In recent years, HR has been constantly evolving as society, government, and technology transform—and 2019 will be no different. Massive cultural shifts regarding paid leave, new pay equity laws, social issues and more are forcing HR managers to tirelessly prepare for the inevitable challenges they will bring.
Here are some of the top issues that HR professionals (and their employers) will most likely encounter this year, as well as tips on how to best handle them.
Building a diverse workforce
Diversity goes beyond race, sex, age, and ethnicity—it also includes work experience, education level, life experiences, personal background, and more. Creating a diverse workplace can be a challenge in itself, but then ensuring you’re building an environment that nurtures tolerance and inclusivity is essential as well.
Building and maintaining a diverse workforce starts with leadership and committing to aligning diversity efforts with business goals. Cast a wide net while recruiting, and conduct interviews with a diverse panel to help find the most qualified candidates from different backgrounds.
Creating a plan for workplace violence
Workplace safety is always a top priority for HR professionals. But with more and more tragedies recently, many employers are being forced to face these issues head-on. Preparing for a violent incident in the workplace first requires a needs-assessment across the organization to ensure it has the proper policies, practices, and procedures in place. Policies should include a visitor policy to safely secure the premises, a workplace violence prevention policy, a weapons policy, and a domestic violence policy. It’s also helpful to implement a digital tool to communicate vital information before and during a disaster.
Developing and maintaining an employee handbook
An employee handbook is essential to creating a fair and consistent workplace, even when difficult situations arise. Developing and implementing a handbook from scratch can prove to be a massive (often overlooked) undertaking, but is the thing the IRS or Department of Labor will most likely request during an audit. Be sure to monitor federal, state, and local laws and update your handbook regularly. It should be updated at least annually.
Handling drug use
The opioid epidemic is rampant, and your workforce is not immune. Addressing and managing drug use is becoming and a more and more difficult challenge for HR managers, and going into 2019, dealing with increasing marijuana use will become a top priority.
Because medical marijuana is legal in 30 states and recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states, it’s becoming more common throughout the modern workforce. So, it’s important for employers to develop and enforce drug-free workplace policies.
Offering the right benefits
Offering competitive benefit packages to attract and retain top talent is a major challenge employers are currently facing. Assess your competitors’ offerings, identify the most popular and unpopular benefits among your employees, and tailor your benefit packages to align with your findings.
Managing employee leave
Employee leave laws can vary by state so first determine which ones your organization is subject to. Then make sure managers understand how to properly track, document, and manage leave schedules.
Paying attention to federal changes
The Trump administration’s impact on the workplace has been significant as more authority is directed to states and local governments. But there are still plenty of federal issues that need to be considered, including the Affordable Care Act and healthcare’s uncertain future.
To address any rising federal issues, be vigilant and closely monitor any important developments (especially joint employment, overtime exemptions, GINA and wellness, the ADA, and Title VII).
Staying compliant with local and state laws
As more state and local government laws pop up across the country, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the changes and prioritize compliance. Monitor existing and emerging laws, and train supervisors and managers (as well as their employees) on the most essential information about the laws.
Need help staying compliant? Clarity provides solutions with built-in logic and processes to help keep you in compliance day in and day out. Visit our to learn more about how our services can help you tackle 2019’s most important HR challenges.