Epiphanies, King Cakes, and Plastic Babies: Finding HR Prosperity in 2019 through Goals, Analytics, and Strategy

January 8, 2019

Are you looking for a little luck and prosperity in the New Year for your company? At the beginning of the year here in the New Orleans area, local companies have a little advantage in finding luck and prosperity during the Mardi Gras season.

In New Orleans, the celebrations seemingly never cease. With Christmas decorations still hung and New Year’s resolutions still unbroken, the region’s most famous and infamous holiday commences on a (relatively) quiet night throughout the city. Twelfth Night (Jan 6th), also known as Epiphany, is the official start to the Mardi Gras season.

Although the parades and parties don’t start in earnest for a few more weeks, Twelfth Night ushers in one of the best and most beloved parts of Carnival—King Cake! It is rare and near blasphemous to consume this special treat before Epiphany, even though people look forward to it all year.

Brightly adorned with colorful sugar on the outside, the inside also contains a sweet treat (in addition to more sugar). Snuggled within the cinnamony-folds, a small plastic baby is hidden as a pleasant surprise for whoever is lucky enough to grab that particular piece. Representing Baby Jesus, the tiny plastic icon is seen as a good omen bringing luck and prosperity to whoever finds it.

Unfortunately, in business, there are no mystical King Cake babies. Prosperity is not found hidden under layers of sugary sweetness (wouldn’t that be great?). It is developed from clearly defined goals based on insightful analysis and well-thought-out strategy.

So, how can you find a figurative King Cake Baby to ensure a prosperous 2019 for your company? It may not taste as good as King Cake, but here are 5 tips your HR team can implement immediately and help your company enjoy a prosperous new year.

1. Close out previous goals, set new ones, and review them often
Every new year should begin with a thorough review of the previous year’s goals. This reflection can determine what needs to stop, start, or continue based on lessons learned and feedback from others. New goals should reflect the current business trajectory, and reviewing them regularly is essential to staying on track and keeping accountability.

2. Make decisions based on facts and data
All businesses and departments are fueled by data in the modern age, and HR is no different. Make a commitment to build data and metrics into all processes and decision-making. This will ensure you are only basing decisions on facts, not personal or other extraneous factors.

3. Align HR to business priorities
In order to be a true strategic partner, HR needs to be actively involved in the decision and goal-making of the company. HR must understand the business as a whole and help connect their responsibilities to the business’ overall priorities.

4. Makes employee engagement a priority
At the end of the year and beginning of the new year, companies are often focused on wrapping up old goals and creating new ones. While obviously important, do not let this focus create a lull in your employee engagement. You don’t want employees to look for a fresh start somewhere else in the new year. As your company’s most important asset, employees need to feel valued and know that their opinions matter. One-on-meeting, retention interviews, and company-wide surveys are great ways to get this message across.

5. Don’t rely on luck, commit to achieving goals
Luck is great—when it is on your side. But even if you don’t find the baby in your piece of King Cake, you can set your department and company on the right path for prosperity by being committed to the goals and initiatives that can get you there. Buy-in from the very top all the way down to the bottom is the key to accomplishing goals and achieving prosperity for your company.


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Talk to us to find out how to put Netchex to work for your company. Take a look at our full suite of HCM solutions that grow with your business, including payroll, compliance, HR, benefits administration, and time & attendance, backed by experts and the best technology in the industry.