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From the #MeToo movement to the ways in which technology has changed industries across the globe, human resources can expect a number of challenges in 2019. XpertHR identifies 10 of the biggest issues and offers some tips on how to best address them. One challenge is building and maintaining a diverse workforce, which means not only diversity in hiring, but also creating a tolerant and inclusive workplace where employees feel respected and valued. This requires top-level buy-in and aligning diversity with business goals and corporate strategies. Another challenge is preparing the workplace for potential violence and other safety and health hazards. To combat workplace violence, companies should first conduct a needs-assessment across the organization to ensure that it has the proper policies, practices and procedures in place to increase awareness, recognition and reporting of violence or potential acts of violence as well as the employer’s ability to respond. HR also is responsible for updating employee handbooks, addressing employee drug use, managing employee leave and offering the right benefits to workers. With increasing marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes, employers need to develop, implement and enforce drug-free workplace policies prohibiting the use of unlawful drugs both on the employer’s premises and during working hours that impact judgment and interfere with employee safety, while at the same time not conflicting with new rules. Cyber risk is another area of concern, especially as more data moves to cloud-based systems, which means firms need to ensure that third-party vendors, partners and providers adhere to certain security standards. Companies also must align their needs and priorities with their workforce, comply with new federal, state and local laws, ensure long-term employee engagement and retention, and quickly address any issues employees may have.

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