Make the Right HR Resolutions

There is an old saying that goes, “The best time to plant a tree was thirty years ago. The next best time is now.” As the calendar turns into 2024, the best time to plan for 2024 was six months ago. The next best time is now.

January is the month of resolutions.

It is the month in which we look forward to a year full of possibilities. We are excited. We are optimistic. We are ready.

But before we start our journey, we must know where we are going. So, instead of talking about resolutions, let’s talk about strategy.

Strategy is deciding what I must do today to prepare for the future. When working with a non-profit organization or small business, the future can be as far away as five years and as soon as three years. When I am working with a team or department, we usually forecast out for a year.

Pick a moment in the future. Be it three weeks from now, three months, six months, or a year. Imagine yourself there. What has changed for the better?

Do this for your HR Department? What will be better in three weeks from now, three months, six months, or a year?

Strategy is figuring out how you are going to get there.

Did you know that eighty percent of people fail to maintain their resolutions?

Resolutions exist between our dreams (goals) and actions (behaviors). And the reason that we fail to maintain our resolutions is that we haven’t defined the necessary behavioral changes we need to make.

We have a goal. I want to be healthier. I want my department to be more efficient. I want to travel more. I want to keep my records up to date. I want to learn something new. I want to build a better HR Department.

But we haven’t defined the actions that we need to take. If I want to be healthier, what actions would you recommend I take? I bet a few thoughts popped up in your mind. Exercise daily. Eat less junk food. Get off the couch.  

However, when I say build a better HR Department, those actions may not come as easy. Early this month, Chuck Simikian, our CHRO at The Team at HR Stories, presented HR 101: Introduction to HR and HR Roles. For me and all those who attended, he inspired us to be better by showing us the ideal HR Department. The workshop is now available here.

Chuck’s webinar gives us a good starting point in deciding what actions to take to build a better HR Department.

Even still, knowing isn’t doing. We must act.

I will challenge you to go beyond a simple resolution and write a SMART goal and five actions you will start or stop doing to build a better HR Department. Once you have done this, email them to me at and I will be your accountability coach.

Each month, I will send you a short email asking what steps you have taken to build a better HR Department, and you will respond by letting me know what you did. If you haven’t taken any steps, you will get a gentle reminder from me that you can do this.

Completely Free.

I bet that most of you won’t take me up on this offer because behavioral change is hard, and you are not ready to commit.

If you want to learn more about Thinking Strategically, sign up for our Strategic Thinking for HR Leaders live webinar on January 25th, 2024. Where I will work through the strategic planning process so that our path is clear. Click here to learn more.

John Thalheimer

CEO Partner at HR Stories

Guiding Excellence in The Workplace

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