A lot of people keep a personal journal. I’ve tried and I’m not great at it, but it’s always interesting to see where you were on this day in history. This past year this has been undoubtedly true. We’re coming up on the one year mark when schools decided they were going to be virtual for the rest of the year, where our office decided we were all going to keep working from home though at least the summer, and there was nothing but uncertainty for what would happen after those dates.
Now here we are, one year later and some businesses are starting to get back to what things were before and others have made fundamental shifts in how they operate. Everyone’s experience is a little different, but no one is untouched or unchanged, and that includes how HCM processes operate at your business.
What are the biggest changes impacting HCM? There are so many, but if I had to pick three, I would say:
Remote work is here to stay
There have been ebbs and flows in the use of remote work over the years, but last year brought a massive unplanned trial run for many businesses. Regardless of where your company falls, whether that is staying remote, moving to a hybrid structure, or returning to the office; I think that the expansion of remote work is here to stay. This transition has a number of major impacts for employers across the business.
- It’s a recruiting and retention issue as employees value different work environments. Can you recruit the talent you need in the environment you have? Will you need to consider other options to keep quality talent based on what others in your industry are doing?
- It’s a tax issue as flexibility for employees leads to complexity with payroll and unemployment. Do you place restrictions on where you will hire people to avoid specific state-level entanglements? Do you have the internal HR & tax resources or external support to understand what you might be getting into?
- It’s a real estate issue as employers decide maybe they can get by with smaller offices or no offices. If you move to a hybrid schedule, do you really need all those assigned seats?
This will play out over a timeline of years vs. months and there will be bumps along the way, but work will never quite look the same.
The paperless office can be a reality
In the same vein of moving people to their homes, businesses suddenly had to move all of their processes into the digital age. Some implemented true digital processes. Some bought a lot of scanners and still had employees using paper forms and circulating them electronically after. The idea of a paperless office was first used as marketing slogan back in the late 1970s and most companies are still a long way from it. Even if your business didn’t embrace the pandemic as an opportunity to make changes in your process, the development of systems and tools has rapidly accelerated over the past year to help businesses make this jump. Our clients utilize our HCM platform, K-Pay, for paperless options and streamlined HCM processes, but whether you have a tool or not, the number of businesses using paperless processes has grown dramatically and I don’t see that trend changing.
How your employees see you
For better or worse, the pandemic really put employers under a microscope. Leading through crisis is a huge challenge, and we all got to witness organizations go through it at the same time, so it’s unavoidable that your employees are going to compare your decisions to other companies. I think regardless of what actions your company made, a lot of employers are going to see an uptick in turnover as employees feel more comfortable looking at the job market again. To address this uptick, it may be a good time for your HR team to conduct an engagement survey or virtual focus groups to gauge how your employees are feeling and use it as an opportunity to address their feedback in order to combat potential turnover.
So, what will the next year bring? There’s a lot of talk about getting back to normal, but I don’t think that normal will really exist in the same way. For some businesses it will feel close, but others have experienced a major shift in how they operate and are planning to keep it going. For all employers, this has been a huge undertaking and the real impacts on the business and on the employees are still waiting to be fully understood. All businesses and employees are trying to figure out what happens next and BerganKDV is here to help. Contact our team to learn more about how we are helping organizations streamline and upgrade their HCM processes through our K-Pay system.