In the first article of this series, we discussed the big shifts in ways we work and how we support and engage our people as they adapt and adjust to a new way of working. But one area of HR has not received enough focus: the increased attention on compliance. Organizations have had to rapidly adapt to changing compliance, driven out of the pandemic. They will need to remain agile as we manage a dynamic environment into the future.
Here are a handful of examples where a good partner can help you prepare for changing compliance needs:
1. PROTECTING YOUR WORKFORCE
Right now, protecting employees is a high priority. Companies with multiple locations need to factor in rapidly changing national, state, and local COVID-19 regulations for in-person workplaces. Manufacturing companies have already had to instill strict safety protocols for their facilities. Regulations governing safety, labor, health care, worker’s compensation, sick leave, retirement, and other issues can change constantly and vary depending on the industry and location. For example, several states have updated their minimum wage and paid sick leave laws. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration has approved 28 state-specific plans for occupational safety and health programs, which vary depending on the industry and work environment.
Now, as vaccines become more readily available, some companies will require employees to become vaccinated and will need a way to track the information. However, the relevant regulations about what you can and cannot require employees to do will vary in each location. Your HR compliance partner should be able to help you navigate these kinds of challenges.
2. SUPPORTING WORKING PARENTS, ESPECIALLY MOMS
We know that the pandemic has forced millions of women into double-shift roles of working and caregiving. In the United States, two million women have left the workplace since February 2020. Some economists predict we’ll lose a generation of women in the workforce. In fact, women who are Black or in senior leadership roles are bearing particularly heavy burdens. Companies should be checking in with their employees to make sure they are receiving the support they need to balance their work and home lives as much as possible right now.
In addition, new work arrangements have potential tax implications for your compliance requirements. Work-from-anywhere (WFA) can create compliance issues in terms of home address versus office address for tax purposes. Companies must track these details or risk unexpected tax implications. For example, a woman who worked at her company headquarters in New York City recently moved to Austin, TX to be closer to her family. Now she has more support while her kids are schooling from home. With the new WFA policy, her company needs to be tracking all of these details. This is a new challenge for many organizations. A knowledgeable and ideally innovative technology partner can help ease the way in being aware of tax and other compliance issues.
3. TRAINING YOUR EMPLOYEES IN APPROPRIATE HIRING AND PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES
Companies often don’t invest enough time in training their managers and employees in potential legal pitfalls of recruiting, hiring, promoting, firing, and retiring procedures. A discriminatory job listing or illegal background check can get a hiring manager into big trouble quickly. Misclassifying workers can result in steep penalties. And inadequate training can range from quality or employee engagement problems to disastrous and dangerous situations, especially in a manufacturing, child care, or healthcare facility.
One of the challenges from a compliance perspective is keeping the information up to date as regulatory changes occur. This problem is especially acute for multinational organizations as the regulations may differ from country to country, and some managers may be managing a team that crosses borders. Making sure you have the right compliance content, targeted at the right people, can be a major challenge. A strong compliance partner and the appropriate technology will help you train and empower your managers and HR teams to go beyond compliance and achieve efficiency and excellence.
4. LAUNCHING OR EXPANDING DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION INITIATIVES
It’s more important than ever for companies to create or foster a culture of belonging for Black, indigeneous, and other people of color; people who identify as LBGTQIA+; or people in other categories that are not well represented in executive positions. For example:
- Organizations need to make sure that discriminatory behavior and microaggressions are grounds for discipline.
- We’ve never had a better opportunity to expand mentorship and advancement opportunities for women and minorities.
- Organizations should be setting ambitious goals for hiring and advancement and making sure they keep the communication lines open.
A people management platform can support diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and deliver high-quality, critical products quickly to the workforce. For example, an employee might just need a simple question answered. An integrated chatbot that can answer basic questions (and quickly connect an employee with a human when questions or concerns get more complex) can be extremely valuable when organizations are looking to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion. The chatbot will only be as good as the content that enables it. The right partner will bring the right technology and content to bear on complex compliance issues.
In our next blog post, we’ll discuss more about the flow of work and how companies can support their employees who are feeling loaded down and overworked.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jim Holincheck has more than 25 years of experience in the HCM technology industry and is the Vice President of Advisory Services at Leapgen. Before joining Leapgen, Jim gained experience as a vendor (Workday – Services Strategy and Product Management), an industry analyst (Gartner and Forrester/Giga), and a consultant (Accenture). He has spent his entire career working with customers to strategize, select, implement, support, and optimize their usage of enterprise applications. Helping customers successfully get the most out of their enterprise software investments is something he is very passionate about.
Jason Averbook is a global keynote speaker, industry analyst, thought leader and consultant in the area of human resources and workforce experience. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Leapgen, a digital transformation shaping the future of work. Author of The Ultimate Guide to a Digital Workforce Experience ~ Leap for a Purpose, Jason seeks to broaden executive mindset to rethink how to better design and deliver employee services that exceed the expectations of the workforce and the needs of the business.
Leapgen is a global digital transformation company shaping the NOW of work. Highly respected as a visionary partner to organizations looking to design and deliver a digital workforce experience that will produce valued outcomes to the business, Leapgen helps enterprise leaders rethink how to better design and deliver workforce services and architect HR technology solutions that meet the expectations of workers and the needs of the business.