If there’s one constant in every business, it’s change.
And as we head into 2016, now is the time for HR and talent management leaders to assess how they can attract and retain top performing employees next year – and hone their strategies despite a competitive job market, limited compensation budgets, and an ever-evolving business environment.
Market forces that executives need to consider
Over the past year I’ve noted several consistent market forces that executives must continue to be cognizant of as the war on talent wages on. These include shrinking technology cycles, a more diversified and disparate global workforce, and greater emphasis on wage and hour regulations.
The advent of the “on-demand” economy – which includes disruptive companies such as Uber, Lyft and GrubHub – is a prime example of these market forces coalescing to accelerate changes to how people work.
Technologies have advanced to transport people from one place to another, deliver food to their doorsteps, and provide a range of instantaneous services. And with these innovations, the number of independent contractors in the on-demand economy has dramatically increased who lack clarity on their worker entitlements.
Areas that HR and talent management needs to watch
As businesses look at how to support this changing workforce, here are some of the business and technology areas that HR and talent professionals should review closely in 2016.
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- Consider the implications of your employee benefit programs. Many companies have instituted “unlimited vacation” policies to empower workers to take more time off. The reality is that while companies such as Netflix, Virgin Group and LinkedIn are among a small but growing number of organizations providing flexible or discretionary time off, Americans are actually working longer hours and taking off nearly a week less than they did 15 years ago. In 2016, as further updates are expected in overtime pay, on-demand scheduling and employee classification, HR leaders need to be aware of changes to regulations and the impact to their benefit programs as a result.
- Overhaul age-old manual processes – it’s a must, not a plus. While manual processes seem like a fossilized way of doing business, paper-based and outdated technologies still abound in many organizations. For example, in industries like manufacturing and retail, hard-wired time clocks are still used for people to punch in and out of shifts. But why use a technology that is 127 years old? With approximately 5 million Americans eligible to the expanded overtime pay rule next year, a new group of workers could wind up needing to clock in and out of work. Whether or not this will happen remains to be seen, however companies need to be prepared to overhaul legacy technologies – and evaluate more modern solutions that can integrate with core HR, payroll and other financial systems to support an increasingly diversified and mobile workforce.
- Embrace smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things has become one of the most hyped technologies in the last 12 months, with Gartner expecting 25 billion Internet-connected things by 2020. Enterprise adoption is still immature; however companies will need to think about how they will incorporate IoT in the workforce or risk being left behind by their more aggressive competitors. Today, we see inroads being made by vendors like Fitbit, which can support how businesses plan, track, manage and execute a company’s wellness program. Next year, further innovations will most certainly unleash more opportunities for companies to capture and optimize data to support employee wellness, productivity and overall business goals.
Staying on top of change
As companies today navigate the future of how we work, it’s clear that today’s market forces are accelerating a dramatic change in strategies for leadership, talent and human resources.
Change is always constant – and HR and talent management leaders will need to be at the forefront of these transformations to spearhead success in their respective organizations.