
  • Complete an internal year-end records audit.
  • Prepare for performance discussions and set your team targets and goals for the coming year.


Payroll To-Do List

  • Review upcoming federal and provincial tax and legislative changes that impact Payroll and develop a change management plan to communicate any changes that will affect staff.
  • Download the current year-end resources available through the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA).
  • Balance and reconcile all third-party regulatory remittance accounts to prepare for your year-end submissions.
  • Review vacation accrual balance reports, and communicate to employees, managers and HR teams.
  • Communicate with employees about where and when their T4s and New Year TD1s will be available.


Recruitment Readiness

  • Confirm your recruitment and training budget for the upcoming year.
  • Generate any Human Capital Management (HCM) reports you need for your overall workforce strategy.
  • Review upcoming leaves, retirements and new headcount to build your hiring plans.
  • Review attrition trends for the previous year, including retention and turnover rates and reasons.
  • Take a look at your employer brand – are you showing up competitively versus other employers?
  • Review and update your careers website.
  • Analyze your applicant tracking – is the system friendly and efficient for both candidates and your recruitment team?
  • Clean up old postings on internal and external job boards.
  • Work with your hiring managers to update job profiles and descriptions for the coming year and make sure that they stand out against your competition.


Benefits Tasks

  • Review your experience rating and target loss ratios with your broker or provider.
  • Draft questions about benefits plan satisfaction to include in your employee feedback survey.
  • Reach out to your coverage provider(s) or broker to see what the current trends are in your industry.
  • Communicate enrolment or renewal periods to employees, especially where premiums are impacted.
  • If you offer employee choice benefits such as flexible spending accounts or health care spending accounts, be sure you communicate allocation instructions as early as possible.
  • Remind employees to use up any balances expiring at year-end and to submit all their receipts by the deadline in your plan contract.
  • Evaluate your benefits processes: are employees satisfied with the enrolment and administration tools you offer? Could you offer more personalization to your employees with a flexible benefits plan?
  • Generate benefits costing reports to analyze your program and plan for changes in the next year.
  • If you offer RRSP plans to your employees, remind them to make their final contributions well ahead of the deadline at the end of February.
  • Spend some time reviewing the latest market trends, such as virtual care or new workplace wellness initiatives.


Get Strategic

  • Review compensation guidelines and industry and market trends to prepare for annual merit increase discussions.
  • Put your annual company holiday calendar together early, noting statutory holidays, planned closures and compliance deadlines for the year.
  • Review and update all HR policies and communicate your processes for weather-related closures, after all we are in Canada!
  • Communicate key deadlines for any mandatory policies or training, such as Respectful Workplace, Ethics and Integrity, etc.
  • Review the HR function – could a shared services model help your team be more strategic?
  • Gather the people data you will need to retain to for audit and internal requests purposes, including employee data reports, year-end reports and headcount reports.
  • Audit and clean your employee data as required. If this is a big job, consider how you might automate it in future.
  • Take your teams out for lunch or bring in some holiday treats to recognize them for their hard work.
  • Make a hot cup of tea and put your feet up – you deserve it!

Learn about how TELUS Employer Solutions can help you stay on top of things all year long.