Owning and operating a successful business comes with a seemingly endless array of administrative tasks — from bookkeeping and payroll to purchasing and compliance.
Keeping up with new laws that impact the workplace is also critical. So is being on top of new developments and trends in human resources (HR) — a task that many small- and medium-sized business owners often overlook, but which is crucial to employee recruitment and retention and job satisfaction, which means it’s also important to your bottom line.
As 2023 draws to a close and the new year awaits, companies are seeing major shifts in a number of HR patterns and practices, including the continued embrace of remote work. Here are a few of the highlights.
Read More: 2023 Employment Law Trends
HR Trend #1: Remote work is here to stay
Approaching four full years since the outbreak of the global pandemic, the sustained popularity of remote work (also known as telecommuting) requires growing flexibility among business owners.
At one point after the COVID-19 outbreak, nearly 70% of full-time employees in the United States worked remotely.
While that number has decreased, working from home (WFH), the neighborhood coffee shop, the local library or even in another time zone (or country) is no longer seen as a workplace perk but instead a viable alternative for workers and employers alike.
Employees cite several factors in their preference for remote and hybrid (split time between home and office) work environments:
- Improved quality of life
- Increased productivity
- Enhanced focus and fewer distractions
- Decreased mental fatigue or burnout
- Reduced time and resources spent commuting
Across the globe, organizations report increased productivity and morale after providing employees with the opportunity to work in remote or hybrid settings.
Bottom line: Remote work is here to stay, and business owners who don’t recognize this new reality will get left behind.
HR Trend #2: Employee wellness matters in the workplace
Once a staple of Office Management 101, the my-way-or-the-highway, top-down management approach in which a worker’s thoughts and feelings were immaterial is thankfully a relic of the past.
Successful business leaders know that employee wellness – both mental and physical health – is very much a workplace issue, not something to be dealt with only at home during off-hours.
When an employee is dealing with anxiety, depression, financial struggles, interpersonal problems on the job or simply undergoing a challenging time, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) provide direct, confidential resources without the need for a doctor’s office visit, insurance copays or other potential barriers to treatment.
Under EAP programs, a licensed and qualified counselor will work with the employee, providing a predetermined number of counseling sessions (typically up to six) free of charge.
Read More: Employee Wellness: How PEOs help workers
HR Trend #3: Rewards and incentive programs
A common practice being revamped in many industries is providing incentives in the workplace. Employment programs that offer rewards and incentives are shown to boost employee morale and encourage motivation, which in turn has the potential to strengthen retention rates.
There are countless ways to reward loyal and hard-working employees, and the more specifically tailored to that company’s industry, the better. Some employers provide bonuses or additional paid time off to their employees after working with them for a specific length of time; some employers even set up professional development opportunities.
A good example of this is DreamWorks, one of the largest and most popular animation studios in the world. A common incentive used by this company is allowing employees to attend craft fairs and movie screenings, as well as participate in art classes and development lectures. Their industry is heavily focused on innovative creativity and artistic expression, so it’s a no-brainer that their incentives encourage those traits.
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While all these trends are beneficial to the well-being of the employees (and in turn, the business), this leaves business owners to juggle these changes on their own. This is where the benefits of utilizing a PEO come in.
PEOs such as Integrity Employee Leasing have teams and systems in place to help small to mid-size businesses stay on top of the changing HR landscape.
In 2024, Integrity will introduce a new feature within its cloud-based system, PrismHR. The system’s new Unified Employee Experience (UEX) will not only improve the functionality of the employee portal but also expand the manager dashboard with unified navigation.
Integrity Employee Leasing’s team of professionals specializes in keeping up with these significant workplace trends so that you, the business owner, can focus on running operations. The world is ever evolving, and Integrity Employee Leasing is happy to step up to the plate and help you stay current on the latest and best practices in human resources. Call us at (941) 625-0623 for a free consultation.