While completing the annual Open Enrollment process is top of mind for a majority of HR professionals, a new year is right around the corner. And with it comes an annual desire to understand what may be the most important HR topics, issues and insights in the months ahead.
Some early trends already can be gleaned:
- Changes to overtime rules – Though the final rules will likely not be announced until early 2016, the proposed rule raising the minimum salary level for white collar exemptions could result in 4.6 million currently exempt employees losing their exemption right away. Another 500,000 to one million currently exempt employees could lose their exempt status over the next 10 years as a result of automatic increases to the salary threshold.
- Increased need for data and analytics tools –The ability to collect, process and analyze "big data" is becoming a crucial factor in identifying and managing the challenges of business lifecycles. Companies that want to gain a competitive edge increasingly need to use analytics to gain data-driven insights into workforce trends and take action to refine recruitment, compensation and other performance incentives to meet employees' evolving goals and interests.
- Need for integrated workforce management systems – For employers with 50 or more full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees, the Affordable Care Act has transformed what was once an annual enrollment event into a monthly process of tracking and reporting extensive data. To comply with the law, various personnel in Tax, Finance, IT, Legal and HR who never had to share data may now need to partner to help avoid costly penalties. Gathering the required data from multiple systems can present a challenge so it will be become even more important for businesses to consider an integrated human capital management solution.
- Employee engagement as a priority – Increasingly, organizations are focusing on improving their employee engagement to drive better performance. According to Gallup research, employee engagement is strongly connected to business outcomes essential to an organization's financial success, such as productivity, profitability and customer engagement. Engaged employees drive the innovation, growth and revenue that growing midsized companies need to thrive. Case in point: An ADP study found that larger midsized businesses with 151 to 999 employees cited three talent-related reasons among all reasons for a decline in growth: disengaged employees (23 percent), the inability to attract qualified talent (18 percent) and the inability to retain key talent (17 percent).
- More Millennials – While much has been made of the silver tsunami of retiring Baby Boomers, on the other end of the spectrum is the growth of the Millennial workforce. According to PwC research, Millennials will account for nearly half the global workforce by 2020. In some companies, they already constitute a majority. Organizations that want to attract and retain fresh talent will need to recruit this cohort of digital natives and ensure that their journey through hiring and onboarding is supported through mobile and social platforms.
This article was written by Amit Jain, Division Vice President of Strategy & Business Development for Major Account Services at ADP. Another version of this article appeared on Forbes. This edited version appears here with permission.