It's been a hot year for HR, so to wind things down, we're going to take a look at some of the three hottest topics in employment and Human Resources for the year of 2013.
- The Generation Game
It would seem that one of the hottest issues in HR for 2013, is that of ensuring different generations work together like salt and pepper. And that isn't aimed at those of you who are going grey!
Seriously though, there's been a lot of research that suggests wildly different age groups in a workplace that aren't sufficiently balanced, can cause significant dissension in a workplace. With â€˜Generation X' insisting on a certain set of perspectives and opinions, and â€˜Generation Y' believing the complete opposite, employers and HR professionals have been trying to discover the key to calm.
Here's what we think: It's all about balancing your workforce. If you open up your HR software and generate a query or report to find out age details of your employees, you might find that you employ 40% 50-60 years old, 50% 20-30 years old, but only 10% 30-40 years old.
And it goes without saying, that with such a gaping gap, it's understandable that you might see conflict between the extremes.
So if you don't have an HR system that lets you see these statistics, get one like people hr - and if your workforce is separated to the extremes, why not invest in a strategy that attracts candidates who will bridge the gap and provide the â€˜middle ground' in opinions?
- HR in a World of Technology
One of the other hot topics of 2013, has been technology. How have HR systems and technologies helped professionals to succeed and improve the efficiency of their human resources?
As we can see from the example above, HR software can help companies in small ways like greater visibility of workforce demographics, but it also has a much bigger impact - like half the amount of paper needing to be stored in the office cabinet, or half the amount of work needing to go into processing administration (after all, most of the mundane tasks can now be automated with the right HR software).
And technology is not going anywhere - it's a case of needing to embrace it, or be defeated by it. So if you're still living out of your HR filing cabinet, or if you're still struggling with the age-old spreadsheet, or if you're still manually processing holiday requests and cross-referencing datesâ€¦ then stop. The technology now exists to make this simple. If you don't use it, you're going to be left behind.
- Staying Ahead of Legislation
We thought we'd save the most grizzly until the end - staying ahead of employment legislation. Perhaps the bane of Human Resources, the need to keep up with employment legislation is perhaps one of the most important points of all. And in a world where we only just manage to get our collective heads around one new law, when another is passed, avoiding a lawsuit is becoming a challenge within itself!
So what can be done?
Most companies have dedicated specialists continuing to review the legalities of employment legislation, and for the most part, this is recommended. It is also expensive - so should companies do away with it? Not at all. But many smart Human Resources departments are also investing in HR software and systems that have in-built alerts and updates, informing them of new legislation and laws in real time as they're passed.
Of course, an HR system should never replace the company's own responsibility to validate new laws and legislation. But it helps - and it really does reinforce our second hot topic, which is technology in terms of HR.
These Are Not the Only Hot HR Topics for 2014
There are many others. Such as the need to build a culture of innovation. The challenge to keep workforces healthy (and therefore knock absence on its head). The need for equal opportunities. The ability to attract top talent.
But the three we have discussed here, we believe, are some of the hottest. What is your Human Resources department doing about them?