HR Departments Focusing on Engagement and Company Culture

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According to the newly released Paychex Pulse of HR Survey, HR leaders across the country have a renewed focus on talent management in 2018. The second annual report from Paychex, Inc., a provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services, both reaffirmed HR’s critical role in shaping company strategy and revealed a sharpened focus on talent management activities that have a meaningful impact on employee engagement and company culture.

Advances in technology and evolving employee needs present HR with new challenges every day, but there is good news: today’s HR leaders continue to have strategic influence with their organization’s C-suite. Between 2017 and 2018, the same number (80%) of HR leaders said they feel they are a strategic partner within their organization – and nearly half (44%) report meeting with their CEO, CFO, or both on a weekly basis in 2018.

The Paychex report also showed a commitment to talent management, as 85% of respondents said they’re focusing on company culture to drive results, and 77% feel their current HR technology solution is improving overall employee experience.

“Between the U.S. reaching full employment, significant shifts in societal trends and priorities, and a new generation entering the workforce, HR is uniquely positioned to manage talent in a way that drives higher engagement and better business results,” said Leah Machado, Paychex senior director of HR services. “For that reason, attracting, engaging, and retaining high-quality talent is more important today than perhaps ever before.”

Employee Engagement

Employees today want to be both empowered and engaged. In 2018, 65% of HR leaders reported that at least half of their workforce is engaged, up from 48% in 2017. Furthermore, of those surveyed, 62% of HR leaders are measuring employee engagement via pulse surveys throughout the year rather than on an annual basis.

“Staying in touch with the ever-changing needs of your workforce is mandatory in an increasingly competitive human capital landscape,” said Pamela Lacy, Paychex HR consultant.  “Many employees today want to work for an employer who has developed a culture of inclusion and diversity, as well as one that offers ample opportunities for career advancement. Supplementing the human touch that is inherent to the HR function with tools and technologies that help to connect the employees to their work in a way they’ve become accustomed to in their personal lives can help HR professionals create an employee experience that rivals top competitors and ultimately improves overall employee engagement.”

Societal Shifts 

Societal trends and priorities are driving changes to employee protection policies. In fact, 83% of HR leaders surveyed say they now have a discrimination and harassment policy in place, and 65% have updated those policies within the last 12 months. Additionally, 67% have re-evaluated their pay practices this year with an eye on gender equality.

“There is no doubt that the #MeToo movement has had an impact on the workplace by opening positive dialogues on pay practices, the work environment, and anti-retaliation policies,” said Edwina Maxwell, Paychex human resources coach. “Business leaders today are increasingly attentive to their HR policies and practices and are laser-focused on creating and maintaining workplaces that are free from even the perception of harassment, discrimination, or pay inequality.”

Multi-generational Workforce

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