8 HR practices to keep top of mind in 2023
As we enter a new year, sometimes it feels like we should be able to open a new book and start fresh on January 1. But life doesn’t function that way — projects continue, work keeps moving forward, and unexpected changes are often just around the corner.
While you likely have projects mapped out for 2023, and work continuing from the fall, there are a few HR practices and projects we think you should keep top-of-mind through this coming year.
Disability management provides a coordinated effort to support an employee who is experiencing a mental health or physical medical condition or injury that impacts their ability to perform their role.
Disability Management provides an opportunity for the employee, employer, the union (if applicable) and their employee’s health care provider to work together so the employee can be successful in the workplace, while balancing the needs of the employer. This may include:
- Writing the employee’s health care provider to understand any restrictions or limitations that may impact their ability to perform their role
- Providing an accommodation that meets their restrictions and limitations,
- Facilitating a return to work, and/or
- Applying for short-term or long-term disability benefits.
The process should consider the needs of the employee, the organization, and legal obligations.
It is HR best practice to have a pro-active disability management policy and process in place to support employees in a structured, respectful way.
It may surprise you to learn that the need for workplace accommodations is a frequent occurrence, and one that’s rising in many industries.
Whether due to illness, family changes, or other factors, your employees may request temporary or permanent accommodations.
As an employer, you have a duty to accommodate up to the point of undue hardship. In many cases, accommodations are reasonable, fair, and promote a healthy work culture and fosters employee retention and inclusion.
Examples of accommodations
- Person with anxiety – An accommodation may look like an employee working in a hybrid work arrangement, or the employer providing a quiet space for the employee to go to so that they can take care of themselves.
- Employee returning from surgery or illness – An accommodation may look like modified duties for a period, modified hours, or to restructure the job entirely.
- Family related accommodation – An employee is caring for a family member may require flexibility for when they start and end work.
When accommodation is needed, you should work with the employee’s medical provider to understand the restrictions and limitation so that an appropriate accommodation can be developed. Failing to provide a reasonable accommodation, violates your employers’ obligations under the Employment Standards Code.
The Right to Disconnect
The right to disconnect supports the concept that workers should be able to disconnect from workplace communications channels outside of working hours to ensure a balance between work and their personal life.
By March 1, 2023, employers in Ontario with 25 or more employees will be required to have a written policy.
Electronic Monitoring policies are about transparency.
As of October 2022, Ontario employers must create and maintain an electronic monitoring policy.
The law does not prohibit electronic monitoring, but employers must tell employees if they are being electronically monitored. In addition, if employees are being electronically monitored, employers must provide employees with information regarding the scope of the monitoring and the purposes for which the information can be used.
Hybrid work continues to be a valuable practice for 2023. Last year, Ladders predicted 25% of all jobs in North America would be remote by the end of 2022 and that number is expected to continue to rise through 2023.
Organizations that offer a hybrid work model can provide a better work-life balance to their employees and possibly use it to attract new talent. This drives productivity and employee engagement and decrease the overhead costs of an employer.
Staff retention is going to continue to be a focus for many employers and stay interviews can be a useful tool to support this. A stay interview provides the opportunity for an employee to share what they value and appreciate about the workplace, as well as what are some challenges they may be experiencing. Stay Interviews provide insight into employees satisfaction and engagement, increases trust, and provides the opportunity to reduce staff turnover.
Exit interviews can be a great way to collect feedback about why an employee is leaving, but that feedback can come too late to retain the staff.
To retain employees, consider holding stay interviews to find out what your top talent like about their roles and the company, and what is keeping them there. You can proactively use this information to support retention efforts.
Pay equity programs (Federal legislation)
The federal government passed the Pay Equity Act which came into effect on August 31, 2021. The Act mandates federally regulated workplaces with ten or more employees to establish a pay equity plan to ensure equal pay to men and women doing work of equal value.
Pay equity programs are going to be top of mind throughout 2023, as federally legislated employers are required to have a formal plan in place by September 2024.
Even if you aren’t federally regulated, reviewing your compensation program, and testing its compliance to pay equity can benefit any organization. Creating a compensation program that is based in best practices ensures objectivity and fairness, and promotes a healthy workplace.
Organizations must constantly evolve and adapt to meet a variety of challenges — from changes in technology or the rise of new competitors to a shift in laws, regulations, or underlying economic trends. To support employees and your organization through these challenges, it’s important to have good change management practices in place.
Change management is the process of guiding organizational change to fruition, from the earliest stages of conception and preparation, through implementation and, finally, to resolution. The purpose of change management is to implement strategies for effecting change, controlling change, and helping people to adapt to change. This may include company culture, internal processes, underlying technology or infrastructure, corporate hierarchy, or another critical aspect.
HR support through 2023
We wish your employees and organization a healthy and successful year.
We are here to support you with your HR needs. If your plans change or you find you need assistance with these or other HR projects on your list, call People First HR. Our consultants are here to partner with you to support your employees and organization.
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