Returning from our Christmas breaks we all have that new year, new objectives mindset. From a human resources and people perspective, some of the key themes for business leaders in 2017 will be around engagement, gender pay, apprenticeships and improved corporate governance.
In HR, this is a busy period of setting clear direction for our people, who play a crucial role in delivering the business’s plans. With this in mind, how much consideration is given to how you are going to engage, motivate and develop your staff?
For many businesses, retaining staff is at the top of their agenda. To do this, engagement strategies are key. This includes the challenge of engaging the newer millennial workforce, while at the same time maintaining engagement with the older generation. Each have different needs as part of their working life.
Engagement encompasses many elements, from how you communicate with staff to how you manage, support and develop them. For employers, understanding the needs and wants of your people, and building this into your people plan, will be critical to how successful your business will be.
There are also more practical considerations for employers, which stem from legislative changes seen last year. For example, reforms around apprenticeships will mean larger firms will have a newly introduced levy to fund them.
This will assist the Government in hitting its target of offering three million apprenticeships by 2020. I can see this being really beneficial for the financial services industry, making practical experience a necessity for young people wanting to join it.
Meanwhile, gender continues to be an important theme in the drive to improve diversification at board and management levels. The newly published gender pay reporting regulations will mean more employers needing to publish mean and median overall pay for males and females within their business. This year also sees a levy introduced in the form of an immigration skills charge for businesses employing migrant workers.
Employers will also start to see consultation of more formal frameworks being put in place through a newly extended senior manager and certification regime from early 2018.
This could come alongside more corporate governance requirements being introduced by the Government to ensure business leaders are more accountable for their actions in the wake of high profile issues such as the collapse of BHS and working conditions at Sports Direct.
Last week my team launched a proposition to provide our Bankhall clients with an HR service. With people so critical to any business, we wanted to provide a service that uses our knowledge and expertise to help firms deliver effective people management and development strategies.
Advisory firms need to have strong foundations in place to achieve their future ambitions. This will help ensure they are able to focus on the value-added services. It is an exciting time and we are looking forward to working with firms in this way.
Lisa Winnard is HR & business services director at Sesame Bankhall Group