HR Priorities: Present & Future

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The role of the Human Resources professional has metamorphosed and grown significantly in the past 10 years.  Previously, the HR team was often seen as sitting on their own island as disciplinarians for the organization but long gone are those days.  Presently, many companies have adopted the “People” role in lieu of HR to represent not only the company but employees as well.  The growth of the HR Business Partner role has brought together diverse departments to become one cross-functional unit integrated through the HR/People team.

A decade ago organizations were scrambling to build creative and competitive cultures.  While culture still remains a priority a new set of strategic planning initiatives are being born within the HR hemisphere. Below we explore some top of mind HR priorities for the present and future.

1. Implement strategic diversity and inclusion plans – an organization cannot be diverse if it’s not inclusive. Consider unconscious bias training for managers and employees.  D&I drives innovation and the most diverse companies are most successful. 

2. Embrace technology –Being an early adopter and open-minded to new technology will set you apart from antiquated organizations.  Automate processes from onboarding to benefits and PTO, and performance management and financial wellness tools.  Each day brings new technology to the HR world, stay abreast of the latest and greatest.

3. Compliance – In the past few years a wealth of compliance issues has come to the forefront, FMLA, paid family leave, salary history ban, and mandatory harassment training, just scratches the surface.  Align yourself with a strong HR/Benefits consultant to ensure you are staying ahead of the curve and not falling behind.

4. Communication – Foster a culture that builds community with your employees. People who feel there are open channels of communication feel safe and heard.  These same people tend to feel more confident in the workplace, perform better and stay at a job longer.

5. Data & Metrics – There’s no better way to prove the effectiveness of something that with hard data. Develop metrics to support programs and initiatives you are rolling out.  This will give you a clear understanding of what’s working and what isn’t, what to keep doing and what to change.

6. High performance benefits – Employees are becoming savvy healthcare consumers.   Providing them with education and tools to support effective decision making with their healthcare is becoming more important than ever.  In addition to traditional health insurance, provide employees with on-demand healthcare and cost-comparison tools to keep costs down and improve their experience.  Consider implementing a multi-prong wellness strategy which encompasses health, financial and family planning benefits.  Let your employees know you are thinking about the things that are important to them and they will feel part of a community rather than just coming to work to collect a paycheck.

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