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Lean concepts have been around for quite some time—starting in the auto manufacturing industry. Even so, many companies today are just beginning to investigate what a Lean implementation could do for their business. No matter the company's industry—manufacturing, service, or otherwise—Lean processes offer organizations of all types and sizes methods to identify and reduce waste, which positively impacts your employees, customers, and the bottom line.Read this article...
There are so many important trends shaping HR right now that will affect employers in years to come. Here's a brief synopsis of the most critical ones that you should know heading into 2014.
Social networking platforms are changing, and will continue to change, how HR departments operate. People's lives are becoming more social networked, and nowadays, social media is no longer simply a marketing or personal tool. It is gradually becoming engrained into many aspects of the workplace.
Although social networking is primarily used for recruiting, employers are beginning to use social networking platforms for learning and development, employee communications, collaboration and innovation, and recognition.
Similarly, mobile continues to become more central to our lives, which poses both challenges and opportunities for our workplaces. Mobile can be leveraged for learning, recruiting, and other HR needs, and provides employees with greater flexibility to do their work, but it also will continue to present difficulties (e.g. productivity).
Big data, or HR analytics, is increasingly guiding decisions pertaining to talent and the workplace. As technology increasingly is implemented in HR departments, people decisions are becoming more strategic and complex.
More companies will move beyond operational reporting and benchmarking, and leverage data about employees to make their HR departments more data-driven and strategic.
This includes using data to predict outcomes (e.g. hiring, performance, etc.) and conducting strategic analytics to statistically analyze problems and translate data findings into solutions.
Because research is finding that leading organizations are using big data for HR and that it is effective in delivering sound problem solving, this trend will require HR departments to hire and develop staff with big-data related skills in business acumen, consulting, data management, statistics, communication, and executive presence.
Four generations are in many organizations right now, and they all have very different ways of working, forcing companies to put into place practices that help manage generational issues and conflicts.
The younger generation, in particular, is creating challenges for HR departments with their distinct values, forcing organizations to re-tool their talent management practices. For example, the younger generation...
Because this generation brings critical skills to the table and are the future leaders of organizations, HR will need to find better ways to manage this group in order to retain them.
Studies are predicting that the workforce will become more contingent in the next five years, and that by 2019, nearly half the workforce will contract their skills to multiple organizations.
There are already signs that this is happening with a rise in temporary workers, contractors, independent consultants, and freelancers. According to a report by Accenture, the most common freelance jobs include sales and marketing, IT and programming, design and multimedia, engineering and manufacturing, and writing.
The dynamics of business are changing so rapidly these days that many employers find they need an agile, "just-in-time" workforce that is more cost-effective. Contingency is attractive because work is becoming more knowledge and project-based, and increasingly reliant on specialized skills and expertise. In addition, economic fluctuations like we've seen the past few years will require more flexible staffing models.
Though contingent workers bring benefits, they will also pose challenges for HR departments in terms of how they are managed, compensated, and treated.
Because organizations are changing so rapidly, HR will have to take on more significant roles related to managing and communicating change initiatives and disruption within the workplace effectively. HR will need to take on a more consultative and change-management oriented role in their organizations.
Similarly, the need for innovation, risk-taking, and creative solutions is becoming more necessary. HR will be increasingly relied upon to drive this behavior through the development of culture and programs (rewards, empowerment, suggestions and ideas, employee feedback, etc.).
Traditional theories of leadership are not as relevant to today's challenges, and certainly won't be in the future.
Leaders will need to demonstrate different behaviors and skills than were required in the past. Skills such as empathy, authenticity, influencing, strategic thinking, articulating, flexibility, risk taking, demonstrating integrity, leading diverse teams, collaborating, and bringing out the best in others are all being seen as more important for leaders.
While these aren't necessarily new leadership skills, more emphasis will be placed on them in the future.
More and more, employers are faced with the issue of "there's only so much money in the bucket" and must make harder decisions about the total rewards that they offer.
For one thing, the benefits landscape is changing with the steady rise in health care costs, the uncertainty associated with how the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the changing nature of wellness in the workplace.
Likewise, modest pay increases and a performance-oriented approach to compensating employees has also been evident. Then, there are other rewards that factor into the equation like perks, recognition and rewards/staff appreciation, voluntary benefits, training and development, and more.
Employers will have to continue to make hard decisions about what total rewards will be provided to the workforce. Business strategy, performance, and the needs and interests of the workforce will all play a role in these difficult decisions.
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ERC is proud to sponsor CSHRM's 47th Annual Northern Ohio Human Resource Conference (NOHRC) “Rhythms of Success.” The conference will take place on Friday March 8, 2013 at the International Exposition Center in Cleveland, OH. Join us to enhance your skills to lead, strategize, and become a business partner in your organization. They promise a terrific day with many reasons to attend:
Networking Opportunities - With 500+ HR professionals!
