Whether you are a small business or a larger enterprise, 2019 brings new challenges for employers large or small. Emerging HR challenges from the impact of minimum wage increases, workplace wellness, workplace safety, violence in the workplace and updating policies on substance use are all topics that business owners and HR managers have to worry about in 2019.
The ability to Identify and understand the needs of your employees will impact how your business competes for talent now and in the future and is another challenge that business owners and HR managers are dealing with in today’s workplace.
10 HR Challenges for Today’s Employer
1. Minimum wage increases – it’s no secret that there can be a dramatic impact on small business with increases in minimum wage. For example the minimum wage in British Columbia will rise to $14.60 on June 1, 2020 and to at least $15.20 on June 1, 2021. This can be a challenge for small business owners to be able to hire additional staff in some cases.
2. Updating HR policies on drug and alcohol use – with legalization of cannabis in many parts of North America specifically in Canada, there is a need for employers to establish safeguards against drug and alcohol abuse to ensure a safe and healthy working environment. New legislation means having to update existing policies around these topics.
3. Understanding the needs of employees – it is not just millennials who have changed how employers may perform their recruiting and HR activities. Skilled prospects are more educated than ever before and they have options when it comes to employment. Competing for top talent means that you need to understand what’s important to employees in 2019 and beyond.
4. Workplace wellness – We all understand the importance of workplace wellness, but building a positive work environment is more important than ever before. Many of us are “on” and “plugged in” all of the time, while at work or while at home. Workplace wellness is an area that requires regular attention so that you can keep your people happy, motivated and in a positive mindset.
5. Workplace flexibility – another item to consider is that employers have had to become more open-minded about how, where, and when work gets done. Establishing that work-life balance for your employees is one of the items that continues to top many employee surveys. Employers need to be conscious of this to ensure that the proper work-life balance is instilled so that employees are the most efficient they need to be, yet have some flexibility to address aspects of their busy lives.
6. Workplace culture – every organization should encourage a work environment that encourages respect and inclusion. If you choose to ignore your organizations culture, chances are you will experience more turnover, lower morale and less productivity. Make the employee experience a positive one and work to improve your culture every chance you get. This can be challenging but you need to have a good grasp of your employees and what’s important to them. Know when/if your employees are bored, discouraged or unhappy. Empower your management teams and supervisors so that they are not under-equipped to lead their teams. For additional examples of cultural problems check out this resource. For tips on improving your corporate culture, check out our article on 7 tips to create a strong corporate culture.
7. Technology – digital disruption is everywhere so you might as well get used to it. A.I. and the whole move to self-serve is leverage technology like never before. Today’s worker expects to have the tools to do their job efficiently and that means they expect their employers to keep up with the latest and greatest technologies. For small and medium sized businesses this means find ways to better leverage technology to improve organizational efficiencies. Its not always and easy thing to do as technology changes ever so quickly.
8. Employees want better benefit offerings – see item number five on the list (workplace flexibility). Employees are expecting and require expanded time-off benefits. However what is important to a few people is not always important to the rest. In the future, you should expect to tailor your benefits to employees so that they can personalize their benefits to suit their needs. Want to boost employee retention and talent acquisition? Offer personalized benefits packages to your employees.
9. The rise of the remote worker – technology and specifically the Internet has allowed people to become “virtual-workers” and work pretty much from anywhere in the world. As an employer this can be a dramatic change. You might worry about productivity (many studies have found that remote workers can be more productive), you might want to micro-manage your teams and your staff. The increase in remote work activity has presented a new challenge for employers in recent years.
10. High Turnover – finding the “right” staff has always been a challenge. If people are leaving your company regularly to get better jobs, this might indicate that you have a culture problem, a compensation problem, a retention issue or all of the above. Again it is important to understand your employees. Allow them to voice concerns, work with your employees to create a better work environment. Empower employees, encourage flexibility and strive to be a workplace destination where people love to come to work.
The need to approach human resource issues strategically is more imperative than ever. Employers are facing new human resources challenges like ever before. To evolve as a company you need to evolve your HR practices. Focus on your employees and work as a team to evolve and become a great place to work!
For assistance with your HR strategy, contact us today to set up a consultation. Aspire Recruitment Solutions is the Okanagan’s leading staffing, human resource solution and employment agency provider to clients in Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops, Northern BC and Alberta.