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New Human Resources Trends: What To Look For In 2016
by Lara L. Sadowski 01/27/2016

New Human Resources Trends: What To Look For In 2016
by Lara L. Sadowski
January 27, 2016

It is safe to assume that the corporate climate has changed over the last few decades due to such evolutions as new technology growth and globalization of business – just to name a few. As companies change how they conduct business, human resources professionals have to stay current on how these changes or trends affect their work. The following are three new human resources trends to watch over the next year.

Overtime Rules Update

On June 29, 2015, we reported the following changes to overtime pay rules proposed by the administration and the Department of Labor (DOL):

1. The regulations are expected to enlarge the number of employees eligible for overtime as the administration and the DOL desire to increase workers’ wages;

2. The regulations will increase (possibly double) the current minimum weekly salary of $455 up to $900 for all exempt employees; and

3. The regulations will impose a “bright line test,” or duties test, which will require all exempt employees to now prove that 50% of their work duties satisfy their particular exemption requirement.

When the DOL issued the proposed changes last spring, they gave the public until September 4, 2015 to comment. The business community then expressed itself by posting approximately 270,000 comments. According to HRMorning.com that is three times the number of comments the agency received when the 2004 proposed overtime rules were issued. Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith reported late last fall that due to the amount of revisions that will have to be made to the FLSA proposed overtime rules, the new rules will not be issued until late 2016 and will most likely not go into effect until early 2017.

When we receive notification of the final rules, we will report them to you.

Variable Pay Plans

Variable pay plans can be any financial incentive outside of an employee’s fixed salary – from annual incentives to technical advancement awards and profit sharing plans to small group incentives and everything in between. Why are these pay plans still popular among HR directors?

• These plans do not increase a company’s fixed salary budget; and
• These plans increase morale by rewarding employees for their hard work.

As companies continue to tighten their financial belts in 2016, their human resources departments find compensating employees with some or all examples of the referenced variable pay plans will keep employees motivated to stay long-term and grow as a team member.

Focus on Relationships over Programming

The effect of globalization and mergers on today’s business climate has taken its toll on employees and how they see themselves in a company’s overall plan. Have relationships between a business’ staff and its human resources director taken a back seat to new and improved programming or data analysis? In 2016, the focus is shifting back to forging good relationships.

Today’s shaky economy and financial markets are making workers extremely nervous about their financial situations. Moreover, they are concerned that as the economy continues to be sluggish that they will eventually be out of a job. Because of today’s corporate uncertainty, more than ever, employees need to feel that they matter in a company’s growth, and human resources departments have discovered if they want to keep top talent, they need to nurture those important employee relationships. The new bottom line is people over programming.

These are just a few trends that are making headlines in 2016. As we receive updates on any of these areas, we will report them to you. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions and concerns.

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