Five HR Priorities for 2023
As we enter a new year, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to HR for your Tribe. In this Blue Stone Insight we will focus on the areas that matter most to your workforce in order to retain and support employees.
- Focus on keeping top talent.
- Assess compensation levels.
- Produce a Total Rewards statement for current employees.
- Review the HR Policies and Procedures or Employee/Personnel Handbook to ensure it is compliant.
- Strategic review of Human Capital.
Retention Over Recruiting
Due to the Great Resignation, employers are struggling to find talent and are raising their minimum wages in order to be competitive. This can create situations of internal pay compression and lack of internal pay equity, which can ultimately lead to the loss of current staff.
In today’s environment, it is imperative that employers focus on their current workforce and ways to keep their top talent. Employers should consider assessing their work environment, career opportunities, compensation and benefits, and workflows to address this. Conducting a workplace survey to get input from the current staff to help prioritize these opportunities is a good place to start.
“It is imperative that employers focus on their current workforce and ways to keep their top talent.“
What does compensation mean for employee engagement and retention of talent? Sixty-eight percent* of people say that salary and compensation are among their top considerations before accepting a job, but how does that translate to an employee’s decision to stay at their current employer?
The relationship between employee engagement and compensation results in an employee being more engaged within the organization and more loyal to the organization. Highly engaged employees often outperform and move ahead of their fellow employees, both in compensation and career paths, thereby helping the organization reach its goals.
Going into 2023, it will be essential to assess compensation levels to account for the increased cost of living expenses and market conditions. Do you have a structure in place? Do you have a structured plan for increasing your compensation in 2023? Ensuring that your compensation structure is market-competitive, and also internally equitable, will go a long way toward employee engagement and retention of current staff.
“Going into 2023, it will be essential to assess compensation levels to account for the increased cost of living expenses and market conditions.“
Assessing your benefits package is an important piece of total compensation. When you revisit your base compensation structure, also review your benefit offerings (health, dental, vision, PTO, 401(k) match), and other ancillary benefits, as these can be significant key differentiators as an employer in your area and a valuable retention and hiring tool.
“Producing a Total Rewards statement for current employees to better understand their total compensation, beyond base pay, is a great retention tool in any organization.“
Policies and Procedures
An annual review of your HR Policies and Procedures or Employee/Personnel Handbooks is a crucial part of ensuring your Tribal organization is compliant with relevant laws and regulations, as well as incorporating any updates that may have occurred over the past year. This helps mitigate risk and also lessens the time spent updating, rather than recreating, your manuals. Training management staff annually on revised policies, as well as policies in general, will help ensure the consistent application of policies across the organization, which leads to high employee morale and trust.
“An annual review of your HR Policies and Procedures or Employee/Personnel Handbooks is a crucial part of ensuring your Tribal organization is compliant with relevant laws and regulations…“
Strategic Review of Human Capital
We are witnessing a huge need in this area across Indian Country, perhaps the biggest gap we’ve seen in years. A review of Human Capital includes:
- Organizational Analysis – what does your organization’s structure look like? Is it poised for growth? Where are the gaps? What are the opportunities for efficiencies?
- Career paths – we are seeing high turnover in mid-level and Director-level management due to a lack of a path forward and upward mobility. Retention of this level of staff is critical to consistency in leadership; turnover at this level is costly and disruptive to the organization.
- Succession planning – this is an important step of planning which we are seeing a greater need for in Indian Country. It is a contingency plan that is crucial to support business continuation in leadership positions, whether short-term, long-term, or to support retirement. It also allows for a smooth transition of long-tenured leadership staff to mentor and train a successor to take their place, thereby ensuring a knowledge transfer of institutional knowledge, career paths, and opportunities for other qualified staff to move into these positions, as long-tenured employees are able to retire.
- Tribal Member Development – what is your Tribe doing to create opportunities for Tribal Members in the way of creating training and programs that will help them attain successful and meaningful careers within the Tribe, beyond entry-level positions? Building out and enhancing existing Tribal Member development programs will aid in the organization’s ability to engage Tribal Members and develop career paths within the Tribal government and/or business enterprise(s).
*The Glassdoor Team. “Glassdoor’s 5 Job Trends to Watch in 2016.” Glassdoor, January 2016, https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/glassdoors-5-job-trends-watch-2016/.
Alicia Finley SPHR, SHRM-SCP and THRP, is the Human Resources Services Director for Blue Stone Strategy Partners. Alicia has 22 years of collective experience in the Human Resources and benefits field, as well as 11 years of project management experience, and has significant experience in consulting with Tribal clients on a wide variety of Human Resources issues.