Today’s modern workplace requires agility and proactive approaches to ensure companies are keeping pace with their workforce. Companies can attract and retain their top talent while mitigating risk and avoiding costly penalties by being aware of workplace trends and compliance changes in 2019.
Most economic experts agree that 2018 was a successful year for businesses across industry sectors – gross domestic product increased, wages grew and the unemployment rate fell to an almost 50-year low. However, due to the effects of a strong economy, recruiters are facing challenges attracting and retaining a younger workforce from a shrinking talent pool.
In an era of what may feel like non-stop change, HR and payroll specialists can no longer afford to be reactive. Today’s modern workplace requires agility and proactive approaches to ensure companies are keeping pace with their workforce. Companies can attract and retain their top talent while mitigating risk and avoiding costly penalties by being aware of workplace trends and compliance changes in 2019.
2019 HCM & Trend Predictions
With the current talent crunch, organizations are becoming increasingly creative in their methods to attract, maintain and engage their employees. Developing and executing an agile strategy is essential for the C-Suite and HR departments to ensure they have the talent needed. This includes developing and harnessing the influx of the millennial workforce.
To meet the needs of the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, companies need to ensure they address the high expectations their workers desire for a work-life balance. Many organizations will experience an evolution of workplace expectations as the role of HR shifts to meet these tangible and intangible requests. An employee’s desire for more may result in them searching for other employment opportunities, leaving companies without the talent they need to execute their business strategy fully.
- Remote Employees – The New Normal
The shrinking talent pool and rising costs of living also changed the way employers attract and retain top talent. As organizations continue to adopt a more flexible workforce to meet the company’s needs, remote employees are becoming increasingly common. keep the workforce connected to the company’s culture, HR professionals will need to use traditional engagement techniques and incorporate video chat and messaging.
Human resource specialists not only needed to address the cultural changes of the workplace in 2018, but also the legislative changes. At times the quick, decisive nature of the current administration, in addition to state and local laws, left many confused about whether or not they complied. While regular audits can assist organizations with staying in compliance, companies can pre-empt potential changes by staying in the know about legislative trends regarding employee protection and benefits.
- The Affordable Care Act and Health Care Law
Although 2018 was not the year the Affordable Care Act was repealed and replaced, a federal judge in Texas did rule it unconstitutional toward the end of the year, but then immediately stayed his own ruling pending the inevitable – and possibly lengthy – appeals process. This ruling will have no effect on the ACA compliance schedule for 2019, which is based on the tax year 2018 coverage reporting. While major health care law changes were not implemented at the federal level, smaller, administrative and executive branch changes did take effect. This includes a longer length of time for using short-term limited duration health plans and reauthorization of health reimbursement accounts as a vehicle for employers meeting their employer mandate under the ACA. Monitoring regulation changes and using data collected can provide key insights for employers by ensuring they remain compliant and can make the best decision for the company for 2020.
- Minimum Wage
Many newly elected House of Representative members campaigned on the promise of increasing the minimum wage. On Jan. 16 the “Raise the Wage” Act, a wage increase bill, was introduced in Congress with more than 130 co-sponsors. The proposed law would increase the minimum wage from its current $7.25 to $15.00 per hour in multiple increments through 2024. HR and payroll specialists must understand how an increase will affect their employees, and their bottom line.
- Anti-harassment Laws
In response to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, many companies are beginning to incorporate mandatory participation in sexual harassment training. Businesses can be proactive by creating and enforcing policies that are well thought out and relevant to their environment. Not only will this protect their workers and guarantee they can continue attracting top talent, but it can also prevent costly lawsuits and damage to their reputation. Be sure drafted policies also address other protected characteristics, including gender, age, race, disability, belief/religion, and sexual orientation.
Being aware of trends on the horizon and challenges that presented themselves last year can assist organizations with preparing a strategical workforce management path. Legislative and cultural trends will continue to influence how workers feel supported by their employer, which in turn will impact organizations’ production and bottom-line.
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