As inflation slows down, the recent upward pressure on wage rates is expected to slow. Where we will see financial challenges is for those lower-income employees who are renters or new home buyers. Both rent and mortgage rates will likely continue to create barriers for these individuals. We do have a new minimum wage in Michigan of $10.33 per hour. Good luck finding employees to work for that rate.
While there hasn’t been obvious movement on this since it was introduced to the Michigan legislature in the spring, the concept of pay transparency is more mainstream than it has ever been. Expect your Millennial and Gen Z employees to be looking for this.
We heard a lot about AI in 2023 and have only just scratched the surface. Many HR professionals are using AI technology either independently or as it is incorporated into HRIS systems for things like job postings, etc. Ignore this one at your own peril.
Now that Zoom, Amazon, and GM (to name a few) are calling people back, isn’t this a thing of the past? Not so quick. What we’re seeing is that the best cultures are coming together but are staying flexible. Employees like the balance of not having to face a commute on a bad weather day or to stay home to focus on a detailed project. We also know that we are social creatures who miss each other when we are apart. The HR challenge will be to balance all of this.
Are these still kicking around? Yep. Last year I wrote a blog about these being overturned by the appeals court. Now they are in front of Michigan’s Supreme Court. Do we know what the Michigan Supreme Court will decide? Nope. This will be one to watch especially for organizations with less than 50 or those with tipped employees.
In a state where union activity has been quiet in the past several years, we’re looking for some potential changes in 2024. The highly public strike at the automakers this past fall made other production employees take another look at their own compensation. This happened just after the State of Michigan repealed it’s Right to Work Legislation and the NLRB made it easier for employees to gain union representation. If you are in an industry where unionization is a possibility, this is the year to keep a close eye on the satisfaction level of your workforce.
Last but certainly not least, we are heading into potentially one of the more acrimonious election cycles in our nation’s history. At a time when polls are showing that people have significant angst over politics and feel overwhelmed by the constant news cycle, expect emotions to be rawer than normal. To help mitigate this, it’s going to be important to set expectations for your employees early on when it comes to political discussions in the workplace. Reminding them to avoid pushing political hot buttons and having extra empathy for others will be important.
Meet Kevin Brozovich, energetic entrepreneur, people-focused team-builder and HR practitioner-turned consultant. For almost 10 years, Kevin was Founder and Chief People Officer of HRM Innovations, a Kalamazoo-based Human Resources consulting firm many would consider the top in the region. After pulling his hair out making daily decisions about running the business (does it matter where the coffee comes from?), Kevin joined forces with the Rose Street Advisors team so he could solely focus on what he loves most: working with clients.