fbpx Skip to content

Last Updated June 12, 2023

Improve your human resources planning

Ever wished you could see behind the scenes of how an HR expert does their human resources planning? How they decide on their key business tasks and causes for the year to plan ahead? 

Well here it is! This is the process I use, and the process I give to my clients and loyal newsletter subscribers, to improve their human resources planning.

If you are anything like me you are curious and always searching for better (and hopefully quicker) ways to plan and access key dates easily.

This is where my tips will help you to plan faster and simplify your process by guiding you through what to consider.

There are four key areas to your human resources planning.

  • Key Dates
  • Business Tasks
  • Human Resources Tasks
  • Social Engagement 

Now let’s take a look at closer look at each area and break them down so that you can start to brainstorm what is required in your business.

Key Dates

The first place that I like to start with is the holidays. I want to know when and where my breaks and where my employees’ breaks will be and how many days we will get off (I work part time and hopefully not too many days will fall on my non-working days!).

Key dates that you might like to consider are

Gazetted Public Holidays: each business will have different arrangements for public holidays and half or full day closures but it is helpful to know when they fall so that you can plan your human resources tasks accordingly.

Cultural Celebrations: acknowledge the employees in your business by paying attention to the demographics of your workforce and consider when certain cultural celebrations fall so that you can plan your human resources tasks or even look to hold an event.  

School Holidays: school holidays can either mean a change in the demand for your business during this period or it could also mean periods of leave for your employees, customers or suppliers. 

Human Resources Tasks

Next with my human resources planning, I turn my attention to the areas of human resources which my business conducts and how they all fall into place throughout the year.

I like to break down each task by the actual date and then the lead up actions and timelines to work backwards.

Let’s take a look at each of the areas to get your brain ticking over in your business context.

Recruitment: strangely enough there can be some planning around your recruitment. Perhaps you have recruitment drives that you need to run annually to be ready for peak times for your business, perhaps you already know when someone is going off on leave or leaving the business or perhaps you are increasing your workforce to meet the human resources requirements of your business plan. 

Training: think about the training requirements for your business and the different types of employees that you have. Perhaps some employees require refresher training or renewals for certain certifications, licences or registrations that they hold (for example first aid certificates, drivers licences or nursing registrations). You might also need to cover off on compliance training or upskill your workforce to the meet the human resources requirements of your business plan to respond to changes in technology, the industry or new products and services.

Performance Appraisals: if your business has a formal performance appraisal framework in place then it can be helpful to identify when the annual review meetings need to be conducted and finalised by.  There might also be a requirement or recommendation for informal, mid-year reviews conversations.

Salary Reviews and benefits: if your business has a formal salary and remuneration review framework in place that happens at certain times of the year then it can be helpful to identify the review process and plan for any meetings. The process might look different based on the level in the organisation, if they are covered by any industry awards or have a bonus and commission scheme. The salary review may include the base rate of pay, any allowances, leave and flexibility arrangements and entitlements, and any specific arrangements with employees.

Human Resources Strategy: my clients will know that this is a passion topic for me, giving purpose and context to the value that human resources provides a business and in supporting your workforce. Any good business plan should have a human resources plan for how your workforce is going to support the short and long term goals of your business. For example you are looking at expanding a section of your business which means you need a new office location, more equipment (technology, desks, fleet) and more employees.  

Policy and procedures: regardless of if you have stand alone policies and procedures in your business or you have an employee handbook, there are review requirements. This assists in ensuring that you are applying best practice and compliant human resources in your business as well as regularly reviewing documentation to ensure that your requirements are still being met.

Business Tasks

Next I like to focus more on the other requirements of the business which are important for having a successful business and reaching your business goals.

Let’s take a look at some of these areas in more detail so that you can start thinking about your business’ needs.

Business: there are certain key tasks and dates associated with running any business. Most businesses will have an annual planning process (formal or informal) to identify the short and long term goals of the business, quarterly reporting requirements (both internally and externally) including excess leave balances as well as reviewing service providers and contract or subscription renewals. It can be helpful to consider when these are required throughout the year to allow enough time for analysis and research.

Systems: regardless of if you have an outsourced IT provider or you have a dedicated resource within your business, there are tasks that are required to be performed to maintain, monitor and roll out system requirements. For example when system and hardware upgrades are required, when are contract renewals required and which new systems or hardware are required to run your business seamlessly and efficiently in the short and long term. It can be helpful to consider when these are required throughout the year.

