Some Passing Thoughts on HR as the New Year Nears

On this, the last Saturday in 2012, I went hunting and pecking for a few things I might share about the HR profession — looking back on the year that will soon be history as well as anticipating the one to come.

With healthcare and the impending Affordable Care Act enactments that much closer, this list from Mercer of the top five priorities for employer-sponsored health plans in 2013 seemed a helpful one. I was especially drawn to its specific suggestions for customizing plan designs and contributions in today’s high-health-cost environment, and for making health exchanges work best for you.

One blog post from an Edwardsville, Ill.-based employment, payroll and workforce-services company, Extra Help Inc., lays out its leading seven concerns HR professionals should be attending to right now. Though some of the list is aimed at Missouri and Illinois businesses, and promotes its services, it’s still a nice, succinct rundown of things you should have on your front burner — such as whether you’re fully versed in healthcare-reform requirements, whether you’re up on all you’re supposed to have posted around your environs and whether you really have the best plan in place when employees start leaving as the economy continues to improve.

Looking across the pond, I found this post from CIP HR, based in Buckinghamshire, England, that — interestingly — echoes many of the same cost-centered concerns HR professionals in the United States face in 2013: making sure the right talent gets into the right post to begin with, making sure younger workers get the kind of development opportunities that will encourage them to stay since they can’t climb the corporate ladder the way their parents did, and making sure social-media policies are crafted correctly, to keep you out of court.

Couldn’t find quite as much out there on top HR issues of 2012, but probably wouldn’t/couldn’t have found anything better than our own Winners and Losers list for 2012 from HRE Editor David Shadovitz. And, in keeping with other lists’ overriding focus on healthcare and healthcare reform, no surprise that his No. 1 winner is Obamacare.

Also, for the record, here again is Web Editor Michael J. O’Brien’s blog post on what you blog readers read the most this past year on The Leader Board. May be a reflection of what caught your eye more than what has been or will be keeping you up at night, but a reflection nonetheless.

And, as I intimated up top, there’s probably no better time to reflect than when one year bites the dust and another one is born.

Happy New Year everyone.