September '20 HR To Do List

Thursday, August 27, 2020

September has arrived! There’s only a month left in Q3, and before we know it we’ll be knee-deep in year-end duties. It’s a good time to start planning ahead – are your year-end duties going to be different than usual this year? Like everything else in 2020, you may need to pivot and think about how your usual routines will be different this year, so planning ahead is more important than ever.

There’s always room to plan ahead, but don’t worry! There’s plenty we can act on right now, too:

  • Publicly acknowledge your team members for a job well done! September will bring many of us to seven full months of working from home, and still many employees are wondering, “Am I doing OK?” “I couldn’t figure out if my boss was happy or mad during that last Zoom call.” “What if I have to hop off a GoogleMeet because my child needs attention?” If you’re noting your team is doing well, send them an email. Quell the fears. Acknowledge them publicly. Make sure your team feels understood, seen, and knows where they stand!
  • It’s back to school season! For so many employees, 2020’s Back to School season is bringing more anxiety than the usual relief. How can you help support your employees who are parents (without being discriminatory!)? Can you provide an interest group for parents? A Slack channel for parents to share tips and tricks?
  • As we move into the traditional flu season, it’s even more important to encourage employees to get a flu-shot. Even better, organize a pop-up event for employees to come get shots. This year you’ll have to pivot your plan and schedule people for certain times so you can maintain social distancing, but it will be worth it. Think about how worried you’ll be if you get the flu this year and you’re wondering if it’s the flu or COVID! You can also encourage employees to go to their doctor or a drugstore like CVS or Target to get their shots. Many insurance plans cover it – and you can always allow employees to expense it, too.
  • Check in on your 2020 goals: where are you personally, as a department, and on your part of the company’s goals? The pandemic might have paused many things, give yourself enough time to catch up before major deadlines
  • Start thinking about year-end performance reviews. Are you doing them this year? Many companies are electing to forego the process this year because…COVID. If you are electing to complete a review cycle, what’s your process? Who is reviewed? Are pay changes included with your process? Do you have all the forms you need? If working remotely, what will the virtual process look like?
  • Normally, EEO-1 Reports are due September 30th. This year, however, that deadline has been pushed back to at least March of 2021, with specific deadlines still to be announced. You can find more information here.
  • Start analyzing your YTD turnover rates by department and for the company overall.
  • Check updated healthcare deadlines and filing requirements.
  • Create budgets for 2021.
  • Start preparing for ACA reporting.
  • Notices of creditable coverage disclosures for Medicare Part D must be provided to eligible individuals no later than October 15. Talk with your broker to be sure you know who is responsible for distributing these to employees.
  • Audit your Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) and review employee classifications.
  • October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month and National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Do you plan to acknowledge these at all? Virtual events or fundraisers are a good way for employees to see that life is still going on beyond their living room workspaces! With all family members home so consistently, we have seen an increase in the number of domestic violence cases since the shutdown. Be sure you’re supporting your employees and they have a safe place to get help – whether that’s through the national hotline, your EAP, or your personal cell phone, sometimes all a person needs is one nudge to get out of a dangerous situation. (Just make sure you stay safe as well.) In California, victims of domestic violence have rights to time off for court dates and to protect themselves and family members. Be sure you’re familiar with these rights and leaves, as well.
  • Start thinking about any Halloween celebration(s) you will sponsor.  Can you have a virtual costume contest for employees? A virtual party? Consider sending treats to employees as their “Trick or Treat,” or giving Friday the 30th as a day off – there are lots of options, you just need to plan for them. 
  • And let’s get super-prepared – do you need to send Holiday cards to anyone? Employees? Vendors? Do you need to order a Holiday gift for employees? Start thinking about it NOW and avoid scrambling in the craziness that is the month of December!

Finish the year strong! This list may appear long but with good preparation and planning, you can tackle it and start 2021 stress free!