While New Year’s resolutions are notorious for being hastily made and even more quickly broken, there are some manageable Human Resources resolutions that, if implemented now, can result in a prosperous year for your business.
1. Know your employees
With New York state’s unemployment rate reaching an all-time low and the private sector job count rising to an all-time high, employers need to focus more attention than ever on how to attract and retain employees. One effective way to increase employee engagement and retention is to gather reliable insight on what employees are (or are not) looking for. There are two proven ways to gather this type of information: employee feedback surveys and exit interviews.
A study conducted by Deloitte found that companies that were on Forbes’ “Best Places to Work” list outperformed their competitors by 2:1. In addition, Best Places to Work companies enjoyed additional benefits such as significantly lower turnover, shorter recruitment times, and higher productivity.
HR Works has participated in SHRM’s Best Companies to Work For survey since 2011. We have found it to be an easy and cost-effective and way to gather comprehensive information from our employees. In addition, it has provided us with a framework for making manageable and impactful changes to our company’s practices; changes that help us to align our company goals with our most valuable resource, our people.
The registration deadline for the SHRM survey is in October, which allows for necessary time to develop a communication plan and roll out the survey. You can find more information about the survey here.
Another effective way to gather insight, albeit from departing employees, is through the consistent use and evaluation of exit interviews. To obtain information on reasons for why they are leaving, employers should highly consider conducting exit interviews with employees who are voluntarily resigning their position. To increase participation, be sure to notify employees that the exit interviews will be kept in one consolidated file, apart from the employee’s general personnel file. If employees know the information won’t be retained in their personnel file, and it is being used to identify opportunities for improvement in the Company, they tend to be more inclined to provide candid feedback. Most importantly, be sure to review the exit interviews at least quarterly and relay any consistencies or themes to senior leadership. Gathering the information alone will not help to avert future departures; changes should be made to address the underlying reasons for the departures. Clients of HR Works may contact the HR Helpline to obtain an exit interview template.
2. Look Forward
The employment landscape is changing. Are you ready? Millennials are now the largest block of workers in the United States and Gen Z is coming! If you want to attract this budding workforce, you need to understand theirmotivations. For instance, Gen Zers have never known a life without technology. This means if your business still touts outdated tech, Gen Zers likely won't give you a second thought. Consider areas where your company's tech falls short and brainstorm how you can improve. Getting new hardware may be sufficient, but another option is hiring a tech expert to conduct an audit and make suggestions. (Hint: This might be a good job for a Gen Zer.)
Beyond prizing their tech, Gen Zers also value their company's culture. Like their millennial predecessors, Gen Zers want vibrant, collaborative spaces—think bright colors, open workspaces, and natural light. A quick browse on the web will bring up many articles on this topic.
Many employers were caught scratching their heads when Millennials entered the workforce looking for new types of benefits and workplace cultures that disrupted the status quo. Using 2019 to evaluate and prepare for what the next generation is looking for will help your company avoid this pitfall in 2020 and beyond.
3. Minimize Risk
While we don’t yet know all of the legislative changes that will affect employers in 2019, we can guarantee that employers will be kept busy trying to keep up with changes to both New York state and Federal law. We also know that fees for violations continue to rise, as do the number of charges. And when it comes to compliance, what you don’t know can hurt you. HR professionals can keep up with legislative changes by both working to stay personally informed, and by partnering with professionals. Reputable employment law firms that have employment blogs which can be easily subscribed to. These subscriptions will typically notify readers well ahead of important changes or upcoming deadlines. In addition, HR Works clients who have the HR Helpline have access to infiniteHR, an online resource library that notifies clients when rules change or deadlines approach, with timely alerts on dedicated newsfeeds embedded in the HR Compliance Library homepage. Alternatively, consider bringing in the experts to do a deep analysis of your current HR practices. A HR compliance audit is an excellent way to discover compliance exposures and protect your business. HR Works can conduct an independent analysis of your company’s personnel documentation, record keeping, and human resources practices, auditing for state and federal compliance, efficiencies, and best practices.
To summarize, personal resolutions are often hard to keep, but these three are manageable for your business: know your employees, look forward, and minimize risk. Make these three resolutions that you keep this year and you’ll be sure to see a prosperous year for your company.
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