Time Data Systems – July 2021 Newsletter
Now Is the Time to Plan for 2022 Payroll and HR Changes
It’s a truism in the world of payroll and HR that we are the folks that are already thinking about this coming January 1st in July. Now is the time for us to be looking at changes in the payroll and HR environment, and consider vendors that can make 2022 better for your employees and your bottom line. As we emerge from the unprecedented challenges of the past year and a half, the landscape surrounding human capital management has been altered dramatically.
As we all get back to work and look forward to increasing our staffs and managing our workforce, you can leverage Time Data Systems’thirty years in the human capital management industry to provide you and your employees with the best timekeeping, payroll, and HR experiences.
Join us for one of our monthly open demonstrations and see in action the software tools that you need to find, hire, and retain your employees. Let us show you how we can make sure you’re getting the tax credits you earn when hiring new employees. We have the tools to alleviate your worries about compliance with the ever-evolving labor laws and court rulings.
We know you have questions. We have solutions. Please call us today so you’re ready for 2022.
2022 HR Trends / Predictions to Prepare for Now – Part 1
The Shift to a Younger Labor Force & Changes It Will Bring
More workers from the younger generations not only means a younger workforce – it also means that a greater number of your staff members will have different career ambitions, priorities, ideals, desires, and experiences than the older workers. Give or take a year or two, Generation Y, most commonly called “Millennials”, have a birthyear between 1981 and 1996, and encompass over 50% of employees working today. This generation has been driving change at employers since the mid-1990s – sometimes in ways that were hard for older managers and co-workers to understand. Those born between about 1997 and 2010 are called Generation Z (or Gen Z), and while their participation in the workforce is much more recent, it is expected to grow quickly. If Millennials “drive” change at work, many would up the ante for Gen Zs, and say they “push” it.
Work-Related / Work-Adjacent
Research has shown that Millennials and Gen Zs put more emphasis on balancing their work and home lives. They prefer to work remotely and have flexibility in their schedules. Feedback is important to them (with 60% wishing for manager comments daily), as well as transparency from management, and collaboration and the tools needed for it.
Mercer found some interesting statistics when it comes to the younger generation of workers’ attitudes toward career opportunities. Analysts have dubbed some of their findings as employees thinking at, about, and in their workplace as if they were customers of it instead of working for it.
- 55% feel unable to advance in their careers
- 47% feel supported through a career change
- 43% want to be promoted within 1 year or less at a job
The younger generation of employees doesn’t work well under a “one size fits all” HR, management, scheduling, benefits, roles, or job assignment approach – whenever possible, they like to feel empowered to exert flexibility in their tasks (including when, how, and in which order to complete them), goals, when and how they work, benefits packages customized for them specifically, how their role fits in with others, and training. The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns had a significant impact on younger workers particularly, as a large percentage of them were working in restaurants and other sectors of the service industry. This led a great number of them to gig work and opportunities like DoorDash and Uber that allowed them to still make some income during the very tough and uncertain time. It also taught this age segment of the workforce that jobs offering some of the qualities important to them do exist, and perhaps they carried those preferences to other more traditional workplaces and employment after the lockdowns, or simply reinforced their fondness for them.
Often, younger workers leave jobs after only being at the company for a brief time – and give their employers a shorter time frame and fewer chances to win them over for the long run. Deloitte investigated the reasons they choose to leave so abruptly and found (multiple answers were allowed from each respondent):
- 43% are not satisfied with financial aspects (pay, rewards)
- 35% feel there are not enough advancement opportunities
- 28% believe occasions for learning and development aren’t available
- 23% they don’t feel appreciated
- 22% flexibility was lacking, affecting their work/life balance
- 21% they felt bored at work
- 15% they didn’t like the company or workplace culture
With this knowledge, human resources and company leadership can work together to address these reasons for high turnover of the younger workforce.
Societal / Social
Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is more important now than ever, especially to the younger generation of employees who aren’t afraid to speak up and ask for change both inside the workplace and out in society. Not only do they make it known when they feel a difference is needed – these younger workers, who are incredibly and wonderfully diverse, also want to be part of making that difference, both through their workplace and outside of it. They also want a say in how the company will be managed, and corporate strategies and their implementation. Hierarchies are giving way to structures that involve workers in decisions.
Mental Health / Personal Issues
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world together in ways few have experienced before. The stress, trauma, loss, and fear gave way to compassion, understanding, flexibility, and a greater concern for those around us. Empathy and kindness will definitely be important for both employees and employers alike to continue showing, and the workforce skewing younger is sure to notice and hold those to account when it isn’t being practiced. Company-organized volunteering and giving opportunities that employees engage in have been found to reduce turnover by 57%, per Benevity.
Studies over the past decade have shown that stress in employees is higher than ever, and corporate wellness initiatives are of great interest to Millennials and Generation Z. Some options to include are partnerships with gyms or fitness studios and even on-site endeavors such as yoga classes, company-wide broadcasted stretch break reminders, smoking cessation meetings, and more healthful lunch or snack options.
