The cost cutting and staff reductions may not be completely over, but as the economy begins its recovery, HR will be dealing with new challenges in 2010. Still, the flush workplace of 2006 isn’t likely to rush back into vogue. In fact, the historic recession has made a lasting impression on many organizations, which could hang onto the lessons they learned while surviving lean times. Here are 10 trends to expect in the coming year, plus tips and tools to help you respond to each:
Employee Benefits Program
A strong employee benefits program – including low-cost employee incentives, employee recognition programs, and employee appreciation programs – can help you improve morale and retention.
We provide employee appreciation day ideas, help you with employee retention strategies and employee benefits management
Starting this month, IBM will begin paying all of its employees’ primary care health costs—with no co-pays or deductibles. At the same time, the organization is offering new cash incentives to encourage employees to eat healthier and exercise. Employees can receive up to $300 in cash a year.
For the first time in the United States, an employee has successfully won workers’ compensation benefits for mold exposure, even though the industry involved—a car dealership—normally has no greater exposure to mold than any other. Black mold exposure has caused tens of thousands of people to become sick—but most of those cases involve mold growing in people’s homes.
You might think that recognition is about the rewards you give employees for long years of service or for retiring after a notable career. It’s really not. Recognition is about employee engagement. And employee engagement starts with employer engagement. How you treat people today is going to determine whether your valued employees stay with you when the financial crisis is over.
Having employees handle their own pay and benefits administration is the Holy Grail for HR professionals. You’d like every worker to independently access forms and find answers to payroll and benefits questions online. But old habits die hard. Solution: Initiate a long-term, multimedia strategy using techniques that encourage employees to help themselves.
If you directly pay workers’ compensation benefits because you’re self-insured, remember that you can’t stop paying merely because you believe the employee is no longer disabled. You still have to petition the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
These days, most employers are focusing hard on increasing per-employee output. By some measures, it’s working: Government statistics show large jumps in employee productivity. But some of those gains come when employees cut workplace safety corners to get more done. Don’t let that happen.
Q. Some of our employees have accrued large amounts of vacation pay because they have worked here for many years. Can we strip this vacation pay at the end of the year?
The Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa, a Kelseyville resort owned by Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 38, will close. The announcement came two years after Local 38 agreed to sell the resort under a DOL consent decree filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to settle charges that the union diverted $36 million from pension plans to operate and renovate Konocti.
Q. If our company hires seasonal employees for the holidays and then releases them after the Christmas rush, will we be responsible for any unemployment insurance claims as the workers’ last employer?