Seven human resources issues that will shape the year

by Angela Splinter

The start of any year brings changes to the trucking and logistics industry, and 2019 is no exception. Human resources (HR) managers from coast to coast are dealing with the effects of a tight labor market, new technology, and regulations affecting employer-employee relations.

For those looking to manage all of this as best they can, I’ve compiled what I think will be top HR issues for trucking and logistics in the coming year. Let’s take a look:

New federal and provincial regulations
Bill C-63 received royal assent in December 2017 and served to modernize the Canada Labour Code. It introduced changes to work scheduling, overtime, vacation, bereavement leave, and several statutory leaves of absence.

The next significant change to the Code involves Bill C-86, which went to second reading and referral to committee in the House of Commons in November 2018. It would introduce pay equity legislation as well as equal pay for equal work, meaning an employer would be prohibited from paying employees differently for performing the same work on the basis of “employment status.”

Change is happening at the provincial level, too. Indeed, Ontario’s Bill 47 would reverse most of the changes under Bill 148 from 2017.
It’s hard to keep track.

But trucking and logistics employers need to be prepared for shifting labor laws and increased employer obligations in 2019.

Workplace diversity and inclusion
Shifting demographics and a broader range of perspectives among employees are making workplaces more diverse. Managing diversity and inclusion is more than an HR issue – successful companies are embracing diversity as part of their overall business strategy.

The millennial discussion
It can’t be overstated: our industry needs to engage with millennials.

Having just surveyed 2,000 millennials from across Canada on their perceptions of trucking and logistics, we need to identify practical, thoughtful approaches not just for employers, but for the industry as a whole.

I think this discussion will heat up, and Trucking HR Canada will be right in the middle of it.

Continued focus on women
We also need more women. Trucking HR Canada is taking a more focused look at how to attract, recruit, and retain more women in our workforce. Join us March 7 at our fifth annual Women with Drive Leadership Summit to learn more about what we can all do.

The effects of automation
Technology is changing the nature of work. We need to understand how automation in trucking and logistics will impact all jobs, including drivers and even the HR function itself. The effect of this technology will be profound, and HR managers need to ensure that it is included in their workforce planning.

No column on HR trends would be complete without at least a mention of compensation. As the focus on employee retention increases, so too will the need to have clearly defined total compensation packages.

Employers who look beyond financial incentives to reward and recognize their employees will have an advantage. Those who know how to clearly communicate their approaches will stay on top.

Change management
Change is inevitable. The question is how to manage its effects on employees. In times of change, people may fear for their job and thus need to be reassured about their role in the organization. Make sure your staff are properly trained, informed, and empowered to give your employees the help they need to learn, adapt, and grow.
One thing is certain as we move into 2019: our industry is always changing. The real leaders who emerge are the ones who skillfully embrace it. TN

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