2023 End of Year HR Checklist

Nov 30, 2023
end of year hr checklist

Here is your 2023 end of year checklist so you can start 2024 off right! Here at Expedition HR, we teach 8 pillars, so we will share these end of year checklist items bundled under 7 of these 8 pillars.

Note: This checklist is not all inclusive and is designed to improve your general understanding of end of year tasks as it relates to HR and does not constitute legal advice.

Recruiting, Interviewing, & Onboarding Employees

  • Update job descriptions:

    To accurately recruit for each position and assess performance in the new year, it is crucial to have up-to-date job descriptions in place with accurate essential duties for each role within your organization.

  • Organizational Chart Review:

    What does your current organizational chart look like compared with your ideal organizational chart for the coming year? Now is the time to start planning to ensure you reach your goals for 2024 when it comes to your organizational structure.

  • New Hire Background Checks:

    Consider running background checks on every new hire in the new year. We partner with VerifiedFirst for background check services – they have no contracts and what we love about their service is that you only pay for the background checks you need - no hidden or added fees.

  • Job Application:

    A job application is a great way to capture consistent information from all new hires – information that likely will not be shared on a resume. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions such as “Do you have the right to work in the US?”

Employment Law

  • Documentation: 

    If you aren’t already, now is the time to start documenting employee issues. Documentation doesn’t need to be a headache or cumbersome – a quick email to yourself or to the employee will suffice to note the incident to refer back to.

  • Labor Law Posters:

    Do you have current Labor Law Posters in a location where employees see them? If not, a subscription labor law poster service is highly recommended to ensure you stay current and compliant. (And make sure remote employees also have access to these posters even if only in e-format.) · Audit your I-9s: Are you certain you have a Form I-9 on file for each employee? And are your completed Form I-9s correct with dates, signatures, etc all accounted for? If audited, you can receive fines for each error on your Form I-9s as well as for any missing I-9s for current employees. You can also discard Form I-9s for terminated employees according to the Form I-9 retention schedule.

  • Worked-In States:

    As we wrap up 2023 and head towards 2024, it’s a good time to ensure you are compliant with the employment laws in each state in which you employ W-2 workers. And don’t forget to check with your payroll processing company to ensure they are properly deducting taxes for those employees across different states!

  • Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Accommodations Awareness:

    Are you familiar with your requirements under ADA when it comes to reasonable accommodations for your employees should they come forward with a concern? If you have 15 or more employees and are unaware of your requirements as it relates to ADA, now is the time to reach out to us for support to ensure you handle these concerns correctly to avoid liability in 2024. 

  • FLSA Status Audit:

    Review exempt vs non-exempt employee statuses to be sure that you head into the new year with everyone classified correctly. Remember, you can’t classify employees as exempt just because you “don’t want to pay them overtime.” Be sure you are crystal clear on the requirements for exempt classification to avoid a very sticky situation!

  •  Employee File Audit:

    Audit your employee files to ensure medical and employment documents are separate (things can get messy during the year when things are busy in the office!) and that doctor’s notes are not in employee files. Also, be sure to follow IRS guidelines when it comes to file retention for terminated employees.

Performance Management

  • Performance Review Refresher:

    Schedule a training to refresh managers when performance reviews are expected to be completed, and best practices with those reviews.

  • Ongoing Performance Management Refresher:

    Schedule an ongoing performance management training with your managers so they are reminded how they are expected to manage work performance issues when they arise, whether it be progressive discipline or another method. Consider incorporating your coaching best practices into that training. Ensure your managers are clear on these processes all the way through termination. (You may assume they know the process, but they may have forgotten…)

  • Have those tough conversations!

    Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to avoid tackling those tough conversations that need to be had. Rather, resolve to start the new year off fresh by ensuring that any lingering employee issues from 2023 get resolved in 2023.

Handbook & Culture

  • Core Values:

    Are your Core Values are outlined in your employee handbook? Or maybe you don’t yet have Core Values established? Maybe the new year is a good time to create and publish them for all to see!

  • Updating Employee Handbook:

    Can you update your handbook verbiage to better reflect your company culture? Do you have any applicable sections updated and ready to distribution to the team in the new year? Are there any old policies that need to be taken out, or any new ones which need to be added?

Recognition & Retention

  • Consider Employee Stay Interviews:

    Many companies do Exit Interviews, but have you considered Stay Interviews to find out why your your employees come back day after day? Asking them questions like, “What keeps you working here?” and “Why do you stay?” can give you the most incredible insights for where you need to focus on the new year. To learn more, a great book we love on the topic is The Stay Interview by Richard Finnegan.

  • Employee Recognition Program Refresh:

    Do you have any time of formal employee recognition policy in place? It doesn't need to be complex, but it is important to have one in place. If not, consider implementing one in the new year - such as encouraging managers to dedicate 5-10 minutes per week to specifically recognizing someone on their team with lunch or a small treat with a hand-written card (these efforts go a long way!). Here is a great book that talks about this.  Another easy way is to immediately start recognizing one employee at each all staff meeting for a reason related to your company values. Determine WHAT you want to reward and recognize employees for that in the new year. We recommend recognizing employees for those behaviors that are aligned with your values, actions that positively impact the company bottom line, and actions that affect your customers or clients in a positive way.

Benefits & Comp

  • W-2 Distribution:

    Ensure everything is in order with your payroll processor for your employees to be issued their W-2s and 1099s by January 31, 2024! (And make sure employees’ addresses are accurate in your database!)

  • Insurance Cards:

    Check with your insurance carrier to ensure your employees are in line to have their new benefits insurance cards BEFORE Jan 1 if you changed plans. This will avoid a lot of questions about the new plan when employees head to the doctor for their annual check-up in January.

  • Payroll Schedule:

    Distribute the 2024 payroll schedule so employees are clear when they will be paid.

  • Update Employee Information & Beneficiaries:

    Ask employees to update their life insurance beneficiaries and update their contact information in your records such as emergency contact, personal email, address, etc.

  • Holiday Work Absences:

    Encourage employees to request vacation time ASAP and have an office calendar so everyone knows who will be in/out of the office around the holidays. Ensure you coordinate as appropriate for outages of office to ensure this is a joyful time of year instead of a stressful one!


  • 2024 Training Schedule:

    Do you have a training plan for 2024, for management and for all employees? What skills could your team use? What training would all employees/management benefit from in 2024? What training is required in your state

  • Tough Conversations Training

    All teams can benefit from learning to handle Tough Conversations better – schedule your training now with Expedition HR! 

  • Refresh Trainings:

    Can you overhaul old trainings and refresh them for 2024? Have you thought of recording certain trainings instead of holding them live?

As your employees wrap up another year of work, it’s a convenient time to also have them reflect on their satisfaction levels and think about room for growth. That said, we recommend business leaders open up the lines of communication for employees to submit any requests or suggestions for HR-related initiatives for the upcoming year and growth opportunities they would like to see. Remember, feedback from your employees is the best gift you can get!

Lastly, a clean workspace means a clear mind. Request that your employees tidy up their physical workspaces (both remote and in-office!) before heading home for the holidays so they return fresh and ready to dive into the new year’s work with a clear desk and clear head!

One way to have the support and resources your business needs this coming year is to become an Expedition HR Subscriber or participate in the next Jumpstart  HR Training Program. You can also consider having us speak at your next company event or schedule one of our Leadership Trainings. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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