Finance: regardless of if you have an outsourced Accountant or you have a dedicated resource within your business, there are certain financial tasks that need to be completed throughout the year to meet compliance requirements and have access to business data for decision making purposes. For example internal and external reporting, review and settling of budgets, submissions to the ATO, end of financial year processes for income statements and also processing of payroll and superannuation payments. It can be helpful to consider when these are required throughout the year.

Marketing: and social media, regardless of if you have an outsourced Marketing guru or you have a dedicated resource within your business, there are certain marketing tasks that are required to connect with existing and potential clients. For example there might be certain campaigns that your business needs to run inline with seasonal products and services or limited runs or perhaps you are on social media platforms, manage a website or e-commerce site or have a regular newsletter. It can assist to know when the actual required date is and determine the lead timelines to work backwards.

Social Engagement 

This brings us to the last area of human resources planning where we get to think more about employee engagement and social connection. There are benefits from investing time in social connection and engagement between your employees.

Let’s take a look at some of these areas in more detail so that you can start thinking about your business’ needs.

Causes / Charities: are a great way to raise awareness and bring together your employees. It can be helpful to workshop with your employees which causes and charities that they want to a knowledge. For example you might want to hold a biggest morning tea to raise awareness for cancer, or acknowledge National days for coffee or being a personal trainer.

Health and Wellbeing: initiatives are a great way to meet your occupational health and safety requirements of providing an environment for employees to focus on and develop their health (including mental, physical and emotional). For example annual skin, hearing or sight tests for at risk roles, flu vaccinations, or healthy eating demonstrations. 

Social Activities: are a great way for employees to make a connection with others away from daily work environment and support positive employee engagement. It can be helpful to workshop with your employees which causes and charities that they want to acknowledge. For example holding Friday afternoon drinks, team lunches/dinners, family days, a book club, walking or cycling groups, or birthday morning teas.

Other Major Events and Season Activities: depending on the type of business you run it can be useful to track other major events throughout the year like valentines day, football finals, spring racing carnival or even change of seasons. This can signal a marketing campaign or increase in casual staff and it can be helpful to plan for such occasions.

Wow, that certainly feels like a lot of things to consider including in your human resources planning conversations! 

Lucky we are here to help you break each of the areas down into manageable tasks and you now have a really clear understanding of all the key dates for your business! 

The fun doesn’t stop there though.

You are now ready to download our annual calendar template and can start populating your business tasks and key dates.

This shouldn’t be a create and set type of document. It will need you to put it somewhere easily accessible – this will depend on how your office is set up and how you work best – you might want to print this off and put it up somewhere visible or save it to your desktop so that you can easily access it.

Regularly review your calendar.

Make sure it is still current and you can push out dates as required.

Reach out to Small Business Society (email) once you have completed your brainstorming and calendar. It would be great to hear how you found the process and what you have planned for the coming year. Or even jump on over the facebook group and post in the chat that you have completed your calendar and start a conversation.

Do you need some help with your human resources planning? At Small Business Society, we can help you with that.  Contact us today.

The information provided in this document is for your guidance only and is general in nature. It does not constitute as legal advice. It is the responsibility of the individual to seek legal advice where required.

Be one of the first to receive our new Human Resources articles each month. 

Sign up to Small Business Society and receive our newsletter each month plus other great resources to assist you on your Human Resources journey.

* indicates required

Are your leaders the best they can be?
Sign up to Small Business Society and we will send you our FREE 8 point plan for effectively supporting and developing your leaders and managers.

FREE 8 point plan for successful leaders

About Kate Tongue

Kate Tongue is the founding Director of Small Business Society.

She is a qualified and experienced Human Resources professional with more than 10 years of experience across the private and public sectors.

Her particular interest and experience is in managing the employee life cycle, delivering process improvements, and Human Resource strategy.

Looking for more information on the various stages of the employee life cycle or Human Resources in general?  The following may interest you.

Articles to assist you leadership development:
Develop successful leaders and managers
Help your leaders lead

For further articles to assist you with your staff engagement:
Effective employee engagement
Staff engagement through a healthy work environment

Do you know your Human Resources terms?
15 must know HR terms

Plus lots more information and advice:
Small Business Society Blog