• What is your HR focus for 2020?

    Published: January 24 2020

    As we begin 2020, there are plenty to opportunities and challenges ahead.

    Some organisations will feel sufficiently equipped to face these challenges and make the most of the opportunities, but for others substantial changes may be required to keep up with the increasing demanding and competitive climate.

    So the big question is, is your organisation ready? Here we talk through some key areas to focus on in the upcoming months.

    Impact of Brexit on your workforce

    With the United Kingdom due to exit the European Union by the end of January 2020, and the introduction of immigration restrictions, there may well be an impact on recruitment and retention in some sectors.

    Organisations may need to prioritise workforce planning and development. This may involve using a tool such as a PESTLE (Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal, Environmental) analysis on the external factors that are impacting your organisation. This should help you understand the ‘big picture’ in which you operate in.

    Other points to consider:

    • If you have EU citizens that are part of your workforce then the new immigration arrangements will apply to them.
    • Carry out a training needs analysis of your current workforce to highlight development needs and to ensure continuity and disruption is minimised.
    • Reduce reliance on external labour such as agency workers. You could deploy employed staff to cover any gaps and improve skills to increase flexibility.
    • Restructure work by redefining roles so staff numbers are increased in areas where more staff are needed.
    • Improve recruitment and retention by reviewing your total reward package and employer branding.

    Health and wellbeing

    The importance of employee health and wellbeing has become more widely recognised in the UK over the past decade with a rise in a number of reported mental health issues. In a 2019 survey, carried out by CIPD, in partnership with Simplyhealth, it was found that almost two-fifths of organisations had seen an increase in reported common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression among employees in the past 12 months.

    Health and wellbeing should be a continued focus for organisations in 2020. Investing in employee wellbeing can not only lead to reduced sickness absence and associated costs, but also higher performance and productivity.

    Consider reviewing the following areas within your organisation:

    • Health and wellbeing policy. Review any existing policy to ensure that it is current.
    • Promoting physical and mental health such as health insurance, health checks, occupational health support, employee assistance programme, healthy eating and workplace activities.
    • Work life balance within the workplace by looking at flexible working and work demands.
    • The work environment in terms of leadership, communication, health and safety and the culture – is it open and inclusive?
    • Opportunities for personal growth.

    Employee engagement

    There is growing recognition of positive relationships between employee engagement and customer satisfaction, productivity and staff retention. Making this a focus for 2020 should be something to consider.

    Consider having:

    • a workplace culture that is inclusive and supportive.
    • a leadership team that is visible and empowering providing a strong strategic direction.
    • good managers who will motivate and support their employees through recognition.
    • your employees involved in decision making by listening to and acting on employee feedback.

    Diversity and inclusion

    Diversity and inclusion often go hand in hand but are different from one another. Diversity is about recognising difference. Inclusion is where people’s differences are valued and used to enable everyone to thrive at work. There are three main benefits of diversity and inclusion:

    • helping to attract talent
    • creating a competitive advantage
    • improving your employer branding and reputation.

    Some points to consider:

    • Review your policies and procedures to ensure that they are appropriate and fair for all.
    • Create an open and inclusive culture where everyone feels valued and respected.
    • Review your benefits and the role that you offering to attract and retain a wider pool of talented people.
    • Engage your employees, which can lead to positive customer satisfaction and productivity and give you a competitive advantage.
    • Consider Corporate Responsibility such as community based activities, volunteering schemes that will add value to your organisation’s activities and subsequently enhance your brand and reputation.

    The above areas are only a few of the HR areas that you can focus on. You will need to consider the external and internal factors that impact your organisation and take into consideration that HR practices should be less generic and more flexible rather than taking a one size fits all approach.

    Kent HR can help your organisation focus for 2020. We have experience of providing support to a range of organisations from various sectors. Contact a member of our team to discuss your requirements.

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