Welcome back to a brand-new year, full of possibilities and opportunities for your small business! As we step into January, it’s not only the perfect time to set resolutions for personal growth but also to ensure your business is on the right track for success. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through essential January to-dos and compliance considerations.


1. Review & Update Your Employee Handbook:

Review your current handbook and revise to reflect any changes in employment laws over the past year including the latest federal, state, and local regulations. Pay close attention to your social media policies per the new NLRB rulings – see our blog post about these implications here. Make sure any changes made to your handbook are communicated and sent out to your employees.

Kicking off the year with a handbook that’s both current and clear is more than just a compliance exercise; it’s a way to keep your team informed and prepared. Also keep in mind that 22 states, including Washington State, require Safety Handbooks that meet OSHA’s standards.

2. Review & Revise Your Job Descriptions:

Start the new year on the right foot by updating your job descriptions. This key step ensures compliance with current best practices and minimizes legal risks. Accurate job descriptions are crucial for setting clear expectations, improving recruitment efficiency, and safeguarding against employment-related disputes. They also help align each role with your company’s evolving goals and strategies, fostering a more productive and focused workforce. Make sure to reflect the latest job duties, required qualifications, and compliance with relevant labor laws in your revisions.

3. Update Compliance Posters:

It’s time to update your businesses’ required workplace posters. There are Federal and State requirements depending on your business type. Check out these helpful links or contact us if you’re not sure which ones you need to post.

4. Annual Benefits Review:

January is an excellent time to review your employee benefits package. Communicate any changes or updates to your employees to keep them informed and engaged.

5. Compliance Check:

Stay compliant with federal, state, and local labor laws. January 1 marked big changes to minimum wage laws for non-exempt and exempt employees in Washington state – check out our blog post on this topic here.

6. Employee Engagement and Wellbeing Initiatives:

Begin the year with activities aimed at boosting team morale and creating a positive work atmosphere. Incorporate engaging team-building exercises and organize special events that not only strengthen team dynamics but also promote employee wellbeing. These activities are vital for nurturing a supportive and vibrant work culture, enhancing productivity, and fostering a sense of community among staff.

7. Training and Development Initiatives:

Invest in the growth of your workforce by planning training and development initiatives for the upcoming year. This not only enhances employee skills but can also contribute to a positive workplace culture. Confirm that your training programs align with any industry-specific compliance requirements. Keep in mind that several states, including Washington State, require certain businesses to conduct Anti-Harassment & Discrimination training. Reach to find out if your business is required to comply.

8. Performance Reviews:

Kickstart the year by conducting performance reviews for your employees. Set clear expectations for the upcoming year and establish actionable goals. These reviews are key to understanding team dynamics, recognizing hard work, and identifying areas for personal and professional growth. Documenting these discussions helps in tracking individual and organizational progress, ensuring a more effective evaluation process. We recommend conducting quarterly reviews for better productivity, alignment of goals, and employee engagement and satisfaction.

9. Cybersecurity Check:

Protect your business from cyber threats by reviewing and updating your cybersecurity measures. Train employees in best practices for data protection and ensure that your systems are equipped with the latest security updates. This proactive approach helps safeguard sensitive information and maintains client trust.

10. Stay Informed Throughout the Year:

Keep yourself informed about any legislative changes that might affect your business. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay ahead of the curve and reach out with any questions. Being proactive in your approach to compliance can save time and resources in the long run.

For more detailed guidance and consulting services tailored to your specific business needs, consider reaching out to JB Consulting Systems for expert advice and support. We offer a variety of HR and Business services like recruiting, employee handbook creation, training, and HR on demand. Contact us today.