What’s Trending in Your Workplace?

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) publishes a biennial survey of human relations professionals and recently came out with its 2013 edition. SHRM’s “Workplace Forecast” includes the ten overall key issues that HR professionals feel will affect the workplace in the coming years. Those top 10 issues, listed in order of importance by the survey participants, are:

  1. Continuing high cost of employee health care coverage in the U.S.;
  2. Implementation of health care legislation;
  3. A shortage of skilled workers;
  4. Large numbers of Baby Boomers leaving the workforce at around the same time;
  5. Implications of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections;
  6. Lack of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates in the U.S. compared with other countries;
  7. Decline in employees’ retirement savings;
  8. Rise in fuel/gasoline prices in the U.S. and globally;
  9. Threat of a dip back into recession in the U.S.;
  10. Greater economic uncertainty and market volatility.

Not surprisingly, many of the issues predicted to have a major impact center around political and legislative factors. In response to this, 78% of the survey participants reported that they were currently changing their policies due to federal and state regulations, or plan to do so within the next 12 months. Businesses will do well to pay careful attention to expected changes coming in 2013: in addition to healthcare reform, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will be proposing changes to federal regulations. Also, as we have mentioned previously, there has been increased federal agency audit activity, especially in the areas of employment verification, wage and hour matters, and the classification of employees versus independent contractors for tax purposes.