UPDATED: Wrapping Up the Year to Open a New Tab for HR & Communication
It has been a busy year as HR has seen many changes and will continue to live through many upcoming ones for 2017. Societal changes have greatly affected HR this year, apparently more than
The biggest changes came from the happenings in regulations that stemmed from societal concerns: Benefits, OT, minimum/living wage issue. Now, business owners' pressure aim at reversing at least some of the changes. Changes are known to not be static; but should we rather think volatility? Let alone the fear for uncertain economy. Talking about a VUCA world!
There were topics of peak interests, such as Technology, Analytics, and Big Data; and topics of concerns such as Privacy and Hacking issues. And of course, there were organizational, operational changes that many had to face in order to adjust to a volatile, unstable market.
How did HR Adapt in 2016?
There is no argument that Society and Politics have a direct impact on HR.
Some changes were in the making: Benefits implementation in the form of ongoing Healthcare reform. Many organizations rushed hiring in Benefits department to meet deadlines and compliance. Now, and for the near future, HR has to think probable forms of undoing or refining: we all have to wait and see. I guess, those fairly recent hires in Benefits will stay busy and on their toes for the next couple of years or so. The notion of "universal access" would replace " universal coverage." Clearly, it announces serious changes for both employers and employees, with anticipation of heavier focus on HSA and less coverage.
Noticeably also, many organizations have decided to implement changes in benefits, facing an increasingly competitive and changing environment. So, to what extend "universal access" will hurt or help organizations is yet to be seen. It is safe to think that the tech industry will not buy in a system that will inhibit its leverage.
And HR had to increasingly adjust to globalization. It is certainly a growing field as business frontiers become blurry in a politically-divided world.
The New HR Tab: Hello 2017
Other changes are unfolding and give us an insight of HR challenges for the coming year. In the world of HR, at least in the US, it is quasi certain that HR will see its world upside down. We will be talking Labor Relations and Union challenges, FLSA changes that will at least affect recruiting and candidates' and employees' state of mind; and maybe sooner than manageable, Health Insurance upheaval.
With the service industry experiencing an expected setback, along with the global explosion of ecommerce, digitalization, and data analytics, 2017 will drive HR to rapidly reassess its approach.
So, what's in store for HR?
According to SHRM, four basic changes:
- Streamlining: This is already happening in many organizations. Last year results assessment has brought restructuring in many organizations. Such, along with the growth of a digital pool of talent cannot leave HR untouched, from the office to HRIS. This leads us to...
- Training: Training of a workforce to be more technically savvy and globally manageable. There is a need for a moving workforce, and a need for breaking the barriers of traditional way of work. Remote work is a growing trend. HR, on the other side, need to have a global knowledge of HR in large companies, and be digitally agile in organizations of all sizes.
- Engagement: Many organizations will continue to promote pulse taking. It is important for HR to sit at the table and bring to the table the results of that pulse taking. Not only will it help attract and retain talent, it will also be used to correct the company's gear towards the managing of its stakeholders. HR will need to listen to organizations' customers via its own talent workforce: a customer-centric HR is the 2017 and beyond way of conducting HR business.
- Innovation: Be open to change, be fast to change, seize the moment, be different so that you won't be caught off guard. A stale HR will drag any business down. Employees need to believe in HR as an agent of positive change in their work lives: the new year should not be disappointing.
- Global Communication: We are heading towards a revolution of global communication initiated by women in the US. The women's March of January 20th brought together women and men around the globe in the most unexpected way. For HR, it is a strong message of Parity and Equity says Kathy Gurchiek on SHRM platform.
- Media, Workplace, Ethics and Communication: A most powerful tool in change management is communication. Such is proven in organizations of all sizes. One cannot close one's eyes on the latest happenings in the communication arena (news, press conferences etc..) that have, inevitably, brought conversations in the workplace. It is amazing how employees and/or colleagues can volunteer personal opinions that I would rather not hear. I often found myself in positions where I could not escape the short talk, or outburst of indignation, or laugh. .It has been an enriching experience to say the least. This drives us to reconnect with our professional codes of ethics, our practices of HR wisdom, and our global impact as communicators.
- I-9 changes: Effective January 22, version 11/14/2016 is replacing the 2013 one, with basics that HR needs to know and practical guidance for all employers.
En Synthèse ...