This 2017 HR trends review covers four of the most important takeaways from the year for HR professionals. With 2017 coming to a close, it provides an excellent opportunity for us all to reflect on a few things that unraveled this year, why they happened, and what we can take away from it.
On February 19, 2017, Susan Fowler wrote a blog that blew that blew the whistle on her former employer, Uber. In this email, she detailed specific instances of sexual harassment she experienced on the job and how the HR department at Uber failed to take action to right the issue. While the dust still hasn’t settled on that case, the house of cards fell rapidly. Uber Founder and then-CEO, Travis Kalanick, was forced into resignation, and an internal investigation resulted in the termination of at least 20 employees. Undeniably, Fowler’s decision to come forward impacted more than just Uber. As the year continued on, dozens more sexual harassment victims reported issues with other corporations, celebrities, and politicians.
The clear message here is that, even if there are no official reports, it doesn’t signal that a company does not have a sexual harassment issue. HR departments must be proactive in this area and develop plans to eliminate sexual harassment before it happens. Moreover, each team must have written protocol to identify and manage issues when they occur, and audits of internal systems need to be carried out.
While we routinely hear of consumer data being hacked and stolen from large companies, this is not the only security worry for businesses. The Second of our 2017 HR Trends is how human error accounts for a great number of data breaches, including the incident at Boeing earlier this year when a worker leaked the details of 36,000 employees. In this particular case, the worker needed help formatting a document that held the data, but instead of seeking internal assistance, he sent it to his significant other to get help.
It’s still essential to have high-tech security protocols in place to protect data from hackers and outsiders, but this case reminds us that employee training needs to be ongoing in order to avoid similar costly mistakes.
Another one of the 2017 HR trends showed us that most everything from data processing to employee hiring and training can be carried out by programs these days, and the level of sophistication, as well as customization, is increasing daily. Moving to automated programs and integrating software, as well as cloud-based solutions, can help ensure companies stay compliant with guidelines and regulations, cut out human errors, and increase productivity.
During the recession, employers made major cutbacks, and employees accepted less because they were happy just to keep their jobs. Undeniably, 2017 HR trends seemed to be dark times all around, but the economy has turned around now and the landscape has changed yet again. Cultivating employee loyalty is a real challenge, for those who muddled through the recession as well as the entire emerging generation of workers who watched their parents struggle. Naturally, employees still seek the basics, such as competitive compensation and a strong benefits package. However, 74% also expect employers to give them flexibility when it comes to the schedule they work, while enabling them to remain on a path to promotion. Only 57% of employers do this now, which means they’re likely having trouble attracting and keeping top talent.
As we move into 2018 and beyond, following the latest trends and adapting to changing conditions will be of increasing importance. HR Source is here to help. Whether you need training, assistance filling positions, or general HR support, contact us today.
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