2024 HR Planning Guide

We know HR professionals have their hands full. There's a lot to think about when you're doing your annual planning! To help you out, we create an annual HR planning guide highlighting some of the areas you may want to think about as you strategize for the coming year.

This year, our approach is a little different. Sure, we do a lot of planning and preparation at the beginning of the year – but realistically, we’re planning, reviewing, and adjusting throughout the year. So this time, our guide is organized by quarter, highlighting things you may need to think about during that time.

Need help with any of the areas featured in our guide? We're here for you! Reach out to us to learn how we might help with your organization's human resources needs.

We hope that the rest of your year is JoyPowered® and that 2024 has great things in store for you and your team!


Q1 | January, February, & March

It may be cold and gray outside, but there’s a hopefulness and excitement to this time of year, too. Now is the moment for kicking off plans and continuing to prepare for the challenges, successes, and new initiatives the year brings.

🕴 Recruiting

If you’re expecting to hire multiple people at your organization, consider getting help. Outsourced or fractional recruiting can handle some of that additional work for you. This type of recruiter will represent your organization, use your systems (but let you know if they see inefficiencies), and keep that recruiting process moving for you.

🏃 Employee Retention

How are your employee retention rates? Benchmark them, and if needed, start thinking of potential initiatives for improvement. Don’t make assumptions about why people are leaving. Look at how your compensation and total rewards compare to those of your competitors, and examine the effect your policies and initiatives are having on your team.

💪 Skills Gaps

January is a popular time for promotions, and the start of a new year is a great time to evaluate skills gaps. Set your employees up for success by upskilling them! Consider the new skills your organization and employees need. What might you do to help them learn those skills? This could include one-on-one coaching, or even a group training session with several employees.

📝 HR Assessments

Start the year off by looking back. In an HR assessment, a consultant will review your HR policies, procedures, staffing, and initiatives, along with interviewing team members and comparing to current trends. Then, you’ll get a report identifying areas for improvement (including their priority level). This can be a great help as you map out your 2024 key initiatives!

💬 Performance Management

Plan your 2024 performance management cycle. Assess your current practices, how they’re working, and how they might be improved. Make sure your employees understand what your process is, and that they’re getting performance information in real-time throughout the year, not just at their annual review.

Q2 | April, May, & June

The arrival of spring brings a feeling of nurturing and renewal. Your policies should support your employees’ needs – and fulfill some wants, as well. If they don’t, it’s time to refresh those policies!

👍 Treat Exiting Employees Well

If your organization is expecting to let one or more employees go, be thoughtful about how you’re doing it. Be sure to treat your departing employees with compassion, and consider offering outplacement services to them. Not only is outplacement good for the exiting employee, but it also improves morale in your remaining employees and helps your employer brand.

👪 Supporting Working Parents

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day fall in Q2, which is a great reminder to think about how you support the working parents on your HR team. How do you help parents transition back to work after their leave? Pulling in an outsourced HR consultant to fill their seat while they’re on leave can help that transition go smoother, since your employee doesn’t come back to a mountain of work. Consider your policies around things like childcare and flexible work hours and arrangements, too.

🧠 Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. What do you do to support your employees’ mental health? Think about offering an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), flexible hours, and generous time off. Walk the talk by modeling healthy behaviors and being open about your own challenges, and don’t expect employees to be available and working 24/7. Carefully craft policies and procedures to help reduce stress and burnout.

🏖 Paid Time Off

It’s Spring Break time! Review your PTO policies. How are they working, and what might you improve? If your organization offers “summer Fridays” (shorter hours or days off on Fridays during the summer), think about how and when you’ll be communicating that to employees. Either way, it’s important to encourage employees to use their PTO – and part of that is taking your own PTO! You’ll have more energy and be more productive for taking that break.

🧓🏼🧑🏾 Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Belonging, & Accessibility (IDEBA)

Review your policies and initiatives through an IDEBA lens. Evaluate and audit your hiring processes to make sure they’re inclusive. Look at the policies in your handbook, even the ones that don’t mention IDEBA by name. For example, do you need to revamp which holidays your organization observes or create a “bucket” where employees can choose their own holidays?

Q3 | July, August, & September

As summer ends and fall begins, the focus is on learning – while keeping some of that summer happiness going! We’re looking at helping employees grow and increasing their engagement.

🎯 Career Pathing

What can you do to help your employees navigate their career within your company? Tracking transferable skills might help you identify possible lateral moves. Consider offering the services of a career coach who can discuss career goals and internal moves with your employees. And make sure your succession plan is up to date and you’ve considered internal candidates in the plan.

🤝 Onboarding

The first day sets the tone for new hires, so you need a solid onboarding strategy. Clean their desk and have it ready with the tools they need, like their laptop and phone. Welcome them to your team with some branded swag. Take them to lunch, tour the building, and introduce them to their team members. Onboarding is important for retention and can last up to a year!

😌 Employee Engagement

Conduct an annual employee engagement survey, including questions about Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Accessibility (IDEBA). Then, look at those results and identify what you need to improve. Communicate with employees throughout the process so they know what you’re doing to address their concerns. If they don’t see that you’re taking action, they’ll be less inclined to give you their feedback next time.

💲 Open Enrollment

For many, it’s almost benefit open enrollment time! Start planning now. Evaluate the benefits you’re offering. Consider impactful benefits outside of medical, dental, vision, and retirement. For example, you might offer paid training and development, flexible hours or work arrangements, discounted gym memberships, childcare assistance, tuition reimbursement…the list goes on!

💻 HR Technology

Review the technology your HR department uses. What new tech do you need to know about? How can your existing tech be leveraged to create efficiencies? Are you using all the features available to you?

Q4 | October, November, & December

The leaves are falling, there’s a chill in the air, and the days are getting shorter – it’s the season for planning once again! Preparation for 2025 is the name of the game in this quarter.

💡 Compensation

As the new year approaches, it’s time to review and benchmark the compensation you’re offering. Do you have a philosophy? Is it working? Are you compensating employees competitively? This is a key part of recruiting and retaining employees, so it’s crucial that you have an up-to-date and well-thought-out compensation strategy.

📈 Strategic Planning

It’s that time of year again! Start thinking about your plans for 2025. Set specific, actionable goals with your team. Evaluate your policies and processes. Are your processes efficient? Do your policies help you attract, engage, and retain employees? How do they look through an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Accessibility (IDEBA) lens? This is the time to prepare for a successful and JoyPowered® year to come.

📊 Building Resilience

Between holidays, end of year wrap up, and gearing up for the new year, this can be a stressful time. Consider the level of your employees’ resilience and your own. Do you adapt to circumstances and find a way forward even when things don’t go as planned? If your resilience skills could use a tune-up, you might offer training or one-on-one coaching on the topic.

📇 Performance Reviews

What’s your plan for next year’s performance review cycle? Do you have a process and structure so that reviews are consistent across the organization? Think through your strategy so that you can start 2025 ready to give your employees the performance information they need to stay engaged in their work and be the best they can be.

💵 Budget

As we prepare for 2025, review your HR budget. Are you using your dollars efficiently and effectively? What new strategies should you consider trying? What obstacles can you foresee this year that you may need external help with? For example, if you have HR team members going on temporary leave, you may want to budget for an HR outsourced consultant to fill in while they’re gone. If you’re anticipating filling several roles in Q1, you might budget for an external recruiter.

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