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HR Predictions for 2017

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2017 HR TrendsWhat’s on the horizon for the Human Resources industry for 2017? We’ve identified a few trends that we believe will impact the industry this year and beyond.

Greater Attention to Workplace Wellness

Corporate wellness programs, which started cropping up in the 1970s, have increased in popularity since the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Wellness incentives, onsite health clinics, and a culture that promotes a healthy lifestyle are now offerings that employees have come to expect from their employers.

According to a 2015 Employee Benefits research report, 70% of U.S. employers currently offer a general wellness program, up from 58% in 2008, when SHRM first surveyed companies on the topic.

Why the rise in enrollment? Companies began realizing that they could reduce their health care insurance costs by detecting or preventing serious diseases and by helping their employees improve their overall health and well-being. While studies done on the effectiveness of these programs are conflicting, there’s no denying that workplace wellness programs are here to stay.   

An Increase in Mobile Technology

According to Adobe Digital, 2016’s Black Friday was the first day to generate more than a billion dollars in online sales from mobile devices. The $1.2 billion spent was an increase of 33% from last year.

This rise in mobile use is likely a result of millennials now being the largest generation in the U.S., comprising roughly one-third of the total population. These digital natives are accustomed to having technology at their fingertips, from shopping for gifts to shopping for a job.

Employers looking to recruit and retain this generation will need to consider ways to engage them through their mobile devices.

Clunky HRIS systems of the past are now being replaced by interfaces that are more attractive and user-friendly. With one click, employees can apply for a job, file expenses, track time, set goals, and get support. Not only will more and more vendors offer mobile versions of their systems, they will design apps that are easier to navigate. 

HR Continues to Become More Strategic

Human Resources has increasingly become more involved in the organization’s overall business strategy.

According to a 2014/15 survey conducted by the Cranfield Network on International Human Resource Management (CRANET) in collaboration with SHRM and the Center for International HR Studies in the School of Labor Employment Relations at The Pennsylvania State University (CIHRS) of 700 senior-level HR practitioners:

  • 70% said HR has a place on the board of directors (compared to 63% in 2009, and 41% in 2004)
  • Two-thirds (66%) reported having a written HR management strategy

Use of the terms “operational” and “strategic” to classify HR tasks have risen in popularity as organizations continue to recognize the differences between the two disciplines and the value of linking them together.

“When management understands how a more strategic approach to HR delivers Human Capital solutions, HR is viewed as more of a business partner contributing to the organization’s growth and profitability.” adds Lisa Salcido, the Director of Human Resources leading Balance Point’s new HR support service, BPHR. “I believe we’ll see HR’s role continue to evolve in the future.”

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