Quick look: 2023 is coming to a close, a time when many HR professionals review the year’s key trends and what aspects of them may remain relevant in 2024. Here are our five most-read HR blogs that discuss a range of topics, from encouraging open communication at work to the value that legal benefits services can bring to your workforce—and everything in between.
Another year is almost in the books, and with it came a variety of new human resources (HR) trends. As HR professionals prepare for the new year, it’s natural for them to look back on what occurred within the industry in 2023 and take some of those lessons with them as 2024 unfolds.
This year, several HR topics came into focus time and time again, including how to drive employee engagement, the need for next-level employee benefits plans, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) best practices. Additionally, evolving employment laws and regulations continued to make headlines, as did the ongoing need for businesses to turn to trusted HR outsourcing partners.
Our most popular blogs in 2023 for small- and medium-sized employers reflected these trends. Keep reading to explore the topics your peers read the most about this year—many of which will remain relevant as the new year begins.
Communication is at the heart of the most collaborative and successful workplaces. Openly discussing a range of thoughts and ideas drives increased employee engagement, stronger DEI, and higher productivity. But this dialogue can’t be forced; our most-read blog of the year focuses on five ways to encourage open communication at work, including:
- Being honest, respectful, and invested in employees’ goals
- Checking in regularly
- Asking for anonymous suggestions
- Responding to feedback
- Measuring the success of your open communication plan
The second most popular blog of the year includes thoughtful ideas on celebrating Ramadan within your company. Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is observed by Muslim people worldwide as they fast, pray, reflect, and focus on their communities. An estimated 3.45 million Muslim people live in America, meaning the holiday and its potential accommodations deserve a spot on every employer’s priority list.
This blog explores fundamentals such as:
- Marking Ramadan on your calendar (it occurs on a different date each year!).
- If possible, offering work hours accommodating employees’ fasting, prayers, and charity event schedules.
- Being mindful of scheduling meetings with fasting employees that involve food, and understanding that some Muslims may not be able to attend conferences and off-site training sessions during Ramadan.
- Providing proper prayer spaces (i.e., a wellness room).
- Offering sufficient paid time off (PTO), and considering offering Eid-al-Fitr (the celebratory end of Ramadan) as a floating holiday.
- Wishing celebrating employees a Happy Ramadan by saying, “Ramadan Mubarak.”
By now, most employers have probably heard that benefits packages should include more than just health insurance and a retirement savings plan. But have you considered how legal services benefits could improve your employees’ lives?
Our third most popular blog delves into what legal services benefits include. Two main ways to provide these perks to your staff are through an employee assistance program (EAP) or a voluntary legal benefits plan. EAPs often offer a free legal consultation on a variety of topics and a discount if an in-network attorney is retained. And for workers who want a higher level of legal coverage, a voluntary plan can help them with things like:
- Creating a will
- Traffic violations
- Family law issues (i.e., child custody or support)
- Dealing with debt
- Issues with contractors or auto repairs
- Buying or selling a home
- And more
It’s estimated that the HR outsourcing market will grow to over $13 billion by 2027, and this isn’t surprising when you consider 70% of HR professionals feel they’re working beyond typical capacity, according to SHRM’s 2022-2023 State of the Workplace Study. And with just 30% of these pros saying their organization effectively finds and recruits talent with the necessary skills, it’s no wonder many are researching additional solutions.
As business leaders evaluate their options, they may need clarification about the differences between employee leasing and a co-employment relationship with a professional employer organization (PEO). Our fourth most-read article closely examines both, how they differ, and the ideal use cases for each. And importantly, it reviews how clients remain in control of various aspects of their business, including hiring and firing, when partnering with a PEO.
If one thing’s for certain, it’s that local, state, and federal regulations will continue to evolve in the new year. And because many employers now have multistate workforces, they must stay on top of laws affecting all their workers’ locations, not just the ones involving their headquarters.
Our fifth most popular blog encompasses these concerns and highlights 10 major compliance challenges facing businesses today, including:
- Pay transparency
- Pay equity
- Minimum wage changes
- State and local laws
- Recruiting technology legislation
- Remote workforce considerations
- Cybersecurity concerns
- Employee leave policies
- Non-compete agreements
- Marijuana legislation
PEOs: the helping hand to navigate every HR complexity
Nearly 175,000 small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) rely on PEOs to help them streamline their HR, provide competitive employee benefits, recruit top talent, stay compliant, and more.
If you find yourself stretched too thin to keep up with some of the pain points covered above, a trusted PEO partner, like ExtensisHR, can help. For example, ExtensisHR provides:
- A range of personalized benefits plans and services, including benefits planning and administration.
- Complimentary, full-cycle recruiting services to assist with everything from job posting creation to offer letter consultations.
- Affordable access to 15Five, a leading performance management platform that fosters open communication by facilitating engagement surveys, one-on-one meetings, weekly check-ins, and more.
- Risk and compliance expertise to help you stay compliant (without all the stress).
- Dedicated support from a certified HR Manager to help you craft inclusive policies and tools like a DEI Dashboard that provides valuable, real-time DEI data on pay equity, salary trends across both gender and race demographics, employee turnover, promotions, and more.
Partnering with a trusted PEO can make your business better than ever before. Contact us today to learn how we can help you meet your goals in 2024 and beyond.