HR New Year's Resolutions for 2020

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek January 6, 2020

​What work-related changes are you planning for 2020? Professionals in the human resources field shared the following New Year's resolutions for the coming year with SHRM Online.

Work/Life Balance

Jake Penney, head of HR at English Blinds in Solihiul, U.K., resolves to be firmer about leaving work at a reasonable hour and not taking work home or staying late.

Coupled with that, he said he is looking for "more efficient ways to boost my productivity without increasing my time spent at work by better managing my time and using organizational tools to help this."  

He also wants to get better at maintaining a sense of calm, reducing his stress level and learning not to take things personally.

"When I have to tell people things they don't want to hear, their potentially negative reactions to that aren't about me as a person but the role I fulfill and what I represent."
Diversity & Inclusion 
Rhys Williams, managing director at Sigma Recruitment in Cardiff, South Wales, wants to help other companies, and his own, support greater inclusion within their workforce. Training company leaders on unconscious bias and creating a more dedicated HR presence for hiring diverse candidates, he said, is a good place to start.

Diversity and inclusion also are on the list of New Year's resolutions for Anna Lyons. She is senior vice president of people and culture at Alegeus, a consumer-directed healthcare solution provider based in the greater Boston area.

"From rewriting job descriptions to attract a more diverse candidate pool, to redefining how we measure organizational D&I 'success,' we're looking forward to building the infrastructure to promote positive transformation both this year and for many years to come." 
Following Up with Job Candidates  
"One of my biggest resolutions for next year is to focus heavily on candidate follow-up and follow-through" to improve the candidate's journey with the company, said Camden Rendon, talent acquisition manager at The 20 MSP, an information technology and services company in Plano, Texas.

"While I have always tried to maintain a 24-hour response rule, candidates can oftentimes get lost in the shuffle. I want to implement a process from application to start date that will keep my candidates in the loop and not allow any of them to slip through the cracks," she said.

[SHRM members-only form: Checklist for Developing Onboarding/New Hire Practices]   

Keeping Employees  

Sue Andrews wants to focus on retention. She is an HR consultant at KIS Finance in Devon, England, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

"Next year we're going to be focusing on widening the ways that we engage with employees to ensure that we're alerted to problems at an early stage and able to take practical steps to support staff and ensure that we can retain them. 

"We'll be setting up an online chat system to make it easier for staff to raise any concerns or queries directly with HR in an informal but confidential way" and will run drop-in clinics "to make it easier for staff to come forward and talk about issues and obtain practical advice to improve their employee experience." 
Reading More  
"Apart from hiring great people, it's important to continuously learn how to do it right," said Pete Sosnowski, co-founder and vice president of people at Zety, a career and resume-builder website based in Warsaw, Poland.

He plans to read more, with a goal of three to five HR-related blog posts per week, because he thinks bloggers are able to quickly cover HR trends as they pop up. He'll occasionally supplement his blog-post perusals with an HR book.

Eric Mochnacz, management and HR consultant at Red Clover, a consulting firm in Fairfield, N.J., resolves to read one development book a month. He wants to focus on  contributing to rapid business growth, digital marketing to increase brand awareness "and how to be successful at networking events, since I am a tried-and-true introvert."

He also wants to become better at "not filling in the gaps" during a conversation.

"When I have finished speaking, if the other party doesn't respond or speak, the temptation is strong to keep talking and perhaps say things you didn't mean to or weaken your message, which is a very poor move from an HR-management perspective."

Jagoda Wieczorek, HR manager at Resume Lab in Warsaw, Poland, has decided to get her SHRM-SCP certification.

"I think that such a professional HR certification mapped to a specific skill is a great way to grow your [career] muscles. It'll not only help you catch up on the latest strategies, competencies and trends in your field, but will also render you a top-value asset to your company." 

Continuing Education 
Matthew W. Burr, HR consultant and owner of Burr Consulting in Elmira, N.Y., wants to focus on educating himself in HR areas where he is less skilled, such as compensation and benefits.

"This is an area that I have limited exposure and need to focus [continuing education] credits on increasing knowledge, skills and abilities in this area," he said.

"Continuing education should be strategically focused on areas that might be weaker in HR, operations, strategy, etc. that any HR professional needs to improve upon," he noted. "If you're not great at public speaking, host a training session.  If you need to improve writing skills, try and publish an article on an area that you are passionate about." 
Burr also resolves to continue to focus on wellness. He lost 100 pounds in the last two years by spending two hours in the gym four to five days a week, becoming disciplined about when and what he eats, and getting plenty of sleep.

"The health changes have made tremendous impacts on my professional career," he said. "I work with 50 to 60 clients and teach full-time. Since losing the weight, I sleep better, have more energy and [am] much more positive about life in general. The energy provides [the] opportunity for me to take on additional or challenging roles.

Preparing for Changing Labor Trends 

"As we look to not only a new year, but to a new decade and potentially a different economic cycle," said Rachel Russell, senior vice president of HR at McLean, Va.-based Hilton, "I resolve to learn more about the macroeconomic labor trends that could impact our team members so we can support their needs as the workforce landscape evolves."

She also plans to continue to sponsor, develop and mentor the next generation of diverse hospitality leaders.

"This is not only very personally satisfying, but I also feel a duty to pay forward the support I've received throughout my career." 

Creative Approach

"My New Year's resolution is to approach 2020 with a spirit and mindset of creativity," said Charlie Knuth. He is head of research at Scoop Technologies in San Francisco. "This could be everything from gamification, to broadening the scope of employee engagement—for example, considering the commute's impact on individuals before they even reach the office."  

Calibrate and Celebrate 

"I resolve to calibrate on Mondays and celebrate on Fridays," said Karen Crone, chief human resources officer at Paycor, a human-capital management company in Cincinnati.

"By calibrate, I mean create clarity with the HR and learning teams about what's most important for the week, the obstacles we face, the help we need and the results we're [achieving]," she said. "By celebrate, I mean pause to put the spotlight on top performance and results. Too often, we just move on to the next big thing. My goal: Make each week count. Don't let them blur together!"

Understanding the 'Whys' 

"For both myself and my clients, [I want to] take the time to understand the 'whys' behind all the 'whats,' 'whens' and 'hows' that are easy to get caught up worrying about," said Kerrian Fournier, CEO and founder of Vybrante Ventures, a professional services company in the greater New York City area.

"What's your motivation, on a deeper [level and] less superficial way? What are you trying to create from the action you are taking? Is it aligned to the culture and vision for the company the leader is trying to create? By starting with the question, you're opening yourself and your organization up to possibilities and innovation."

She also wants to take on, and champion, high-impact stretch assignments but take time for fun, too.

"[I want to] make sure I infuse fun and humor into what I do; life's too short to take myself or anything too seriously."  
Mochnacz of Red Clover wants to leverage LinkedIn more effectively by connecting with others in the HR field and other industries.

"It's a great platform to create content, build professional relationships, and engage with a wider range of people across industries. I'd like to put together a regular series where I chat, on video, with subject matter experts in their respective fields and talk about how they have seen HR positively influence their organization." 


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