As the budget process for many companies draws to a close, HR professionals have to prioritized their initiatives for 2018 and assign budget dollars to ensure that their initiatives occur. Three important HR initiatives are critical in order to meet the needs of the organization and the employees over the next twelve months.
With unemployment currently at 4.1% in the United States many Americans are enjoying the benefits of working in a rewarding position. However, a limited pool of qualified talent increases competition both in the private and public sectors. This in turn challenges those HR professionals that are in a compensation planning and design role. Retaining talent will be a increasing challenge over the next year and without the compensation team evaluating the salary ranges to ensure that benchmark positions are at market, higher turnover maybe the result. While some organizations view compensation planning as an annual event handled through the merit increase program most progressive companies view the management of direct pay, commission, bonus and incentive programs as an on-going process in order to support the company. The addition of either a compensation professional or the outsourcing of this type of service is critical for organizations to maintain a competitive pay structure. Ensuring that the merit increase budget supports an aggressive pay plan along with additional dollars to reward performance is a key responsibility for the Human Resources department.
General employee satisfaction is often determined by how and what employees are learning on the job either through “on the job” training or coordinated professional development activities. Typically, satisfied employees are more successful in meeting the goals of the company if they are being challenged and are learning new tasks. Not only is some training mandated by law but HR professionals need to budget for more targeted training in order to support the development needs of the staff. HR professionals will need to determine what training is needed at their company through a needs analysis. This process will ensure that employees are provided with the necessary skills and sufficiently trained in order to be productive. When budgets are tight training will often be the first line item to be eliminated which sends the wrong message to the staff and is often not in the best interest in the company.
HR Infrastructure Upgrades
Continually improving the technology and the company’s infrastructure will often times improve morale, tend to produce greater financial results and will send the message that the leaders of the company are investing in the future of the company. An annual audit of key indicators to determine where technology and infrastructure improvements are needed will help the leaders of the organization set priorities and allocate financial resources in order to improve the business. This audit will also set forth a road map for the employees and the leaders to communicate the expectations and goals for the future. The planning for and the budgeting of these key improvements will assist in holding key leaders accountable and assist the employees in understanding what the long-term goals of the organization are.
Human Resource professionals must prioritized their initiatives and allocate a reasonable budget to ensure that three key initiatives are in place for 2018. These include an aggressive compensation program to retain talent, on-going professional development to challenge the staff and improved skills and HR infrastructure upgrades to monitor technology improvements and where appropriate allocate the budget for capital improvement. HR professionals need to prioritize and promote these three key process improvements and if done properly a budget will include these initiatives for 2018.