Recertification Credits - Earn HRCI credits for PHR and SPHR recertification - including those hard-to-get strategic management credits! NOHRC 2013 has been pre-approved for 5.5 General Credits, of which 3.25 credits are considered Strategic by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI)!
Quality Speakers - Listen and learn from HR experts including a dynamic opening session, luncheon keynote, and closing power session speakers, as well as 10 concurrent sessions. Please visit the NOHRC website at http://www.nohrc.org/schedule.cfm for the schedule of events.
Jim Knight: Opening the conference will be Jim Knight. Jim is the former head of global training & development for Hard Rock International. He will leverage great brands as a platform to discuss key strategies to build a rock star team. Learn more about Jim by clicking HERE or view Jim's video about how excited he is to speak at NOHRC.
Philip Solomon & Dan Thurmon: Philip Solomon and Dan Thurmon are the luncheon session speakers. They will present “Rhythms of Success,” a highly entertaining keynote presentation that will teach you how to build and strengthen your most vital relationships. Philip and Dan created a video for NOHRC as well - click HERE to view.
Chip Madera: Closing the conference is Chip Madera. Chip's topic is "How to Be an HR Rock Star." Let Chip show you how to be a ROCK STAR in your organization!
Also, be sure to catch ERC's own Susan Pyles!
The Exhibit Hall - In the market for new HR products/services? There will be nearly 90 exhibitors for you to visit.
Bookstore - Staffed by Horizontal Books, the bookstore will allow you to shop for books, CDs and other materials, as well as host speaker book signings.
|Due Date||Compliance Requirement|
|January 1, 2013||New tax provisions in fiscal cliff deal take effect|
|January 1, 2013||Ohio Minimum Wage change takes effect|
|January 1, 2013||Social Security and Medicare changes take effect|
|January 1, 2013||New Fair Credit Reporting Act forms for background checks take effect|
|January 1, 2013||New Medicare tax under health care reform takes effect|
|January 1, 2013||New defined benefit/contribution plan limits take effect|
|January 1, 2013||New limits on employees’ flexible spending accounts (FSA) take effect|
|January 31, 2013||W-2s need to be issued to employees by this date; W-2s need to include cost of employer-sponsored group health care coverage for employers required to issue 250 or more W-2s|
|January 31, 2013||Form 940 due and Federal Unemployment Tax Rate (FUTA) needs to be deposited if owed|
|February 1, 2013||OSHA 300 Log (Forms 300 & 300A) needs to be posted on February 1st through April 30th|
|February 10, 2013||Form 940 due if FUTA deposits have been made on time|
|February 15, 2013||W-4 changes must be made for employees claiming no exemptions last year|
|March 1, 2013||Employers must provide written notice to new-hires and current employees about health insurance exchanges under health care reform law|
|July 31, 2013||Form 5500 due for calendar year defined contribution and benefit plans; Form 5500 due by the last day of the 7th month following end of the plan year for non-calendar year plans; Insured and self-insured healthcare plans must pay $1 per member (applicable to 2012 plan year) to fund comparative effectiveness research of medical treatments. This payment increases to $2 per member for 2013 plan year.|
|September 30, 2013||EE0-1 reporting deadline|
|September 30, 2013||VETS-100/100A Form filing deadline|
|December 31, 2013||Group health plans must certify that they are compliant with HHS rules on electronic transactions between health providers and health plans.|
Note: This chart is subject to change and more filing deadlines may apply for your specific organization than those listed in the chart. By providing you with research information that may be contained in this chart, the Employers Resource Council (ERC) is not providing a qualified legal opinion concerning any particular human resource issue. As such, research information that ERC provides to its members should not be relied upon or considered a substitute for legal advice. The information that we provide is for general employer use and not necessarily for individual application. We also recommend that you consult your legal counsel regarding workplace matters when and if appropriate.
We’ve developed an easy guide summarizing what your organization needs to know to stay compliant as it begins the New Year. The guide includes a summary of several regulations that take effect as well as important legal issues on the horizon.
Below are several major regulations and initiatives will take effect during the first few months of 2013.
