One of the most eventful years of our lifetime is coming to an end, and I am unsure whether to breathe a sigh of relief or gather my armor. Predicting the future is often a guessing game, so instead, let’s work on preparation.

As we near the end of 2020, there are steps that leaders must take to prepare for the new year and the next big thing. If you are in the C-suite, items on your to-do list should include ensuring that your licenses, both foreign and domestic, are current and up to date and filing your company’s annual reports Additional duties may include reviewing your articles of incorporation or articles of organization and filing any needed amendments; reviewing an updating your marketing plan; and reviewing your finances while preparing next year’s budget. The next level of leadership should be involved as needed. They certainly can assist with preparing the budget for their division or department.

Levels of management, other than the C-suite, will have additional tasks to complete as the year draws to a close. Documentation review is a critical task. Data and information are updated internally and externally each day, and you’ll want to make sure changes were made accordingly. Were your written policy updates consistent with end-of-the-year data? What about work instructions and Standard Operating Procedures?

Speaking of documentation, are all your policies and prcedures written down, cataloged and easily accessible to the right staff?

Performance reviews are imperative, and most employees look forward to them. The process of performance reviews can assist in measuring the performance of your staff. Reviews can help find weak links, figure out solutions, and identify new roles needed or required additional staff.

The most important end-of-the-year duties for leaders are celebrating business accomplishments. Celebrating may seem unimportant but doing so can boost your business. As humans, it is easy to focus on the struggle in front of us while forgetting past achievements. Take a moment to catalog your successes, your employees and your clients.

Appreciate the employees who make it happen for you. You can show appreciation in many ways such as structured bonuses, awards programs, and involving the employees in planning for the next year. Even if it is as simple as a thank-you card, showing appreciation to your employees earns loyalty.

Client appreciation should also be a part of your year-end preparation. Clients are the reason we are in business. Donuts and coffee are always a hit. You could also considr a handwritten card, signed by the entire team, wine, or even a simple phone call to check in.

Use these moments to create momentum for the coming year. They are an excellent opportunity to build team spirit, increase morale, and engage employees an dclients. With a huge boost, who would not be ready for whatever the coming year decides to throw at us?