How to Jumpstart People Operations for the New Year

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Employees are the most important assets of any company, and business owners should be mindful of that. To keep the best talents in your organization, you should delegate and build a sturdy department responsible for managing your organizational members. That is why people operations are deemed a critical function in the business.

People operation—or people ops—refer to a company’s overall management of its workforce. It gives emphasis to employee training, development, and retention, guided by the principle that employees are the pillars of the organization. 

As the new year is just around the corner, it’s never too early to start evaluating your HR strategies. Take a look at your current systems, techniques, and strategies. See if there are ways to improve employees’ communication, as it acts as the mediator between the company members and the higher-ups. Start building company goals by emphasizing employees’ health, welfare, productivity, performance, and work culture.  

Without further ado, here are some practical ways to jumpstart people operations for the new year.

1. Employ A Ticketing System

No matter how large a company can be, the human resource department can manage the needs of the employees effectively. One effective tool is to make use of a teams ticketing system. By using this ticketing system, employee requests are captured, organized, and resolved automatically. There’s no need to exchange emails back and forth, as threads can be longer and harder to track. Subjects can be challenging to organize if you receive too many employee concerns. 

Instead, employees can submit tickets for pay, benefits, timekeeping, or other HR-related questions. Once the ticket has been submitted and reviewed, it is forwarded to the department or team that can resolve it. Requestors can monitor the status of their tickets while they are active. Anyone in charge of the ticket will then respond to the employee who filed it.  

What’s great about using a ticketing system is that the entire people management department can see the issues and concerns most commonly raised internally. It allows the whole team to find lasting solutions to resolve these issues permanently. Investing in a ticketing system that can easily integrate with your other work apps and systems is important. It is ultimately an effective way to empower employees for the upcoming year.

2. Review Performance Management Systems

A company’s success depends on performance reviews. It significantly helps the HR department assess how effective or efficient the employees are. However, these systems can be challenging if employees adopt remote or hybrid work styles. The good news is that there are effective performance review processes that apply to such work settings.  

One way is to review how the new work styles impact employee performance and outputs. It’s helpful to send out surveys or conduct team and one-on-one interviews to gather feedback and honest opinions from team members. They can mention which part of their work disrupts their performance and decreases productivity.

A review allows managers and employees to receive valuable feedback from each other. To develop your employees and hit long-term company goals, you need to ensure that everyone is productive. You can set key performance index metrics so every team member can be evaluated accordingly.

3. Set Realistic Goals for the Year

As the new year arrives, it’s important to set realistic goals. Setting goals and tying them to task performance motivates employees internally. Such goals should be specific and align with employees’ individual goals too.  

To avoid misunderstandings:

  • Set clear, measurable, and achievable goals. Before the year ends, it’s best to conduct a company meeting involving everyone on the team.
  • Ask for everyone’s ideas and advice so that they will feel more appreciated and motivated to contribute.
  • Make them part of the solution by empowering them to work with you.
  • Encourage everyone to be transparent about any issue or concern they will experience.  
  • Modify policies and procedures accordingly  

One of the ways to stay on top of your HR operations next year is to modify policies and procedures. It will benefit the organization if you stay on top of current changes. Review the current policies and see if anything needs to be modified and added. The more your company grows, the more essential it is to have clear policies and procedures.  

If your policies and procedures lack clarity, employees will be confused and agitated when issues and troubles arise. Keep every problem-solving process more organized when there are specific work policies and procedures that act as a company guide for everyone. By doing this, you’ll be able to save time and energy when you really need it. Devise a clear policy book and review it annually to see if anything needs to be edited.

4. Develop Leaders

The human resource department should seek out and develop leaders within the company. Leadership involves taking responsibility for everything they do. Any organization will reap the benefits of this kind of thinking. Your true leaders will emerge when you communicate openly and honestly and provide feedback. Always be open to spotting key people with leadership potential. Then, you can train them using top leadership tips from deliberate leaders in your company.  

To keep your business robust, create succession plans for your leaders. Without proper plans, losing one key position in your organization can leave a significant hole and harm your organization. Learn which leadership methods motivate your employees by using performance reviews and surveys.  

Provide educational and training opportunities to company members who are passionate, skilled, and interested. Your company’s leadership methods should evolve as your business evolves throughout the year. It means that next year should showcase different leadership training and strategies to attract more participants.

5. Organize HR Calendar

You can optimize your people ops if you stay on top of your HR calendar. It involves planning human resource training, conferences, events, and other key dates. Seek out different ways for company members to grow and develop by offering seminars, training programs, and team-building activities. 

Having a proper plan and schedule for these events will help you organize them effectively. As a company, you must be up to date with new trends and practices and encourage your team to learn to refine their skills throughout the year continuously. Create an HR calendar and work with the top management for approval.

6. Look at Turnover Rates

As the people management team, your department will attract new candidates and train them. However, before focusing on this, you should also look at the other side of the page, which is your staff turnover. It is one of the most important ways to measure the effectiveness of an organization’s human resources management system. 

It’s the best time to evaluate how many staff left the company and under what grounds. Look at the number of people who left the company willingly and got fired because of issues. Check all the data that involves staff turnover, and formulate strategies to decrease this percentage. 

7. Establish Reward Strategies

Employees’ performance and productivity can significantly improve when reward strategies are in place. After checking your staff turnover, you might see if some employees left the company for being unrewarded and unappreciated. If you see cases like this, you should start formulating reward strategies as soon as possible. 

A reward doesn’t always have to come in monetary forms. Sometimes, it is not what employees are looking for. They can be given as compliments, merchandise giveaways, coupons, vacation leaves, and so on. Otherwise, if your company can afford it, it’s always ideal for increasing salaries and distributing bonuses to people who are top performers.

8. Focus on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity)

DEI is commonly practiced in any institution and industry, and you should focus on this area now more than ever. As globalization becomes the norm for many companies, it makes sense to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusivity. There are ways to hyperfocus on such areas.  

For instance, you can diversify your recruitment process by accepting any race and culture. It means hiring people based on their skills, credentials, and talents, not because of their ethnic and gender backgrounds. 

Another critical step is to adjust existing policies to align with DEI efforts, including anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, anti-bias, compensation, and so on. 

9. Invest in Employees’ Well-Being

Employees’ mental and physical health is crucial in keeping everyone healthy and happy in the company. When an organization invests in employees’ well-being, they can reap the rewards such as having optimal productivity, consequently contributing to company growth.  

Every company should emphasize employee well-being, even though workers work in their homes or remotely. Human resources play a crucial role in fostering social connections despite the distance in work settings. There should be programs intended for employees to socialize, have small talk together, play games, or have team-building virtual activities.   

Another program you can launch is a fitness training program where employees would enjoy free gym memberships that the company can fully or partially sponsor. The simplest and cheapest strategy is to encourage everyone to stretch and perform exercises before they start their day job.


People ops are crucial to organization growth as human resources are deemed to be the pillars of any institution. That is why a new year calls for an enhanced human resource management system to boost employee morale and earn optimal results for your company.

Take advantage of the suggestions above to jumpstart your organization for next year. Get your team motivated and inspired now by taking advantage of advanced tools, ensuring policies, setting goals, developing leaders, and rewarding top performers. It’s a sound plan to have strategies in place so you will have ample time to implement them next year. 

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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