10 HR Experts Weigh in on Their Top Priorities for 2020

10 HR Experts Weigh in on Their Top Priorities for 2020

Human Resource Leaders Top Priorities for 2020

Human Resources is increasing in importance in every business - businesses are only as good as their people.

Everything from how to attract, retain, engage and maximize the performance of employees rests on the shoulders of human resource leaders. Human Resource leaders are at the leadership table and are expected to play a significant role in maximizing the return on human capital. We set out to gather information on the top priorities for Human Resource leaders in 2020.

We asked 10 leaders "What is your #1 Priority in 2020?" to get their perspective on the future of HR in their organizations.

If you are currently involved in or are planning an executive search for a Human Resources leader, consider these comments to help you create a profile of what you may need for your organization.

Kelsey Trevor, Director of Human Resources - MindBridge AI

Data driven HR: When everything within human capital management is managed with data, Human Resources can show where it directly impacts strategic business. For example, by designing more effective employee retention systems, we can directly upturn the revenue of the Sales department. Data allows us to more effectively influence; one of the biggest challenges in HR is, having your executives take your suggestions for consideration seriously – executives are almost always passionate about numbers, so when you can present using actual data, you are more opt to influence your executives to change a behavior.

Michelle Cosh, Director of Human Resources - Ferguslea Properties

When we look ahead to 2020 at Accora Village, one of the top people priorities is “Employee Engagement 2.0”.

We genuinely value employee engagement and actively seek employee input and involvement to ensure that Accora Village remains an employer and community of choice. Building off the success of our first engagement survey in the spring of 2019, we are committed to developing a year round employee engagement program. This program will empower employees to be part of a continuous improvement process for their roles, departments and our community. It is our hope that through this program we demonstrate how much our employee opinions are valued and how each employee can truly make a difference.

Natalie Hartley, Director of Human Resources - Dymon Storage

Dymon’s main focus for 2020 will be to build critical skills and competencies within the organization. We support and reinforce the value of continuous improvement and innovation for employees at all levels. We will be focusing on future leaders by strengthening their skillset through development plans, e-learning, coaching to support our growth mindset.

Lori Sone-Cooper, Senior Vice President Human Resources - HomeEquity Bank

Our people and culture: In 2020, I will continue to focus on the role of our leaders in creating and calibrating a dynamic culture and we will increasingly monitor and measure the Employee Experience so we know how we are doing. Our culture and people are two of the consistent things that our employees highlight when they talk about why they enjoy working with us. The fact is it takes a long time to create a dynamic place to work and I believe that culture and the employee experience have a profound impact on growth, profitability and performance.

My number one priority is and will always be our people. I often speak of the importance around the employee experience, culture and engagement as I do believe they can be a differentiator in terms of why some choose to stay or leave an organization. Last year, we learned through our Culture Survey that while our employees felt great about our internal culture, they thought we could do more to focus on our external customer. We spent a lot of time through 2019 exploring the customer experience. As with most organizations, finding great people is always a challenge so retention of our people will be a priority through 2020 and beyond. I will continue to work with my team on creating a place to work that people want to come to each day and ensuring that we are measuring the employee’s experience in support of that effort.

Igor Radojevic, Senior Manager, Human Resources - Calian

My top priority for next year will be matching our talent to business strategy. I look forward to achieving this by supporting a high-performance culture, succession planning, employee development and a positive employee experience.

Brenna Swann, Global Human Resources Manager - ORBCOMM

As an HR leader my priorities always have to adapt and change as the demands of the business evolve, however my focus currently is on training and continuous development. I want to ensure all employees have the tools and training they require to be successful in their roles. Continuous learning and development has a positive impact on employee engagement and loyalty, which in turn will positively impact the success of our business and will benefit us in attracting great talent in the future.

Tracy Brownlee, Human Resources Business Partner - York Region Rapid Transit Corporation

Organizational Planning: As a funding based project office, we are constantly flexing with our partners on deliverables. As such our workforce is ever changing and would benefit from some further organizational planning, particularly in the area of succession planning. With multiple generations represented across our workforce, some staff are nearing retirement, while others are looking for mentorship, development and growth opportunities.

Kathryn Hancock, Director of Human Resources - Welch LLP

My number one priority is ensuring that we remain competitive and that means ensuring that we become an accounting firm like no other – a true employer of choice in all sense of the word. One significant way we will accomplish this is through the alignment of the firm’s core values (Care, Impact, Empower) into all Human Resources practices. This means measuring current and potential programs and policies against our values before implementing them and asking ourselves if we are meeting the needs of our fantastic workforce.

Mallory Scott, Senior Human Resources Officer - Equality Fund

In November 2019, The MATCH International Women's Fund officially became the Equality Fund and was awarded $300M from the government. Right now, we are in the midst of building this incredible new fund and are recruiting for many new roles.

In this context, our HR team's top priority is improving the onboarding experience for our new staff. An employee's first day and first experiences with an organization can really make or break their engagement and long term retention. Onboarding really begins from the first time a candidate goes to your website and applies to your job. We want them to understand what we're building and how amazing it is to work with us.

Jessica Lewis, Human Resources Manager - Wyse Meter Solutions

Managing and creating a mental health initiative in the workplace for our employees to ensure their mental health is supported at all levels at work. We will be running monthly mental health lunch and learns for all employees to attend. Topics will range from resiliency training to stress management tips and more.

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