Human Resources is appropriately named because it’s designed to take care of a company’s greatest asset – its employees. From hiring paperwork to leaves of absence to addressing issues like diversity in the workplace, HR departments work hard to keep workers healthy and happy both in the workplace and at home. Here are four of the latest HR trends that support worker wellbeing.

Flexible Work Options

The way people work is changing. Global Workplace Analytics reports, between 80% and 90% of American workers want to telework at least some of the time. Fortune 1000 companies launched their own research and discovered that most employees are already mobile – spending 50% to 60% of the workday away from their desks. Most jobs have at least some flexibility to offer in the way of non-traditional hours, less than 40-hour weeks with full-time perks, or allowing employees to work some hours from home. The feeling that a job dictates every other aspect of life leads to resentment and manifests in employees who are not passionate about their work. Flexible scheduling that includes remote work options also attracts a wider pool of workers – from parents to employees with disabilities – and increases the potential talent within the company.

Financial Wellness Programs

Employees who stress about money can also be sleep-deprived, have high blood pressure, or show general signs of irritability. All of these traits lead to decreased productivity and lower morale in the workplace. There are plenty of personal financial resources out there but not all consumers feel they have the time or means to invest in them. Workplaces that offer financial literacy and wellness programs as a perk of the job can reduce the stress of employees, leading to better health and higher efficiency at work. Financial literacy is not a one-day seminar that employees are encouraged to attend; rather, financial wellness is a lifestyle choice, and HR departments should have employee benefits programs built in that provide the right tools and support.

Concise Development Tracks

An estimated $37 billion is wasted annually on unproductive meetings, and HR contributes a fair share of required sessions and seminars to make up this statistic. There is a point when HR departments are simply requiring too much. Development, team building, health information, and continued learning requirements are helpful as long as they are concise and do not overlap with each other. Take a look at the current programs offered to (or required of) employees throughout your company. Is there a smart place to streamline?

Humanized Performance Reviews

Spearheaded by HR departments, companies are getting away from external benchmarks as a way to evaluate employees. While sales and revenue are still factors, they are outweighed by the human side of the employees under review. Innovation, team compatibility, and willingness to learn new things are among the more heavily weighed benchmarks showing up on reviews backed by HR support. These types of reviews empower employees and show them that their attitude and hard work really does pay off and that both are noticed by supervisors and company leaders.

A workplace full of talented, innovative employees takes more than aggressive recruiting. HR departments must consistently adapt to the needs of workers to keep them content and productive. By understanding what drives employees, and what factors could slow them down, HR can excel at cultivating a happy, healthy workplace environment.

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