In the past few years, even though it has always existed, bullying and harassment behaviors have received more attention than in the past, both in and out of the workplace. Those who have been in the working world for a longer period of time, in general, often chalk it up to hazing, just part of working with other people, “harmless fun”, or not a big deal. Younger generations have led the charge in exposing, disclosing, and fighting against these terrible practices. Earlier in 2021, MyPerfectResume looked into these issues and learned:
- An unacceptable 79% of professionals working today have either been targeted at work or saw it happening there, and that 49% of victims don’t report what has happened.
- Of those who did seek out help from management or HR, 25% stated nothing changed, but encouragingly, about 1 in 2 and almost 1 in 3 bullies or harassers were either reprimanded or fired, respectively.
- Those who suffered mistreatment indicated that working remotely did improve the situation (54%), but sadly, 32% relayed no change in the hurtful behaviors and 14% confided that the situation had gotten worse.
The toxicity of bullying and harassment cannot be denied or ignored by businesses, especially when considering the significance and commitment Millennials and Gen Zs have made quite clear they have to stopping such activities.
Corporate programs which aim to improve or at least address mental health, wellness, and personal issues foster productivity and engagement (which in turn helps reduce turnover of the workforce’s younger participants. This, combined with 2 out of 3 workers stating that their sleep is negatively impacted by workplace stress and concerns, demonstrates the worth of incorporating these types of fringe benefits and perks. Companies are investing in these extras much more than in the past. In fact, participants in a recent Global Wellness Institute survey uncovered increased spending on wellness and mental health initiatives by 65% of the businesses.
Knowing all of this important information allows HR professionals and managers with employees from the younger generations to create corporate plans and strategies, as well as a culture, that furthers engagement and results in happier workers. Modern, creative benefits and perks, in addition to contemporary working environments and conditions, are becoming more and more sought after by Millennials and Generation Z. Companies should prepare for these trends now by exploring and updating their current offerings, which will help develop and cultivate a content, more fulfilled, long-term younger labor force.
Economic Recovery / Stock Market Activity After the 1918 Pandemic
With 49% of the American population having received the full dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (as of the writing of this article), across the country sighs of relief are being heard and there are high hopes that the economic fallout from the scourge that started in 2020 is in our collective rear view mirror. Since it started, researchers, historians, and analysts in many different disciplines have been called on by the media, government officials, and others to compare and contrast it to the 1918 pandemic of Spanish Flu. Probably every economist and financial whiz has been asked to weigh in and give their 2 cents on the matter, and those worth their salt knew enough to try for a longer explanation than a 30-second sound bite to hit the airwaves. So, that’s what we’ll do in this article!
The word “wave” in this context refers to infection rates surging after decreasing for a period of time. Between 1918 and 1920, the Spanish Flu came in 4 waves, and infected about 500 million worldwide. To date in the current pandemic, 190 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported around the globe, and the word “reported” is key. Experts say the 4th wave began in the United States just a couple weeks ago, but not every country or continent is at the same point. The 4th and final wave of the 1918-1920 pandemic gave way to a decade of economic success in this country and Europe – it was called “The Roaring 20s”. And while the US economy is currently in recovery, expectations of “The Roaring 2020s” which would emulate what happened 100 years ago should be tempered with the consideration of other factors that influenced the last century’s… period of roar, so to speak.
Sure, there are similarities between the dueling, century-apart “20s”. For example:
- A pandemic ending (or in the case of COVID-19, at least apparently quickly winding down
- New technologies and industry leading the way in expanding and supporting the economy (radio, silent movies, the auto industry, electric appliances for the home that made it possible or more convenient to manage a household; and now, Artificial Intelligence in manufacturing, more widespread use of Internet of Things, aerospace progress being picked up and revamped by the private sector, 5G, and more)
- New advances in technologies that move us great distances (like Ford Model T of the past and autonomous and smart cars of now)
The stock market also experienced great gains at the end of both pandemics. There is one difference than experts find particularly important to point out though. The Spanish Flu took off in February 1918, right in the midst of World War I. Well over 1 million American soldiers were infected and 45,000 were sick enough to have succumbed (30,000 of them before they even left our shores to enter the theater of war). Just like with COVID-19, not everyone who contracted the virus was sick enough to need hospitalization, so while the War Department conservatively estimates 26% of the Army was made seriously ill by the Spanish Flu, the total percentage of those actually infected was more likely closer to 40%. At this point, you may be wondering “what does any of this have to do with our economy now”? Read on.
World War I ended in November 1918, and after dodging new weapons of destruction and death like poison gas, artillery fire, and the happenstance-at-the-time flu pandemic, soldiers were lucky to have even survived – and they darn well knew it. They just wanted to get home and quickly make moves to get as much out of life as possible. The ending of this war, with all sorts of new technologies and advancements (brought to widespread industry stateside), and changing attitudes and realizations that it brought, definitely affected the “roaring” and economic boom of the 1920s. We must temper optimism and looking to past economic success after a pandemic with full knowledge and information about other factors that brought prosperity.