Year In Review: The Changing Trends Of HR Industry In 2016 - Empxtrack

2016 was an exciting year for human resource industry. HR saw major transformations in several HR practices, starting from annual performance reviews to overtime rules, from people analytics to effects of Trump’s administration. All these changing trends kept HR professionals busy throughout the year.

We have just stepped into the year 2017. It’s time to take a look back at all that has happened in the year gone by and all that can be done to make this year more meaningful.

Year Review of 2016 gives the glimpse of the changing human resource trends and the evolution of promising HR practices for the coming year.

Annual Performance Review

Once-a-year evaluation of employee performance doesn’t provide real-time meaningful feedback. In 2016, a few organizations have abolished annual employee appraisals as it didn’t seem to help in employee engagement and performance improvement.

Multinational companies, like Accenture and SAP, have planned to replace their existing traditional annual performance reviews with a better performance evaluation system where employees receive timely feedback from multiple sources (mainly managers) on regular basis.

This would help managers to avoid the traditional rank-and-yank system and constantly track performance of their team members, monitor their goal achievements, evaluate real-time employees’ quality of work, and provide performance feedback.

In 2017, the revised performance review practice will clearly demonstrate how regular feedback can be helpful in improving performance and in engaging and inspiring the workforce.

New Overtime Rules

In early October last year, the buzzing news of change in overtime rules surfaced everywhere in the U.S. According to the Department of Labor (DOL), “The salary threshold for overtime will nearly double to $47,476 and it will increase in every 3 years as per new rules by DOL. It means employees earning less than that amount will be owed overtime, or time-and-a-half, for working more than 40 hours a week.” This new overtime rule is more likely to increase earning and wages for 4.2 million workers{Source}.

This change placed unavoidable burden on company budgets and small businesses have been significantly impacted. On one hand where employers shifted most of their salaried employees to hourly pay and created more part-time jobs, other employers filed a lawsuit against this new overtime rule.

Until the U.S. companies heard anything new about the overtime rule by DOL, they managed (or rather minimized) overtime costs by –

  1. Increasing employees’ salaries so their income is more than the threshold.
  2. Changing salaried employees into hourly workers without compromising on their take home pay.
  3. Creating new salary contracts mentioning that salary is up to 50 hours/week and paying additional half-time pay for extra 10 hours.

The U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant announced 21 states have challenged the new lawsuit and filed compliant against it. Soon after Donald Trump won Presidential Election on November 8, 2016, the United States District Court has put the new overtime rule on hold, which has kept overtime pay eligibility of millions of U.S. employees in limbo.

Increased Dependency On HR Data & Analytics

Since past few years, the term ‘People Analytics’ has been frequently heard in conferences, HR forum discussions, and several other platforms. Analytics provides a framework where HR data is presented in the form of easily understandable patterns, graphs and dashboards. Thus, HR use analytics to find answers to complex business questions and get accurate insights into business processes.

Advanced technology has empowered human resource departments with effective tools that support them to use HR data in meaningful ways. HR and the leadership want to use analytics to constantly bring improvement in the business processes, which has resulted into dependency on people-related data analytics. Hopefully, 2017 is going to be a great year for employers that have ditched ‘intuition based decision making’ and have turned towards data-driven insights.

What to expect in 2017?

Considering the dramatic changes taking place in the human resource industry, the coming year will certainly bring more challenges for HR community.

2017 will see more importance being placed on talent management, improving employee experience, and building a competitive workforce. Thus, HR should be prepared with knowledge, tools and expertise to –

  • » Improve talent management practices where learning opportunities are employee-centric as well as goal oriented
  • » Create a culture of real-time performance feedback on regular basis
  • » Manage employee time effectively
  • » Embrace HR technology to improve performance management processes and boost employee engagement
  • » Make workforce mobile and management of HR processes online
  • » Use predictive analytics for better insights into future workforce trends

Look forward to adopt these changes to make beginning of this year more remarkable for your HR department as well as your workforce.