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New Financial Year HR Checklist: 4 Key Tips to Set Your Organisation Up for Success

Reflecting on successes and failures is a valuable planning exercise for every business function, not just HR.

New Financial Year HR Checklist: 4 Key Tips to Set Your Organisation Up for Success

The new financial year has arrived for Australian businesses, bringing a fresh set of goals and budgets for many organisations.

That’s why it’s a great time to reset and prepare for the 12 months ahead. For one, it ensures that any new budget is used in the most targeted way possible to deliver maximum return on investment. This is increasingly important in the post-pandemic world of work when budgets may be tighter than ever.

Below, you’ll find a list of hints, tips and questions to consider as you prepare for the new financial year. These are by no means exhaustive. Instead, this new financial year HR checklist highlights best practice reminders and prompts to help HR professionals prepare and plan for FY25.

4 tips to prepare for the new financial year

Review your policies

The new financial year is a good opportunity to review the current policies you have in place and ensure they’re still fit for purpose. Plus, it’s a chance to ensure your policies are compliant with any recent legislative changes. Here are a few key policies to consider:

  • Leave policy: Do you have plans to adjust your leave offering in FY25, for example by implementing mental health days or volunteering leave? Ensure your existing leave policy is up to date.
  • Workplace health and safety policy: Has your health and safety policy kept up with changes in how your organisation operates? For example, if staff are now working from home and the office in a hybrid or remote manner, does the policy include hazards across both locations? Has it been updated to support the addition of psychosocial risks into Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) laws?
  • Remote or hybrid work: If your organisation has amended the frequency with which employees are expected to be in the office, has your hybrid working policy kept up? This policy can include information on the communication channels in use, rules around data security while working remotely, and when or how often employees are expected to be in the office.
  • Expenses policy: It’s also important to have clear guidelines around the use of expenses, including limits and the process of submitting an expense. Are your expenses policies still up-to-date? Now is a good time to review your expenses policy, as well as re-educate employees.

Policies are most effective when they’re read and acknowledged by employees. However, without a way to check who has and hasn’t viewed the policy, it’s difficult to track compliance rates.

ELMO Learning Management makes HR compliance tracking simple with its comprehensive reporting tools. It enables users to quickly send policies to employees, automate reminder notifications, and view how many people have acknowledged the document in real time. It also improves the experience for employees by allowing them to acknowledge the policy in just a few clicks. Check out the Learning Management product page to find out more.

Schedule an employee well-being pulse check

Workplace health and safety is an essential element of HR compliance, encompassing employees’ physical, social, mental and financial well-being. The new financial year is a good time to run a quick pulse survey to understand how employees are feeling and what support they might require to chase their goals in the new FY.

Best practice encourages employers to be proactive in monitoring the health and well-being of their staff, addressing any physical or psychosocial hazards that are present both in the office and remote. Hazards include things like bullying or sexual harassment, racism, discrimination or unmanageable workloads.

As well as asking the right questions, ensure employees know how to report complaints to HR by communicating the process to them. Fair and transparent governance is crucial for taking a zero-tolerance approach to harassment and abuse in the workplace.

Consider the following:

  • When was the last time you surveyed your staff, and did you follow up on the feedback or action taken? How frequently will you conduct surveys in FY25?
  • Have you recently conducted a risk assessment for physical and psychosocial hazards?
  • How many complaints did your HR team receive over the past year and are there any trends among the data?

Reset performance goals for the new financial year

If your performance review cycle aligns with the financial year, now is a critical time for managers to check in with their employees, understand what their goals are, and set performance targets for the new financial year.

Ideally, performance reviews should be more than a once-a-year occurrence. Regular feedback check-ins, whether monthly or quarterly, are crucial for framing performance management in the right way. After all, annual reviews tend to be a daunting and negative experience, when they don’t need to be. Performance reviews should be a collaborative way for managers and employees to check-in on their progress and offer help where it’s needed.

HR plays a key role in coaching managers to have those important conversations. Key questions include:

  • What are your goals for this financial year – both personally and professionally?
  • What does success look like in your role throughout the year?
  • What might hold you back from achieving your goals?
  • What support do you need to achieve those goals?

Budget planning

Now is a good time to forecast your HR expenses for the year. That includes costs associated with recruiting, training, employee benefits, and technology investments.

It’s also an ideal opportunity to consider whether your current technology stack is providing return on investment. If you’ve outgrown your current HR systems, is it time to consolidate and upgrade?

The HR function is changing rapidly, but, as our 2024 HR Industry Benchmark Report proved, many professionals are still bogged down with manual processes and tasks that could be automated. That’s where technology comes in.

A new budget may open the possibility of investing in technology and tools to streamline your HR compliance processes, creating more time to focus on value-adding work. For example:

  • How much time are you currently spending on manual HR tasks per week? What is the cost of that time that could be spent on more value-adding work?
  • What are the quantifiable benefits of investing in technology?
  • How many errors are occurring within your HR processes each week due to the lack of automation?
  • What is the risk associated with these errors?

If you haven’t yet secured buy-in from your executive, use the next few months to build a solid business case. Focus on a data-led approach, outlining the benefits to the business and the potential return on investment.

Where to start

By reassessing your processes now, you can ensure that your new budget is used in the most targeted and impactful way possible, delivering maximum return on investment.

Learn how ELMO can release your new potential in the new financial year. Get started here.