There are a lot of decisions to make in Q4 2012. This is the second in a series of factoids that will help your synapses fire when this year's planning conversations get going. Show everyone you are the one who will fix things this year.
+ Get the basics right. Make a calendar of all HR communications to employees between now and the end of the year. Once you've got that complete, see if you can get key dates from the business heads, too.
+ Don't finalize the first draft of the calendar until you think through the full list of people involved with implementation. If you belong to a complex organization, you may collaborate with HR business partners globally. You'll need to know what they are planning, too, so they can support you and meet their own commitments.
+ Pursue commitments from those in charge of business planning, performance management, benefits, payroll, training and budget control that they will alert you to change in their plans or schedule as the year progresses.
+ Need IT to support communications on the intranet? Who is involved in intranet page design? Get a commitment from them now, based on the milestones you are scheduling.
+ Sketch out when and why emails will be sent to managers and employees on the schedule. If your guess-tamite makes you wonder whether they will be overwhelmed, get a group together to start thinking about alternatives now.
+ Planning to involve managers in a different way this year? Instead of dropping a last minute bomb on your Business Unit leaders this year, get on their calendars. Give them a heads up. Ask for initial reactions and suggestions.
+ Using software with a manager and/or employee interface for performance management? Merit budget management? Check now to determine whether there are any tweaks needed. If so, get on your supplier's calendar.
+ If you haven't done it yet, make a list of everything that went well, and didn't, last year. Identify anyone who may have been inconvenienced. What does the list tell you? Do you need to do more of something or, more likely, less?
Ready for more tips on handling your end-of-the-year work? Check out these tips on Total Rewards Statements. Then keep an eye out for tips on Q4 decisions about performance management, merit budgets and communication in my upcoming posts.
Margaret O'Hanlon is founder and Principal of re:Think Consulting. She joined Ann Bares and Dan Walter of the Compensation Cafe to speak the unspoken -- "Everything You Do (in Compensation) Is Communication" -- at the WorldatWork 2012 Conference. Margaret brings deep expertise in total rewards communications and change management to the dialog at the Café. Before founding re:Think Communications Consulting, she was a Principal in Total Rewards Communications and Change Management with Towers Perrin. Margaret is Deputy Director of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Pacific Plains Region. She earned her M.S. and Ed.S. in Instructional Technology at Indiana University, Bloomington. Creative writing is one of her outside passions, along with Masters Swimming.