2012 Resolution - No Surprises

January 11, 2012

As the New Year begins we reflect on what "slipped through the cracks" and whether at some point we may have to pay for those oversights.  Here's a Human Capital checklist that might help you get through 2012 without too many surprises. 

  1. Policy Review:  You've grown and your policies have not kept pace. Now is the time to evaluate the changes that have occurred in the last year and how economic shifts may affect how you want to respond to the needs of your employees.
  2. Talent Management:  Do you/will you have enough people with the right skills for 2012?  What are the options for closing the gaps?  Talent is now sourced, and moved globally with younger employees far less likely to relocate than their older colleagues. Is your organization ready for this challenge?
  3. Expatriate Taxes: With more recruits working offshore this not something to be left untended. Details of total compensation (cash and non-cash), tax equalization payments, stock option withholding, payroll waivers etc for all non-Canadian employees who come to Canada even for minimal work days need to be tracked and accumulated.  Similar discipline is required for other employees working away from their home country. Put a plan in place to track this information and add social security totalization too.
  4. Employment Brand:  In an increasingly competitive market a positive employment brand is essential along with a credible web presence.  Are you positioned to integrate new generations into your organization?  Do you have rewards and work conditions attractive to these new groups, or do your programs continue to reflect "baby boomer" values.
  5. Networks:  Information today is shared at hyper-speed through social media.  Which social platforms are best for your organization and are you effectively tapped in to them for recruitment, information sharing, brand promotion? Could you do better?
  6. Mergers and Acquisitions: Analysts project 2012 as year of significant M&A. Develop a "high level" human capital due diligence checklist to ensure that you are prepared.  HR tends to be brought in at the tail end - be ready!
  7. Compensation and Retention: Another year of projected modest increases creates a false sense of security. Don't think that this will be enough to retain your really key skills and high performers. Know who is critical to your projects and ensure that they are rewarded relative to their contribution - not relative to a general index.

This is a list of ideas to provoke some thought and discussion that we hope will help to reduce new year stress.

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