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Article No.: 13-1, January 1, 2013

Article Title: Top 10 Priorities for Human Resources for 2013 

Author: Linda Gravett, Ph.D., SPHR, CEQC

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It’s a new year, however, I don’t believe it will be the ”same old thing” for HR professionals in 2013.  Based on my reading, observations and conversations with HR practitioners and researchers around the world, I believe some key priorities will emerge as critical objectives early in the year.  As you head into your strategic planning efforts, I hope you’ll consider some of these priorities.

  1.  First-line supervisor development.
    In 2011 and 2012, a great deal of attention was given to development of employees and top-level leaders.  Topics such as decision making, strategic planning, and organizational communication were top of mind and in company budgets.  The link between top management and first line employees, our first-line supervisors, is a critical one to ensure success in the competitive work environment.  Subjects that will likely be a developmental priority include developing emotional intelligence; ensuring employee engagement; and coaching for excellence.
  2.  Tailoring compensation packages.
    In order to attract and then retain the most qualified employees, companies will focus on developing tailored compensation packages that include a variety of benefits and incentives from which to choose.  Now more than ever, with a multi-cultural and multi-generational workforce, it’s critical to leave behind the “one size fits all concept”.
  3. Aligning wellness initiatives with strategic objectives.
    In the U.S., we have 77 million Baby Boomers, many of whom are still interested in staying active in the workforce at some level.  This is a generation that’s very involved with their sustained health and well being, so wellness efforts as a part of strategic planning for retention of this valuable age group will be critical this year.
  4. Elder care education.
    The Boomers want to stay well themselves and are often distracted during work hours with parents that are in failing health.  There is a plethora of health plans and health care facilities, and it takes time and energy to push through the volume of information.  A win-win benefit for organizations will be education programs that provide Boomers with peace of mind that they’re selecting the best programs and assistance for their parents.
  5. Communicating through organizational change.
    Not only do supervisors and managers need to embrace change themselves, they’re required to ensure the day-by-day work is accomplished in the midst of ongoing changes in customers, technology and organization structure.  The right way and the right time for communicating the reasons and methods for change will remain a critical priority this year.
  6. Building a workforce with a global mindset.
    Competition today is global, even for small organizations.  Employees at all levels can serve their company and their customers most effectively when they understand different approaches and requirements across cultures and languages.  “Inventing a better light bulb” is just the beginning:  marketing and distributing products and services around the world is a complex yet lucrative opportunity.
  7. Enhancing the sophistication of HR staff.
    In our ever-changing global environment, the need for sophisticated and well-educated HR staff will continue to be a critical priority.  Human Resources staff often have to communicate clearly and concisely across technical staff, international sales professionals, and multi-lingual employees.  Ongoing education and certification in both Human Resources and business acumen must be a focus in 2013.
  8. Coaching C-suite leaders.
    Many executives are leery of reaching out to anyone for ongoing coaching around issues such as talent management, conflict resolution and working with several workplace generations.  HR leaders are faced with the delicate yet necessary issue of offering and providing coaching through difficult situations to C-suite professionals who may not necessarily knock on HR’s door for assistance.
  9. Project and time management.
    The work of Human Resources is never done; it’s ongoing.  Now more than ever, HR professionals are faced with juggling many complex projects involving people and activities at one or more locations.  This year, I see a need for focusing on education in tools such as project management software and Gantt charts to stay on top of sophisticated, complicated projects.
  10. Aligning strategic planning with organizational priorities.
    To present HR as a strategic planning partner, HR leaders continue to be faced with knowing how to understand the organization’s strategic priorities so they can align HR planning with those priorities.  This will mean developing the business acumen to ask the right questions at the right time to incorporate activities into the daily routine that support long-term company objectives.  More than ever before, it will be important in 2013 for HR to constantly work outside its silo to maintain credibility.

If you have any questions or need more information about this article, please complete our Contact Form, or contact Dr. Gravett by telephone at 513-753-8870.

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