With 2014 upon us, businesses, like individuals, can benefit from making New Year’s resolutions. The start of the new year is a great opportunity for employers to evaluate last year’s business goals and ensure that the business is ready to take on the new year. Below is a brief checklist to help your company prepare for 2014.
1. EVALUATE BUSINESS GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Did you and/or your company meet your goals in 2013? What are your goals and associated metrics for 2014? What obstacles do you foresee in 2014 that may prevent you and/or your company from achieving their goals?
2. CHANGES IN TAX LAW
Stay current with modifications in the tax code that are applicable to your company. Understand what tax deductions your business qualifies for, and implement any new tax strategies to mitigate your tax liability in 2014. All business models are different so you may need to consult a tax lawyer to understand the best options for your business. Below are informational links for the Idaho and Federal business taxes.
3. FORM I-9
An I-9 form is used to verify the identity and employment authorization for individuals hired in the United States. All U.S. employers must have each employee, citizen and noncitizen, complete an I-9 form. The burden is on the employer to ensure that all of his/her employers are eligible to work in the United States. A way to meet this responsibility is to verify that all of your employees are eligible for employment, or continued employment, by having them fill out new I-9 forms. Click here to view the I-9 form that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released in March 2013.
4. UPDATE EMPLOYEE RECORDS
It is crucial to keep employee records well maintained and current. At the start of 2014, ask all employees to provide updated contact information, changes in address, and any other change that may be of importance to your company.
5. DISTRIBUTE ANY NEW POLICIES OR EMPLOYEE MANUALS
In order for employees to be aware of changes in the workplace, new policies or manuals need to be promptly distributed. Request that employees sign an acknowledgment form of any distributed policy or manual to prevent employees claiming lack of notice to a workplace change. Make sure any new policies or manuals are distributed in a reasonable amount of time before such policy takes effect.
6. EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS
Employee evaluations are a successful tool to utilize as an employer because evaluations can show management how well an employee is meeting the required job duties. These evaluations may boost overall productivity because employees appreciate positive and constructive feedback. If done correctly, this process can help employees understand their job expectations for the New Year, and can ultimately bring success to the business at large. It is recommended that all employee evaluations be written so the employer can document each employee’s work history and work performance.
7. OBTAIN EMPLOYEE FEEDBACK
Employees are more likely to have job satisfaction with a company that values their opinion. The beginning of the year is the optimum time to ask employees for their input on subjects like employee perks, management, and the structure of the company because the feedback can be used to develop goals for 2014. Remember, employee feedback should remain anonymous to encourage truthful responses and to avoid any risk of prejudice.
Cheers to a happy and prosperous new year!
Please contact a Gjording Fouser lawyer at 208.336.9777 if you would like any additional information about this topic or any other employment issues facing your company.