Tis the SeasonAlthough millions of kids are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the jolly big guy, this blog actually pertains to the millions of HR professionals who are counting down the days until the end of the year! From Open Enrollment (OE) to Year-End to ACA and other regulatory compliance deadlines, HR professionals certainly don’t have it easy at this time of year. Add the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the end of the year can be extremely stressful.

Open Enrollment – one of the most dreaded tasks HR has to manage. Most employees don’t understand how much time HR spends before and after Open Enrollment opens and closes. If your benefits enrollment didn’t go as smoothly as you hoped, take some time to evaluate what went wrong and make sure you have the processes and technologies in place to overcome those challenges next year.

On the heels of Open Enrollment – or more accurately, concurrent with OE – come the time-consuming list of Year-End / Compliance tasks. And this year, HR gets to add the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the increasingly long list of regulations your company must comply with or risk significant penalties. February 1, 2016 (the deadline for Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to be distributed to employees) and March 31, 2016 (the deadline to electronically file Forms 1094-B, 1095-B and 1095-C) will be here before you know it. If you are among those struggling to pull together the necessary data to complete the required forms, be sure one of your 2016 goals is to find a solution to make the ACA compliance process easier.

Speaking of goals, once the Year-End dust has settled, it’s time to turn your attention to 2016. At the beginning of a New Year, most of us take a look back and evaluate how successful we were in achieving our personal and professional goals. If we fall short, we try to determine why, hit the reset button and try again, if the end result is still relevant and important. We also set new goals based on what we hope to accomplish and we develop strategies for how we can reach our goals. According to Allianz Life’s annual New Year’s Resolution survey, health and wellness top the list of 2016 priorities for individuals: http://www.benefitspro.com/2015/12/21/health-wellness-tops-2016-resolutions-list. Looks like fitness clubs will get an even bigger boost come January 1!

For HR professionals, the start of a New Year is a great time to review and update corporate policies and procedures and employee handbooks; make sure your company is compliant with federal, state and local regulations; and, establish the department’s top objectives for the year. It’s also a time to set goals for yourself and your department. According to Laurie Ruettimann, a former HR leader turned speaker and writer, 2016 will be a pivotal year for HR: http://www.eremedia.com/tlnt/here-are-four-really-good-reasons-why-hr-will-be-a-lot-different-in-2016/.

How will you make Laurie’s prediction come true within your company?

  • Will 2016 be the year you earn your spot at the executive table by demonstrating your strategic value?
  • Will you develop new strategies for attracting, developing and retaining top talent?
  • Will you increase employee engagement by empowering employees with technology to help them not only perform their jobs more effectively but also manage their professional lives more efficiently?
  • Will you finally get that new, end-to-end HR solution featuring a single database and employee-focused user experience (shameless plug #1)?

Whatever you hope to achieve in 2016, PeopleStrategy wishes you great success. Remember, we are just a phone call away should you need a partner to help you meet your needs (shameless plug #2).

From our family to yours, we wish you peace, love, health and happiness this holiday season and for years to come.