Despite the many predictions and educated guesses, no one knows what the new year will bring. But think creatively, plan strategically, be prepared, and 2019 can be a success for HR and your workforce.
Employment experts suggest a number of challenges that HR professionals should be prepared to tackle in 2019. Among them:
· Prepare for workplace violence. Start by conducting a needs-assessment and make sure you have proper policies, practices, and procedure to increase awareness, support prevention, and enable rapid and effective response to acts of violence. There are many resources available, including guidance from the US Department of Health and Human Services and the FBI.
· Understand workforce planning. Make sure you have an ongoing process to align your company’s business needs and priorities with those of your employees/staff to ensure compliance with legal, regulatory, service requirements, and organizational goals and objectives. Start by assessing factors that shape your workforce (required skills, etc.) and evaluating employee retention and engagement via formal or informal surveys.
· Stay on top of federal, state, and local issues. There has been a lot of legislative activity recently, especially at the state level. For instance, two states recently passed initiatives to increase minimum wage. Elsewhere, there are new programs coming out of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) such as the Patient-Drive Payment Model (PDPM). Stay on top of these developments and seek guidance about what they mean for your organization.
· Manage employee leave. Make sure your organization is following any applicable laws regarding issues such as military leave, family leave, or paid sick leave, and communicate this information to employees clearly and consistently. Make sure that managers know how to track, document, and schedule leave and that they are handling leave requests fairly. Note that family-friendly benefits can enhance recruitment and retention.
Other issues to focus on for 2019 include building a diverse workforce, developing and maintaining a current and complete employee handbook, addressing employee drug use (and other wellness issues), preventing security breaches, and offering the right benefits for your employees.
Elsewhere, a Forbes Human Resources Council suggests that HR professionals take a moment to reflect and review before moving forward so that they don’t repeat past mistakes. They offer several resolutions to help get the new year started on a high note:
· Set clear goals; review them frequently.
· Study turnover; learn from it.
· Base decisions on data and facts.
· Prioritize employee engagement.
· Listen “fearlessly.”
· Help your people see their value.
· Practice hyper-personalized leadership.
· Hone relationships with key individuals.
Don’t forget to take a minute to acknowledge your company’s successes in 2018 and celebrate these with your employees.