As we close the book on 2016, and begin 2017, we can’t help but ponder what the coming year will hold. Let’s face it, 2016 was a bit of a roller coaster!
- Will the minimum wage increase to $15? How will this impact your other positions?
- We scrambled to re-classify certain employees to non-exempt then, wait a minute – not so fast!
- We offered benefits and other protections to same sex partners/spouses.
- The culmination of the election gave us all whiplash!
As the new administration takes over in Washington, there are definitely questions of what will happen.
- How extensive will the changes be?
- What will be rolled back from the previous administration?
- What will happen to ACA?
Aside from all of those, there are the more traditional business concerns and priorities. According to a survey by GetAppLab.com, understandably, 57.5% of small business say their top priority in 2017 will be to attract and retain clients. For others, it’s reducing costs, improving infrastructure and easier payment/invoicing.
Where does HR fit in with these priorities? This is where being a strategic business partner is so important. What do we need in order to attract and retain clients? It starts with the people on our own team that are servicing and supporting those clients. Are we hiring the right people? It’s no secret that it’s a tight job market. In November, Cincinnati had the lowest unemployment rate in 15 years at 3.8%. Are our recruiting strategies working? If you haven’t adjusted them in the past couple of years, it’s definitely time to.
What about training? Exceptional service to your clients most likely requires training. Whether it’s how to provide that service, how to work more efficiently to reduce costs, or exploring options for that infrastructure. Are your supervisors trained appropriately? Don’t underestimate the impact this can have on your business. More than an operational standpoint, do they know how to manage, motivate, coach and engage your employees? Keep in mind, employees leave a supervisor, more than they leave a company. An effective supervisor that can build an effective team can go a long way to achieving those other goals.
On the surface, it may not look like HR has an impact on these goals, but you don’t have to dig too deep to see we touch almost every one of them, in some way. The clock is ticking on 2017. This is HR’s chance to claim our role in achieving these goals.
Cathleen Snyder, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CIR is Director of Client Relations with strategic HR, inc. If you have any questions or would like to share your comments, contact Cathleen at Cathleen@strategicHRinc.com.