|Legal/HR Issue||Description of Regulation||Effective Date|
|2013 Income Tax Withholding Tables||Provides income tax withholding tables for 2013 here.||Immediately|
|Unemployment Benefits||Extends unemployment benefits for one year.||Immediately|
|Tax Changes||Extends current tax cuts for individuals earning less than $400,000 per year and couples earning less than $450,000. Increases top tax rate to 39.6% and tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 20% for individuals and couples earning more than these thresholds. Permanently indexes AMT (alternative minimum tax) for inflation. For 2012, the exemption amounts are $78,750 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $50,600 for single filers||Immediately|
|HR-Related Tax Credits||The employer-provided benefit tax credits for educational assistance and child care credits are now permanent. Several other tax credits are extended through 2013, including an employer wage credit for employees who are active duty members of the uniformed services.||Immediately|
|Social Security Withholding||Re-sets withholding rates at 6.2%.||January 1, 2013|
|Social Security Wage Base||Increases the Social Security Old Age Survivor's and Disability Insurance (OASDI) taxable wage base for 2013 from $110,100 to $113,700.||January 1, 2013|
|Minimum Wage||Raises minimum wage in Ohio to $7.85 per hour for non-tipped employees and $3.93 per hour for tipped employees.||January 1, 2013|
|Mileage Rates||Increases standard mileage rate to 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven and 24 cents per mile for medical or moving purposes. Continues 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.||January 1, 2013|
|Retirement Plan Limits||Raises the 2012 limit on the exclusion for elective deferrals in 401(k), 403(b), and 457(e) plans to $17,500, up from $17,000. For changes to other pension plan limits, click here.||January 1, 2013|
|W-2 Benefits Reporting||Requires employers who have an employer-sponsored group health plan to report the cost of coverage under their plan on employees' W-2s unless they are filing fewer than 250 forms.||January 1, 2013|
|Contribution Limit for FSAs||Limits an employee’s annual pre-tax salary reduction contributions to a health flexible spending account (FSA) to $2,500.||January 1, 2013|
|Medicare Tax||Increases Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) tax rate by 0.9 percent (from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent) on earned income over $200,000 for an individual taxpayers and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly; also includes a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income in the case of individual taxpayers earning over $200,000 and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly).||January 1, 2013|
|Fair Credit Reporting Act Notices||Requires that employers must update their Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) notices and forms because enforcement of the FCRA is now under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.||January 1, 2013|
|Notice of Health Insurance Exchanges||Requires that employers provide all new hires and current employees with a written notice about the future availability of health insurance exchanges in their state.||March 1, 2013|
The following table summarizes several major legal issues that could lead to greater scrutiny and more regulations for employers in 2013.
|Legal/HR Issue||Description of Issue|
|Implementation of health care reform||In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the health care reform law is constitutional. As a result, employers will need to keep pace with preparing for and complying with health care reform provisions, including those set to go into effect in 2013.|
|Jobs/job-related training||Both federal and state governments will be focused on jobs and job-related training/workforce readiness in 2013, which may lead to tax incentives, grants for training, and other initiatives that assist employers with hiring and training efforts.|
|Social media in the workplace||The federal government, some state governments, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are scrutinizing employers' social media policies and use of social media in the hiring, selection, and pre-screening process.|
|Background screening||The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released guidance this past year on background check practices, particularly as it relates to enhancing opportunities for those with criminal backgrounds. Ohio recently passed a law which reduces employment barriers for residents with misdemeanor or felony convictions.|
|Expansion of NLRB||The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has expanded its influence throughout 2012, providing guidance on issues such as social media, at-will statements, and concerted activity. Expect this growing influence to continue.|
|Protection of unemployed individuals||Bills were proposed at both state and federal levels to protect unemployed individuals from discrimination in the hiring process in 2012, and may gain further ground in 2013.|
|Targeted enforcement of discrimination||The EEOC will continue to focus its efforts on issues of systemic discrimination, intentional hiring discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and transgender bias.|
|Increased wage and hour enforcement||Wage and hour lawsuits filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are dramatically rising, and the Department of Labor's (DOL) enforcement of the law has also increased. Misclassification also continues to be a focus of the DOL. Additionally, employers can expect that addressing equal pay may also be a priority for the federal government.|
|Workplace leave||Both state and federal governments have shown interest in expanding workplace leave and enhancing the availability of flexible or alternative work arrangements.|
|Reduction of barriers for disabled workers||The DOL continues to increase resources allocated to reducing barriers in employment for individuals with disabilities, including improving access to opportunities, increasing accessibility of accommodations, and changing perceptions regarding hiring people with disabilities.|
|Retirement plan reform||The government continues to be interested in ensuring that employees are saving adequately for their retirement and is exploring a number of options.|
If your organization needs more assistance, guidance, or detail with regard to these or other compliance-related issues, here are several additional resources and services, provided by ERC, which you can consult:
This week, we commence the season of giving thanks not only with our families and friends, but also of showing gratitude to our vendors, customers, and employees.Read this article...
The national election results suggest that the overall political landscape will remain largely unchanged in Washington, for at least the next two years until the 2014 midterm election. As a result, HR professionals should expect similar legal trends to persist at the federal level, with President Obama and split control of Congress between the Republicans and Democrats. Here are six (6) workplace issues you need to know:Read this article...
On behalf of everyone at ERC, our thoughts are with all those affected both nationally and locally by 2012's Hurricane Sandy.Read this article...