Following our recent HR seminar, we asked attendees to let us know what they thought the most important HR trends, topics and issues would be during 2015. We had some varied feedback but also saw some reoccurring themes. Employee engagement, leadership development, wellbeing and shared parental leave were all topics that our seminar attendees flagged up as being important for 2015, so here is a brief summary of what each of them are and how they may affect your business.
Employee engagement refers to the emotional attachment an employee feels towards their company and their position within the company. If an employee is engaged with their company, colleagues and culture then they are more likely be more productive and loyal towards the company. Employers need to use new tactics and methods to encourage employee engagement which is often done by concentrating efforts on a rewarding company culture.
Within a business it is important to have a dynamic and diverse team to ensure the whole company is working towards the same goal. As part of that team, it is essential that leaders are present. For this to happen, there needs to be a leadership development strategy in place. Hopefully your company already has some senior leaders - whether they be CEO’s, managers or any other position. It is important that these leaders are on the lookout for potential leadership qualities in other employees and that they help these individuals develop their leadership qualities. Giving employees the opportunity to lead certain projects will help develop those skills further.
Wellbeing relates to how employees feel about their lives. Part of their wellbeing is influenced by the way they feel about their jobs. This issue relates to employee engagement, as it is all about making employees feel involved and valued within the company. If an employee has a positive wellbeing they will show increased performance and quality of work. Ensuring employees have a level of autonomy, variety in their work and are kept up to date with the vision of the company so that they know why they are doing the work they are doing will help to improve their wellbeing.
Shared Parental Leave
In April 2015, the rules regarding maternity/paternity leave changed and expecting parents or anyone adopting a child now have the right to shared parental leave. Parents will now be able to share up to 50 weeks of leave (only 37 of these weeks are paid). The parents can choose how to share this time, whether they take it together or at different times. Not all parents will be eligible, but those who are will be entitled to £139.58 per week or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is the lowest. This is an issue which requires a lot of research for HR professionals as it is a big change in parental leave rules.
HR professionals need to stay up to date with industry trends and there are plenty of places they can do this, for example HR Zone. Hopefully this article has given you an idea of what the focus of 2015 is going to be. It seems the main focus will be on ensuring employees are happy and engaged with your company which will be important for employee retention.