Human Resources Year-End Housekeeping

Human Resources Year End Housekeeping

In Human Resources, it’s important to look ahead to the future and help your company stay prepared. As you wrap up a calendar year, now is a good time to review a year-end checklist.

Below is a list of critical HR tasks, in order of importance. Have you accomplished everything on this annual housekeeping checklist?


The end of the year is a good time to check through all areas of compliance and ensure everything is up-to-date. Check your labor law postings, order more posters, and get ready for 2020.

This is also a good time to prepare for W-2 and 1099 distribution deadlines and get a head start on your ACA reporting. Gather up-to-date I-9 and W-4 forms and update your systems. Make sure your employees have everything they need, and that you have everything you need from them.

Benefits and Open Enrollment

Many companies go through open enrollment at the end of the year, so it’s also a good time to look back on the past 12 months and determine how competitive your company has been in terms of benefits.

Schedule your open enrollment meeting and gather feedback from your employees. Ensure paperwork is collected, organized, and stored properly. Make sure to educate yourself, so that you are able to answer all of the normal benefits questions that tend to come up during this time.

It’s also the right time to look at PTO and ensure everyone understands how PTO carryover works as you go into the new year, and determine any PTO payouts.

Annual Employee Reviews

Ensure every department is completing annual reviews on schedule. We know this can be a challenge, but now is the time to check-in and ensure reviews are happening appropriately for employees.

Manage the process of making cost-of-living and raise adjustments for employee compensation, and schedule any one-on-one meetings that need to take place in order to help employees understand their pay.

Does your review/raise process need improvement? This is a good time to discuss it with managers and determine any changes that might need to happen.


The end of this year is also a time to look at employee training and take note of the feedback you’ve been receiving during the year. Are employees asking for more job training? Are supervisors in need of leadership training?

During the year, policy changes have inevitably been made. Have these changes been communicated to employees? Many employees may not be aware of the changes made. Now is a good time to update your training policies and spread the word about any new information that employees need to know.

Communications, Paperwork, & System Access

Managing HR involves a huge amount of paperwork and access. Does every employee in your company have everything they need from you to be successful in the coming year?

This may involve paperwork, internal communications, memos, policies, and any login information they need - along with the website link - to log into the systems they use. Provide all of this, and set your employees up for success.
This is also a good time to handle the holiday party and plan for any gifts or activities that go along with it.

Companies often have retirements at the end of the year, so the same goes for arranging events for these valuable employees.

What about personal information updates? The end of the year is a good time to check in with employees and encourage them to update their contact information, emergency contacts, and beneficiaries.

Administer your total compensation statements, if needed, and adjust any related paperwork. This is also a great time to distribute next year’s holiday calendar to everyone.


Is your employee handbook 100% up-to-date? If your company is like most, there have been some changes since your handbook was last updated.

Conduct an audit of all company policies and see what has changed and what is no longer accurate. Update the handbook accordingly. Clarify anything that has caused confusion for your employees in the past year, or that your legal representative has urged you to change.

Create your new handbooks, distribute them, and have employees sign to acknowledge that they have received the updated handbook. By completing this task reliably each year, you maintain communication and transparency within the company, protect the company from litigation, and ensure all employees understand the ins-and-outs of their employment with your organization.

Payroll & Salary Review

In terms of payroll, issue any end-of-year bonus checks and ensure the paychecks are correct. Set a calendar of pay dates for next year.

Prepare all of the end-of-year IRS forms that will go out at the beginning of next year, like W-2s, 1099s, and wage, tax, and withholding information. Connect with your company’s accountant on any necessary issues involving payroll.


Do an end-of-year check on your talent acquisition strategy. Have your hiring methods resulted in the right kinds of hires? Analyze your hiring process and consider making any necessary changes to ensure that your strategy is effective.

It’s also important to take a close look at your onboarding process and how it relates to your turnover rate and other key metrics. Compare your results to company benchmarks and see where there is an opportunity for improvement.

This is also a good time to update your company succession plan, as well as job descriptions that may have changed during the year. Examine your career pathing strategy for employees and meet with any employees who want to chat about their futures within the company.


Finally, establish a way to measure engagement, if you don’t have one already. Consider this: How engaged are your employees with their jobs and with the company culture?

Do an end-of-year employee engagement survey to take the pulse of your workforce. Make decisions about what you can do with this information in the coming year to further improve engagement at your company.

Wrap Up the Year With Expert Help

The pressure! It can feel like there are a million HR tasks you need to do at the end of each year. If you’re overwhelmed, we are here to help - we really are an outsourced HR solution!

At The O’Connor Group, HR is our business and our passion. We’ll help you wrap up 2019 and set the stage for a successful 2020 and beyond.

Contact The O’Connor Group today!