Spotlight Series #CAHR16: A Closer Look at the “Extras” That Make HR Work in the Workplace

By Tamara Jahelka

In attending the #PIHRA #CAHR16 Conference in August at the Long Beach Convention Center, our senior consultants noticed several trends throughout the event. We asked ourselves questions such as: How do we integrate succession planning into our daily recruiting, training and coaching? How do we prepare for changes in economy, resource availability and technology? How can we leverage HR trends and technology to improve the overall organization? These are not fundamental human resource issues but they are strategic approaches and progressive movements in the art of human resources. Human resources needs to continue to make strides to be a contributor to the bottom line and health of the organization.

The first major trend is a focus on talent – acquisition, retention, and succession planning. These are all critical components to the health of an organization. Attracting talent may require continual transformation, as candidates are not looking in the “usual” places for work. Not sure where to find your stars? Peoplescape can support you in this effort! Retaining those star employees is the next step in ensuring your organization remains competitive in your industry. Considering the multi-generational workplace, education, continuing training, cross-training and succession planning are all very important to the productivity and engagement of you team of employees. Having a strong plan for training your employees and sharing knowledge from experienced to novice workers, cross-training with employees of different expertise and unique backgrounds within the same department is a great way to let your employees know that the organization cares about developing their skills, and are concerned about the stability moving forward.

Another trend that we see is a focus on wellness as a critical part of benefits. Wellness programs at work include access to services for mental health, fitness, (including yoga), healthy vending machines and food selections, discounts on wellness suppliers from massage, gyms, nutritional coaching, and sometimes gyms on site. Many progressive employers the likes of Google is setting the bar in these areas. Supporting employee overall well-being rather than simply providing medical benefit options is a way to improve attendance, productivity and employee satisfaction. Peoplescape’s team would value the opportunity to assist in developing the right type of wellness program to support your corporate culture.

The final trend we want to point out here is the use of technology. Technology in the workplace has been on the agenda at conferences for the past decade or more. It is still necessary to consider not only selecting technology that supports your needs, but utilizing it in the day-to-day functions of your department and company.

You can check out some of our earlier blogs here at for details on how to make the BYOD policy work (or not) for your organization, the tough issues of tackling social media in the workplace, and other ins and outs of how technology can work for and against you as an employer. Stay on top of the technology trends and allow your employees to participate in the discussion of what tools are working for their specific department. This is the best way to engage your employees and to make sure that the money you spend on technology is being used in the most profitable and productive way for the organization as a whole.