HR Budgeting for 2021

End-of-Year HR Budget Spending

It’s been a long, roller coaster of a year…and we still have another month to go!

The HR professional’s December to-do list is usually longer than a kid’s wish list for Santa. However, as with most things in 2020, your list is likely a bit different this year. It may include the same items from years past, but the pandemic has forced organizations to look at these items through a new lens. Take, for instance, end-of-year HR budget spending.

End-of-Year HR Budget Spending

“Use it or lose it” is a typical theme around this time of year. However, with so much volatility in 2020 spending, it is important to remain fiscally responsible with your remaining funds. In fact, fiscal responsibility should be top of mind for the majority  organizations right now. More than ever, spending truly needs to be a cost-savings investment.

To help you effectively invest (not simply spend) your remaining budgetary funds, here are a few key questions to ask initially.

What are my company’s goals for 2021?

When we were celebrating 2020’s arrival at New Year’s, little did we know that our goals and strategies for the year would soon drastically change. Perhaps your 2020 looked something like this:

Pre-COVID goals

    • Increase profits.
    • Be the best known product/service provider in the city, state, region or nation.
    • Reduce turnover.
    • Hire the best talent.

COVID goals

Goals before the pandemic still applied, but new goals likely emerged out of necessity.

    • Reduce time on tasks to maximize cost-savings.
    • Minimize furloughs and layoffs.
    • Stay operational.

With all the curveballs and changes thrown at you this year, what will your goals for 2021 look like? It’s a good idea to take the time and do some internal soul searching here. A SWOT analysis is a reflective strategic process that can help you make sense of 2020 and provide learnings to use in 2021 goal setting. It includes asking yourself questions like:  

  • What worked well?
  • What did not work?
  • What could we modify?

Evaluate your answers carefully and consider the knowledge that you acquired this year, then determine how your end-of-year spending can support strategic goals and operational scenarios for 2021.

What will enhance productivity for my organization?

Our work environment has changed dramatically. And with no clear roadmap ahead, there are many questions to answer:

  • Will all or some of your employees work remotely?
  • Is remote work viable as an option, or will it now be required?
  • How can communication be improved among teams?
  • How can organizations improve the work lives of employees to make it easier to complete tasks?

While these questions may not be easy to answer right now, they are great topics to discuss with your employees. These discussions can help employees feel connected to their work and supervisory teams.

Organize periodic video or phone chats to see how work is going, and to see if outside environmental factors are impacting your employees. Unless you ask and truly listen to their answers, certain work and non-work stresses may go unrecognized.

What can be automated or streamlined to save money?

Employee onboarding is one of the many processes that have been upended by the pandemic. Completing new hire paperwork onsite has not been a viable option for the majority of the year, and so many organizations have had to rely on email, scanning, printing and other workarounds. This is obviously not the most efficient and engaging way to acclimate new employees.

Employee onboarding software offers the ability to create tasks and engage new hires with paperless onboarding. No matter where you or your employees are, tasks can be assigned among your team for completion. OnboardCentric by ExactHire also has the ability to integrate with E-Verify, which is extremely helpful as more states are requiring the use of this federal program.

Similarly, organizations have had to be creative when it comes to the the hiring process. Many have embraced technology, but are struggling to cleanly incorporate new digital tools into traditional hr processes. ExactHire HR Software bundles together several tools that support remote hiring, such as integrated:

    • text recruiting (with no extra fees)
    • email and attachments
    • event scheduling
    • video interviewing

And when it’s time to send an offer letter to an applicant, you can send and receive documents directly from the applicant’s record. Other optional integrations include background checking and assessments. Reduce time to hire and manual labor in the hiring process by posting jobs and communicating with applicants and teammates directly using ExactHire HR Software.

How can we show appreciation for employees?

Do my company’s employees know they are appreciated? How can we reiterate that to them? Unfortunately, social events have been hindered this year due to social distancing and varying local/state capacity orders. However, in-person events are not the only way to show appreciation for your teams.

Supporting each other has never been more crucial than this year. Some employees are juggling remote work (which may be new to them), while others continue to perform tasks onsite with health concerns about COVID. Companies that provide flexibility in work hours and environment will help relieve employee stress and enhance company loyalty.

A flexible work arrangement will go a long way in showing appreciation and empathy for employees. However, when employers also need to find a way to bring everyone together–especially when we’re not physically together. Gifting items to employees is one way to do this. Company logo items are a good approach; your employees can represent your organization with pride. But maybe a deeper look is necessary.

How are your employees doing at home? Are there any resources they need? Do they have the means to provide a meal, particularly on the holidays? If not, consider checking with local farmers or grocery stores to see if discounts could be provided for bulk purchases for certain foods that could be distributed to employees’ families. Support your community while supporting the life of your organization – your employees.

Budget Planning for 2021

If your organization’s funding is already allocated through the end of the year, take the answers to these questions and apply the information when crafting your organization’s 2021 budget proposal. Designate funds in your new budget to invest in resources and software that will yield a fruitful return for your organization and its people.

Here’s a virtual high five and air hug to you. It’s been a rough year, but we are in this together! Cheers to a calmer 2021!

If you would like to learn more about ExactHire HR solutions or discuss your unique hiring needs, please request a demo call. We’ll discuss your needs, answer your questions, and–if it makes sense–provide you with a tour of our software.

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