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featured image showing Hands of character writing letter at desk with papers, pencil, envelopes and coffee cup. Woman sending message to her past self

A Letter to My Last Year Self…

Remember back in middle school when out of the blue you start to notice someone for the first time only to find out they have been there all along? That is the story for Human Resource (HR) professionals in 2020. We went from wallflowers to cool kids on the block in a snap and the journey has been, well exhausting invigorating!!

If I had the opportunity to prepare my last year self It would read something like this…

Dear Last Year Self,

Stock up on Red Bull and whiskey and get ready for the ride of your life.

Everything you have prepared for as an HR consultant is going to be tested. Every bit of knowledge you have will be plucked from your consciousness. Show up early and be prepared to be wrung out each day like a nanny’s rag.

In life, Businesses have waited and waited and WAITED for legislation to be passed and red tape to be removed. Rest assured that will not be a problem this year. In fact, the federal and state lawmakers will make and amend laws so fast your fingers will be smoking from typing changes. It will be dizzying but you can do it! Just keep going.

Another thing, you are used to hearing “No”. Get ready because this year you will hear “Yes, Yes, YES”. Do employees need to work from home? Yes. Employees lost daycare and need assistance? Yes. Employees need extended paid time off? Yes. I’m going to get reimbursed for that? Yes. Does everyone need to wear a mask? Yes. Does my business qualify for a grant if I keep paying my employees even though we are closed? Yes. If I lay off my employees and they go on unemployment, will they get an extra tax free $600 per week? Yes. You get the point Last Year Self.

This might sound like a lot. It is. The best advice I can give you, you already know. But you need to shout it from the rooftops, hammer it into the heads of Friends, Family and Business Owners. Help others understand and deliver. For real estate, it is “location, location, location.” For us, it is “records, records, RECORDS.” Having records will be necessary to ensure people and businesses accrue the credits and reimbursements they deserve and stay out of OSHA’s crosshairs.

One last thing, you have never heard of it, but the CDC website will be your Bible. Stick to it and fear not. Advise others to do the same.

You are the right person for the job, Last Year Self. Stick with it.

Looking ahead, for 2021 you will need to help businesses create a COVID Response Plan. They will be looking to you for guidance.

Beyond that, prepare yourself for another storm when vaccines are readily available. Can they be mandated by employers??? These are the questions you will need to help Employers answer.

You will not be alone. You will witness a Nevada Rising. The community will make admirable strides to keep people safe. The effort will move you and give you the strength to play your part. You’ve got this.


Today’s Self

Wow! What would I have thought reading that last January? Who knows, I’d probably think it was a hoax. What would your letter say?

As we wave goodbye to 2020 and ring in a New Year, may we ring it in together. Standing, stronger, wiser, and hopeful. Join me each week this year to talk about the continued effect COVID has taken on our workplace.

We will explore the hottest and most demanding subjects Nevada Business owners need to know for 2021.

Melissa Marsh, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is a human resources consultant and founder of HRinDemand, a human resources company in Reno, NV, offering expert guidance and easy-to-use tools to help small businesses with employment regulations, compliance, employee relations, and company growth.

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